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- Trump owes less to Willkie’s tradition than to Benito Mussolini’s, and not only because of the superficial: Trump’s chin-out toughness, sweeping right-hand gestures and talk of his “huge” successes and his “stupid” opponents all evoke the Italian dictator’s style. Monday’s breathtaking announcement that he would block all Muslims from entering the United States has many pointing out the obvious fascist overtones... Trump uses many of the fascist’s tools: a contempt for facts, spreading a pervasive sense of fear and overwhelming crisis, portraying his backers as victims, assigning blame to foreign or alien actors and suggesting only his powerful personality can transcend the crisis. He endorsed the violence done to a dissenter at one of his rallies, and he now floats the idea of making entry to the United States contingent on religion.
- It would seem the incoming Trump administration plans to handle its affairs — domestic and foreign — in a manner that meets the dictionary definition of a “rogue state” as one “that conducts its policy in a dangerously unpredictable way.”
- For all the promises Trump is breaking, there is one he has kept without wavering: his vow to be unpredictable. ... Some suggest that there is a method to Trump’s madness, that he is trying to make would-be adversaries think he is irrational and capricious, thereby making foes and rivals wary of pushing him too far. ... But in Trump’s application of the Madman Theory there seems to be less theory than madman. There may be advantages to keeping foes and opponents off guard, but Trump is baffling friends and allies, too. In foreign affairs, unpredictability spooks allies and spreads instability. And unpredictable policy at home has long been seen as toxic for business. ... The widespread chaos suggests Trump isn’t signaling new policies as much as he’s winging it. His unpredictability is not a theory. It’s the absence of one.