The similarities between Donald Trump and Gustavo Petro are evidence that extremes always meet in politics.
At first glance, these two characters couldn’t be more different: One is a leader of the left of a developing country, obsessed with becoming its president. To change the “corrupt elites” and establish socialism.
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The other, on the other hand, is of the extreme right. And he was already president, but he is obsessed with repeating.
Looking at it better, Petro and Trump are as similar as two drops of water. Let’s see some of their common characteristics:
They have already had a government turn – one mayor, another president – and in a broad and forceful way they demonstrated their low aptitude as rulers. But they boast of having led the best governments in history. Hello, Daniel? They have a colossal ego, they feel they are superior, messianic beings, predestined to be the redeemers of the country. They present themselves as 100% unpolluted, while all their adversaries are corrupt. Any evidence of participation in corruption cases – even with indisputable videos – is fake news or is out of context; they count on their electorate having no memory or little enlightenment. Therefore, they propose simple, superficial, not very viable ideas, apparently novel, but that have already failed everywhere. How difficult it is for them to recognize an electoral defeat: if they lose, it is because there was fraud. And if they finally acknowledge it, they do so reluctantly and with threats. Remember 2018… They distrust science and scientists. They do not understand very complex issues, yet they rush to defend the most exotic theories. On COVID, economy, energy, climate change, etc. Their international experience and knowledge of foreign policy are poor, that makes them defend primitive and simplistic concepts, looking only inwards. They are messy and very poor administrators. Well-structured professionals find it difficult to work under their command; they are more comfortable attacking than building. Their most coherent discourse is to define who is to blame for something. They tend to want to go beyond norms and institutions. The one here stimulates strikes and blockades, the one there an attack on the Capitol. And their relationship with women has been… complicated. They seem covered in Teflon: no matter how deep they screw up, nothing sticks to them and their followers never question them. On the contrary, they applaud them more.
Finally, it is almost secondary whether they are from the left or the right. Where they are, they will be dangerous, just for being who they are: incorrigible daffodils, with a very skewed understanding of the real world, but convinced that they are the ones who understand it best.
Petrump? Trumpeter? It does not matter. In politics, extremes always meet.