The Age of “Trump-ism”: The Tragic Tale of Populism

Throughout the scope of recorded history, there have come iterations of leadership that have slyly played on the capricious sentiments of the gullible masses of the land to alter the course of history itself.

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These shrewd tactics have provided the masses with a false sense of security and a false notion that their leaders have been brought to the pulpit of power to rid them of their woes throughout time. The advent of these dubious measures led to the birth of populism, an ideology that aimed at creating an air of distrust amongst the people regarding their place in society, which then led to them being easily manipulated to do the bidding of their equally suspicious leaders.

In the modern world, there have been many leaders who have ruled based on this brand of populism, but there is perhaps no leader in modern times who has developed this ideology as a political movement better than the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. Trump, since the very inception of his rather unconventional political campaign, had very masterfully established a loyal political base that fed off of his anti-establishment and anti-politically correct rhetoric. Over the next four years of his term as president, he garnered overwhelming support not just from his right wing voters but also from the Republican establishment, who constantly shielded his over the top demeanor and dangerous antics, and masqueraded him around as a breath of fresh air in a rather mundane political world.

His top aides not only willingly supported him through his moments of sheer incompetence, such as his failure to condemn the white supremacist elements emanating from all across his nation, and more recently, his lackluster handling of the Coronavirus pandemic that continues to claim the lives of scores of Americans. Trump very successfully surrounded himself with compliant yes men who catered to his every whim. Now, it must be asked, after the heinous attacks by a radical pro-trump mob against the Capitol, the United States’ cornerstone institution of democracy, after refusing to accept Joe Biden’s triumph in the recent General Elections, whether Trump’s supposed mission of retaking America from the establishment was all that pure.

America’s image in the world as an unfettered democracy is now in tatters for the foreseeable future, and the only final question that arises from it is, to what end?

By: Syed Abdul Aziz

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