15 Awful Dictators That Have Striking Similarities to Donald Trump

Jay Dawson September 9th 2016 Entertainment
Look, we’re not suggesting that if Donald Trump is elected president, hundreds of thousands of people will die under an oppressive regime. We’re definitely not saying that Donald Trump is an unhinged megalomaniac who could bring the country to its knees. And we’re absolutely definitely not saying that every time something ridiculous dribbles down from his toupee and falls out of his mouth, it sounds exactly like your drunken uncle, “Ol’ Racist Randy”, from two Thanksgivings ago. All we’re saying is that he has a surprising amount in common with some of history’s most terrible people. If you don’t believe us, read on.
Saddam Hussein
No one here can forget the reign of Saddam Hussein, the 24-year ruler of Iraq and brutal warmonger. Many watched the 2003 Iraq invasion in horror, but at the fall of Baghdad, one jubilant image remained seared in their memories for ever. As Iraq was “liberated”, a crowd gathered in Firdos Square to drag down the symbol of their oppression – a 12-meter statue of Saddam himself.
Now, we’re currently scouring our brains to think of who else might have a giant monument dedicated to themselves. It would have to be really big – say around 202 feet – and possibly with their name emblazoned all over it. Who knows, this person might even have towers – sorry, monuments – all over the country and the world. Do you know anyone like that? Last name rhymes with “dump”?
Idi Amin
Although criticized for gross human rights violations and oppression of various ethnic minorities, the media outside his country saw him as an essentially comic figure – a wildly eccentric buffoon that was not to be taken seriously. Does that remind you of someone who's currently in office, holding one of the most powerful seats in the world? Anyone at all?
We’re actually talking about Idi Amin, the self-proclaimed King of Scotland (although I’m sure Trump wouldn’t mind the title, either) and eight-year tyrant of Uganda. Like Trump, Amin practiced nepotism, ensuring family members coasted into cushy positions and had access to all the right deals. But Amin had up to 45 children, so it’s no surprise that some of them turned up in positions of power. What’s Trump’s excuse?
Adolf Hitler
You knew that Hitler was going to be on this list. It’s kind of an Internet law. So we’ll get it out of the way early and state this upfront: Donald Trump is not Hitler. Yes, he’s anti-Semitic, dreaming of an untainted nation, and yes, he’s clearly insane. But apart from all the hate speech and woefully misinformed foreign policy, he’s never going to start a global war. We don’t think.
Where Hitler and Trump do see eye-to-eye, though, is their obsession with restoring their counties to their former glory. “Make America Great Again.” That’s the phrase, isn’t it? So, Trump, when was America great, exactly? When you were making massive profits? And does that kind of misplaced machismo, hurt-pride, guns, glory, and willy-waving remind you of anything? Yes, we all would love our countries to be magnificent. But the sheer lunacy of trying to return it to a pure state, which never actually existed in the first place, is exactly what that little mustachioed crackpot was trying to do.
Fidel Castro
Baseball is truly one of the world’s great sports, and the sharp crack of wood on leather has the capacity to unite people from all walks of life. Like Fidel Castro and Donald Trump, for example. Although the legend that Castro once tried out for the Major Leagues is false, his love of the game is no secret. The real secret is the fact that despite layers of propaganda, he wasn’t all that good at it.
Trump could sympathize. Although he did play baseball, and apparently he wasn’t that bad, he had a one track mind and a violent temper that resulted in more than one broken bat. Fidel’s socialist revolution and frustrated ambitions shut down Cuba’s promising baseball league. Trump’s Great Wall of Mexico could do the same. America, you were warned.
Vladimir Putin
There’s one wonderful thing that joins Putin and Trump together. One beautiful, sparkling, radiant joy that exists in both of their lives. One endless source of pleasure that they both share. And his name is Vladimir Putin.
It’s well known that Trump loves Putin, at various times calling him “a leader far more than our president”, “highly respected”, and “my new best friend”. Sure, it’s more of a friends-with-benefits deal, where “benefits” can be translated to “mega bucks”. But did you know that Vladimir Putin also loves Vladimir Putin? I mean, what other man would publish photos of himself scuba diving, kicking ass in Judo, going bare- and saggy-chested on a horse, and pretending to be a race car driver? I guess at least they’ll have something to talk about on those long, cold Moscow nights.
Napoleon Bonaparte
While celebrated as a masterful military tactician and incredibly influential leader, Napoleon Bonaparte was also a dictator who used the chaotic French Revolution and rigged elections to seize power. As he waged battle after battle, his grip on the empire and his own power grew more and more tenuous. When things finally went pear-shaped in the Battle of Waterloo, he resorted to his final tactic: he blamed his own generals for his failings.
Because let’s face it, finding a convenient scapegoat is just one of those things us fallible humans tend to do in the face of adversity. It would take a lot of courage and self-respect not to blame others for things going wrong. It would take a man like Donald Trump. What did he say recently about our generals? That they “have been losing for us for a long period of time” and have been “reduced to rubble”. Oh, oops.
“Papa Doc” Duvalier
Here’s a fun fact that’s making the CIA mighty nervous: Trump believes he has an incredible knack for predicting terrorism. Not in an educated way – we would never pin that label on him – but as an instinctual, gut feeling. But he’s not the first to claim supernatural powers. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, whose tyrannical legacy is still destroying Haiti, also said that he possessed divine powers. At one point he even boasted that he placed a curse that led to JFK’s assassination.
The funny thing is that given the rich Haitian cultural traditions, we can maybe believe Papa Doc’s claims (although my Trump voodoo doll doesn’t seem to be working). But it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world believes Trump. The poor guy couldn’t even foresee his own bankruptcies.
Saparmurat Niyazov
The little-known dictator of Central Asian country Turkmenistan, Niyazov tried to make up for his obscurity by implementing a series of bizarre laws. During his 15-year reign of oddness, he banned dogs, lip-syncing, and make-up on newsreaders. Just to add to the circus (which he also banned, ironically), he renamed the months of the year and days of the week, then called himself Head of the Turkmen.
He also solved a problem that’s been plaguing Trump for the entire campaign: how can I possibly ban all Muslims but not seem completely racist? Niyazov did it in simple move. He just banned beards. To be fair to Niyazov, it wasn’t actually a racist agenda – he just seemed to hate hipsters. But Trump really could have used him on the campaign trail.
Kim Jong Il
For this one, we’re going to let you guess who said what. We’re not going to give you any clues, except we will tell you that you have two options, and one of them is Donald Trump. Here’s the quote: “My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.”
Was it a big, loud mouthed eccentric, obsessed with the idea that the rest of the world was meddling in their affairs? Who controlled a population that were only loyal to him because his face was all over the media, all the time? Who had a hot wife but incredibly appalling attitudes towards women? Or was it Kim Jong Il? The answer is quite obvious when you think about it.
Slobodan Milosevic
Also known as the Butcher of the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic’s rule was characterized by ethnic cleansing, brutal suppression of political enemies, and power-hungry maneuvering that led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands. The wars in former Yugoslavia are still a raw wound in the minds of many, along with the incredibly violent protests and police brutality, directly sanctioned by Milosevic.
There is no joke to be had here. Donald Trump is well documented to have directly or indirectly incited violence at a number of his rallies, even going as far as saying that a protester “should have been roughed up” and that the violence “adds to the excitement”. His hate speech is one step away from systemic oppression and he has the power to lead many impressionable minds to a dangerous path of violence. In this regard, his resemblance to some of history’s most dangerous criminals should not be ignored.
Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe’s troubled past (and present) isn’t the result of only one pair of hands, but it wouldn’t be totally wild to say that Robert Mugabe did not help at all. At 92 years old, the dictator still – like Trump – somehow finds the time to spout homophobic and anti-LGBT nonsense, and angle into wars purely as a grab for minerals.
That’s not where the similarities end, either. Both Mugabe and Trump are passengers on that leaky cruise liner of “grand delusionists who think they know what do with your money”, and both have proven themselves to be miserable failures. Trump has declared bankruptcy an astonishing four times, and Mugabe drove Zimbabwe to financial ruin when his market reforms led to an insane 79.6 BILLION percent. But you can bet their own retirement funds are looking healthy.
Porfirio Diaz
Trump would be the last to admit he had anything in common with Mexicans, but we’ve found him a strange ally: Porfirio Diaz. In fact, they probably would have got along famously. They could have held dinner parties and talked late into the night about the best way to ensure that Mexico never prospers. How to really screw over the people while pretending to be in favor of the working class.
You see, Porfirio Diaz styled himself as a revolutionary and a champion of the people. But during his three and half decades as Mexican president, he did everything in his power to destroy their hopes and spirits. Thanks to rampant corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, and forced dispossession, all that he achieved was an incredible gulf between his cronies and the peasant class. Now, Trump, there’s something to aim for.
Mao Zedong
We could make a hilarious joke here about “Chairman” Mao and Trump firing people on The Apprentice, but we’re too classy for that. With the brand of hard-hitting investigative journalism that you’ve come to admire here at LifestylePassion, we’re going to dig deep into the iron-fisted and ham-fisted Cultural Revolution that set China back a few millennia.
During that time Mao Zedong and his buddies got rid of everything considered bourgeois and old, destroying historical sites, torturing and killing writers, banning books, plays, and opera, and forcing artists into manual labour. Now, Trump hasn’t quite gone that far (yet), but his track record does not look good. He’s torn down classic Art Deco architecture, threatened to cut funding for the arts, tried to get the Brooklyn Museum shutdown, and told Andy Warhol his work wasn’t color-coordinated. It seems the only relic he hasn’t considered getting rid of is himself.
Simon Bolivar
Simón Bolivar might be familiar to some as the great South American liberator. In the early 1800s, the Venezuelan born military leader freed almost all of modern day Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Ecuador from Spanish rule. He was a hero, at least right up until the point he declared himself lifetime president over every single territory he had just freed.
We sincerely doubt that Trump is capable of such heroics, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he declared himself Ruler 4 Life. No, that’s not what Bolivar and Trump have in common. It’s actually their terrible hair. Managing endless military campaigns and trying to organize the wild South American jungles will, to be fair, put a limit on how much gel-time a guy has. But what’s Trump’s excuse? Did he find a flattened gopher on the side of the road and beg his mother to keep it?
Benito Mussolini
There’s a lot of authors and would-be authors out there, and sadly there’s also a lot of atrociously violent world leaders. It makes sense that occasionally these two worlds would overlap. I mean, if you’ve written a terrible book with terrible ideas, what better way to get it read than to take over the country?
Benito Mussolini is just one of a long line of authors-turned-dictators, but the Italian totalitarian (which, like a Tuscan wine, kind of rolls off the tongue) is famous for writing The Cardinal’s Mistress, a dreadful romance involving groaning breasts and no doubt much frenzied tearing of vestments. Trump has also repeatedly tried his (or someone else’s) hand at writing, with almost twenty business books published to date. Seems like he just can’t get his business tips right – or no-one’s reading them.

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