The Trump-Duterte Appeal in Two Nations
As if the Gods in the heavens above agreed that Earth shall have iron men for leaders, both Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte were chosen to fill the roles. It is as if the USA and the Philippines are tied to similar fates because the planets aligned up.
Of course, both countries were electing their new presidents. The Philippines’ Duterte was elected overwhelmingly by Filipinos who were sick of corruption and weak leadership. Their vice-president is a woman who barely beat the son of former dictator, Marcos. While Trump has not been elected yet, he is the Republican candidate.
Both men are cosmic brothers. They speak similar outrageous things that would kill any election chances for most candidates, yet, ironically, have the opposite effect. Duterte was the mayor of the Philippines third largest city, Davao. He was ruthless to crime and even created “death squads” who literally went around the city taking the law into their own hand with the blessing of Duterte. By training, Duterte is a lawyer, and at times, speaks like one. But, more often than not, he speaks like Trump- he speaks what others are thinking whether it is politically correct or not.
Sometimes, one wonders if the two men are competing about saying the most outrageous things. Recently, both men and the free press got into a confrontational situation over things they had said or promised. Trump called them “sleezy” and refused to answer questions. Duterte had a similar situation about a comment on rape, whistling at women, and a murder of a journalist. The free press was relentless in questions that seemed to aggravate him. He said there are three types of journalists: Crusaders, who tell all to the public, the Mouthpiece, who speak only for self-interests and the Lowlives, who gossip. He warned the press about manipulating the truth and then said, ‘Don’t fuck with me, bullshit”. The local press has called for a boycott of his official press conferences. Duterte has since now called for a state sponsored control of the press to act has his mouthpiece. He has announced that he will no longer give public press conferences until after his six year term has ended! This is a recipe for a dictator in the rising.
If you did not know it was Duterte saying this, you would swear it was Trump. One can easily see how Trump might say exactly the same thing, if elected. Duterte has even described the Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and called the bishops “sons of bitches who are corrupt.” While this might even be true for some, saying this in a nation where religion is a major influence, is controversial. It is like Trump saying that a wall will be built along the Mexican border that Mexico will pay and banning all Muslims coming into the USA to stop terrorists. While many Americans may agree with Trump, it remains very controversial. America is evenly split about Trump. Half like him, half hate him.
The personality of both men is similar. Brash, outspoken, bullish. While Trump wants to make America great again, Duterte wants to destroy corruption in the Philippines at all costs, even stating that if a crime is taking place and police are not around, citizens should shoot the criminals dead. Both men have made statements that they have backtracked on and changed their position when opposition is great. Both men are misogynists, to a degree, thinking women are objects.
What were the odds that two nations would have a similar personality for president? Crazy. The Philippines may live to regret electing Duterte as their new president, the same may occur to the USA.