You, my dear readers, know that one of my personal perks in writing these columns is that I live in the comments section. And while I answer as many as I can, I endeavor to read every one, and find them all entertaining and worthwhile. And with that in mind, I owe a shout out and debt of gratitude to one of my readers, DitchGator, on our affiliate site, Daily Sound and Fury, whose magnificent observation is the inspiration for this article. Certainly no former President, living or dead, and few other people of note, living or dead, have invited comparison the way that Donald Trump does. And while he is a truly unique individual, in more ways than one, his various characteristics tend to beg to be compared to past historical figures, both living and dead. Trump has been compared more than once to Il Duce, Benito Musselini, mostly for the facial similarity, as well as his habit of holding his head back and sticking out his jaw, as if daring you to knock that chip off of his shoulder. He has been often compared to Adolf Hitler, not only for his blatant racism and nationalistic oratory, but also for his ability to hold, control, and influence his audience with his words. And most frequently, he has been compared to Richard Nixon, not only for his own delusional belief in his own presidential omnipotence, but also for his base criminal mentality and actions. I believe all of those comparisons to be valid, in their own ways, and for their own reasons. But there is one comparison I have yet to see made, and it is the most striking and disturbing, not only for its accuracy regarding Trump himself, but also for its accuracy in describing his base followers. And that comparison is between Donald Trump and Charles Manson. And despite any obvious similarities, the more you know about Manson the man, the more striking the comparison becomes. I am old enough that I was alive and aware of the terror unleashed upon Los Angeles by Manson and his “family.” Not only the crimes, but Manson himself fascinated me as a study in flawed character. I have read the iconic chronicle of Manson and his crimes, Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor who knew Manson well enough to be able to untangle his twisted mentality and put him away, so many times that the pages eventually separated from the bindings. And the comparisons are downright eerie. Manson did not grow up affluent, but like Trump, Manson grew up around a criminal influence. Trump’s father was not of sterling business repute, and Manson started a life of crime early, with a burglar uncle who used to hoist him through small windows that the child could fit through, so he could come to the front door and unlock it. Manson and Trump are both inveterate con men, whose belief in the infallibility of their own bullshit was utter and complete. Both men were racists, who only occasionally bothered to try to cover up that fact. And both men found themselves to be morally and intellectually superior to others, especially their followers. Both men were masters of manipulating their public persona. Trump used to call tabloid reporters pretending to be his own PR man, both […]
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