Could we really have rounded off our gallery of neo-authoritarians without Donald Trump’s portrait? Of course, he is not a dictator, but he is in some ways disturbingly similar to his authoritarian counterparts: he is an autocrat in power, constrained by the democratic and liberal environment in which he operates. His portrait, written by someone who knows Washington well (under a pseudonym) also helps us to reflect on the social, economic and cultural background that leads to the emergence of this type of leader.
A final article will conclude our series on 29 November, in the attempt to launch a debate on the action to be taken: what to do in the face of neo-authoritarians?
Michel Duclos, Special Advisor, editor of this series.
A businessman who inherits a real estate company in New York and embraces the lifestyle of this milieu, characterized by vulgar flamboyance and murky connections.
A reputation for never honoring his contracts, which only serve as the basis for new negotiations. Six bankruptcies that distanced him from traditional financial players and attracted others, both less traditional and much more opaque. An obsession for advertising, exemplified by his name displayed in large letters on all the buildings he touched upon.
Divorces, adulteries, trials, fights and obscenities - always in public -, an apartment the interior of which makes the Gulf princes’ palaces look austere in comparison, and a participation, for about 10 years, in a reality show where, in front of millions of Americans, he bullied, shoved and insulted candidates before firing them with his famous "you are fired".
A complete lack of experience in managing a complex organization, in politics and in public service.
You have before you, as you may have already guessed, the 45th President of the United States of America, undoubtedly the most powerful man in the world. A President whom no one saw coming, whose candidacy, emphatically announced from the Trump Tower (where else?), had only provoked sarcasm and shrugs, and whose improvised campaign was punctuated by scandals and blunders.