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Decoding Donald Trump: The Triumph of Trickster Politics

These days the entire world is trying hard to make sense of Donald Trump’s surprising march towards the Republican convention in Cleveland. Like it or not, he is possibly also on his way to becoming America’s next president. Trump seems hard to place within any of our available categories: Is he a conservative populist? Is he a revolutionary? Is he left or right wing Republican — or is he both, or is he neither? Is he a demagogue? Is he a “charismatic” figure? Or is Trump really just a (bad) joke?

When bewildered, we search for historical analogies. To many observers, Trump resembles Silvio Berlusconi, the (in)famous tycoon who was prime Minister of Italy on and off from 1994 to 2011. Rula Jebreal was quick to point out such similarities in a Washington Post …

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