By the close of the 18th Century, the French people had suffered the execution of their King along with most of the aristocracy, streets flowing with the blood of the Reign of Terror, economic mismanagement, recession, poverty, out of control inflation, and protracted war with Austria, England, and Russia. At least the radical atheist socialist Jacobins had finally been appropriately fed to their own guillotines.
Unfortunately, the ugly business of governing a country in economic crisis and an unresolved war with most of the other great powers of Europe remained. The political leadership in Paris seemed no more capable of solving these problems than either the murderous Committee of Public Safety or the feckless King Louis XVI before them. Their society coming apart, the French people were desperate for a strong leader.
Enter Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon had a proven record on the field of battle, having famously won battles on and off of the continent, despite the dire situation domestically. In November 1799, with the adoration of his countrymen, he seized political power, while promising to right all of the political, economic, and military woes of the French people. He ruled with flare and confrontation, pitting France against the world.
In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Donald Trump is the uneducated, white, working class American’s Napoleon. Sure, Trump lacks the military career, the code of honor, or even the keen political instincts of Napoleon, but Donald definitely has the overblown self importance, the unnecessarily combative foreign policy, the total obliviousness to his own fallibility, and, most crucially, a domestic populace that largely doesn’t care about any of this.
Donald likes to imagine business and trade as war, and, in that ridiculous context, he fancies himself something of a conquering hero (his actual record is considerably more dismal). Part of Trump’s political appeal, like Napoleon’s, has been the promise of restoring America to greatness after years of mismanagement domestically and abroad. Just like Napoleon, Donald seeks to achieve this goal through prolonged conflict.
Things seem to be going as well for our tangerine Napoleon’s economic campaign against the entire industrialized world as Napoleon’s continental campaign did. By 1815, Napoleon’s army was defeated (for the second time), and Napoleon himself was exiled (for the second time) to St. Helena, where he died six years later. France fell back into deep economic troubles, drowning in war debt, and occupied by her long time foes.
In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
As you read this, the prolonged trade conflict Trump promised would be quick and easy to win has started impacting several industries, including agriculture, and our debt continues to pile up. There are also indications that the economy is about to turn sour. These are not desirable outcomes for America, but, so long as Trump is allowed to continue his misguided trade wars, we, the American people, continue to pay for it.
Someone, anyone, must stop Trump before it’s too late.
Liberty is For The Win!