Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Ego-Maniac Revolutions Don't Last

| Mar. 01, 2017

The closest analogy for Donald Trump is Henry VIII — and Steve Bannon may not have his ear for long.

Sick of 1930s analogies? Try the 1530s.

After all, it was Steve Bannon, President Trump's own chief strategist, who compared himself to Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor court.

Trump, per the analogy, is King Henry VIII of England — though even Trump has some work to do to catch up with Henrician levels of notoriety. Executing two out of your six wives is only entry-level roguery if you aspire to be The Henry. To meet the required standard, you would need to have an international dispute with the pope about whether your late brother consummated his purported marriage to your present wife to get around Catholic divorce law, and when thwarted, make yourself head of your own church, forcing confessional change on your entire population, and thus happily hook up with Anne Boleyn. Then chop her head off. Those were the days.

But discount a few details and the analogy holds — just not in the way that Bannon would like....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Simpson, Emile.“Ego-Maniac Revolutions Don't Last.” Foreign Policy, March 1, 2017.

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