Trump, Duterte and the Resurgence of Strongmen


Trump, Duterte and the Resurgence of Strongmen

Illustration: Akshita Monga


f you somehow find yourself using a whole lot of abusive language these days and rolling your sleeves higher than usual, don’t be alarmed. Aggression is in the air and “strongmen” are the new pin-up boys. I use the inverted commas because facts don’t really show that they are strong, but their actions are there for all to see – they bear down on the population, love to destroy institutions, and have a penchant for anything that has to do with violence.

Often, they come with expletive-laden language. Do you know that dude from the Philippines, who didn’t even spare the Pope and POTUS with his favourite “son of a whore” insult? Yeah, that one. His folks seem to love him because he is intent on killing lots of people – drug dealers, he says – and has proudly compared this to Hitler’s elimination of the Jews in Europe.