Silvio Berlusconi Massimo Di Nonno | getty images

Le prototype italien de Donald Trump

TOKYO – La montée en puissance du candidat Donald Trump dans la course aux élections présidentielles américaines suscite partout une réaction mitigée, entre horreur et fascination. Et tandis que sa campagne, il y a quelque temps tournée en dérision, ne cesse d'accumuler les succès – à l'occasion récemment des primaires du Michigan, du Mississipi, et du caucus de Hawaï – un certain nombre d'observateurs s'efforcent de trouver dans l'histoire, ou à l'étranger, un personnage comparable et susceptible de nous éclairer sur ce phénomène. Même si comparaison n'est pas raison, la personnalité dont se rapproche le plus Donald Trump est sans doute celle de Silvio Berlusconi, souverain des médias italiens, et Premier ministre du pays au cours de trois mandats. Force est d'admettre que ce modèle de comparaison n'a rien de rassurant.

Pour commencer, Berlusconi and Trump partagent  bien entendu certaines similitudes d'ordre superficiel, ayant tous deux vécu plusieurs mariages, et arborant un style pour le moins vulgaire. Mais les qualités les plus caractéristiques – et les plus préoccupantes – que partagent les deux hommes résident davantage dans une capacité à  substituer la forme au fond, dans une tendance volontaire consistant à proférer des mensonges flagrants à des fins de publicité et de prise d'avantage, ainsi que dans une propension à faire taire les critiques par voie d'intimidation.

Les programmes politiques de Berlusconi, et même son idéologie profonde, ont toujours manqué de cohérence. Lors de ses différentes campagnes, toutes les déclarations seront bonnes à prononcer dès lors qu'elles lui conféreront des votes ; au cours de ses trois mandats au pouvoir, il usera de cette même tactique pour former des coalitions. Son unique feuille de route se destinera à préserver ou à renforcer ses propres intérêts d'affaires.

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