Silvio Berlusconi Massimo Di Nonno | getty images

El modelo italiano de Trump

TOKIO – El ascenso del multimillonario Donald Trump en la carrera presidencial de los Estados Unidos fue recibido con una mezcla de horror y fascinación. Mientras su campaña, antes vista con sorna, sigue acumulando éxitos (el más reciente, en las primarias de Michigan y Mississippi, y en el caucus de Hawaii), los analistas se esfuerzan por encontrar algún análogo histórico o extranjero que pueda echar luz sobre el fenómeno. Toda comparación es imperfecta, pero el mejor ejemplo que podemos encontrar es Silvio Berlusconi, el magnate de medios italiano que fue tres veces primer ministro de su país. Y es un ejemplo inquietante.

De entrada, Berlusconi y Trump comparten algunos parecidos superficiales, entre ellos varios matrimonios y cierta vulgaridad general. Pero sus cualidades comunes más importantes (y más preocupantes) son la capacidad para dar márketing en vez de sustancia, la predisposición a decir mentiras descaradas a fin de obtener publicidad y ventajas, y la prontitud para silenciar a los críticos intimidándolos.

Las plataformas políticas de Berlusconi, e incluso su ideología fundamental, siempre carecieron de coherencia. Durante sus exitosas campañas, decía lo que hiciera falta para ganar votos; durante sus tres mandatos, usó la misma táctica para formar coaliciones. Su única agenda era proteger o promover sus propios intereses empresariales.

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