Enoch Powelll Mirrorpix

Un Trump prima di Trump

BERKELEY – Non è facile comprendere il successo politico del Presidente eletto degli Stati Uniti Donald Trump. Sono stati fatti molti paragoni superficiali con politici populisti del passato, da Huey Long a George Wallace. Ma il paragone più eloquente potrebbe in realtà essere quello con una figura storica di un altro paese, ovvero Enoch Powell, un britannico nativista e dissidente di fine anni sessanta inizio anni settanta.

A prima vista il paragone potrebbe sembrare peculiare. Powell veniva infatti da una famiglia di classe medio-bassa ed era uno studioso di grande erudizione e un uomo di principio. Era una figura ben inserita nel contesto politico in quanto parlamentare dal 1950 e sottosegretario per gli alloggi nel governo del Primo Ministro Anthony Eden nel 1955.

Ciò nonostante il paragone con Trump è innegabile. Nel suo noto discorso del 1968 sui “Fiumi di sangue” Powell, da ottimo oratore, ruppe con la tradizione politica. Condannò l’immigrazione e denunciò la legge sulle relazioni razziali del 1968 che vietava la discriminazione in relazione all’alloggio, all’occupazione e ai prestiti. Il passaggio che ha dato il titolo a questo discorso controverso alludeva alle sommosse nelle periferie degli Stati Uniti e invocava Virgilio: “Come i romani, mi sembra di vedere il fiume Tevere schiumare di sangue in abbondanza”.

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