TURIN — Like in a comedy that suddenly turns into tragedy, a caricature of Silvio Berlusconi may become the next president of the United States. It's not really shocking that Donald Trump would propose closing the Internet and the borders to Muslims, as Americans have grown sick and tired of President Obama's babblings and potential successors jump on any opportunity to score points with the most outlandish froth from the mouth. And no one can outdo the man with the bronze-colored mop of hair.
One suspects that Trump may be reciting his endless rosary of horrors to ultimately offend too many and conveniently be forced to end his candidacy — but has found to his own astonishment that it triggered the opposite effect instead. In normal times, a White House contender who says that "if Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?" would be consigned to oblivion for an excess of vulgarity. But today, such awful words are taken as evidence of sincerity.
As for his supposed plans for the Internet and Muslims, never mind that they are utterly unfeasible, and reveal in the man behind them an utter denial of the complexity of life. That indeed is exactly the kind of childish approach that appeals to some voters: The idea that epochal conflicts can be simplified into a joke and that the immutable rules of politics are some kind of imbroglio and a waste of time.
It all sounds familiar here. The mere fact of being a billionaire and a ladies' man entitles someone to govern those who are afraid of losing what little they have.