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Donald Trump on Nov. 24 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Donald Trump on Nov. 24 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Massimo Gramellini

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.

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Geopolitics

Poland Renews Alliance With Orban — Putin May Be Next

After having announced Poland's rupture with Hungary, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki has reversed course. It is a sign that Poland's ruling conservative government may be ready to bet on an alliance with Moscow.

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during the V4 Summit in Cracow, Poland

Bartosz Wielinski

-Analysis-

WARSAW — Mateusz Morawiecki lasted only a month without Viktor Orban. Now the Prime Minister of Poland is back on the anti-EU war path, back in step with his Hungarian counterpart.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Whatever integrity Morawiecki may have had got lost "somewhere in his contacts with Moscow." This is what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had said about the pro-Russian prime minister of Hungary a few months ago. Orban, despite Russia's barbaric invasion of Ukraine, maintained economic ties with Moscow, resisted European Union sanctions, and refused to provide support to the invaded state.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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