While Donald Trump's behavior may seem unprecedented in the modern American political sphere, historian Tom Holland suggests this isn't the first time the world has seen a politician like Trump. Indeed, Holland told The Guardian that the presumptive GOP nominee has a lot in common with the infamous Roman emperor Caligula.
The emperor, whose name, The Guardian notes, is "synonymous with the worst excesses of absolute power," also had a fondness for "spectacle" and "humiliating people," Holland said. But perhaps the most notable parallel is how both Trump and Caligula capitalized on the masses' disdain for the elite. "What he did was to trample the dignity of the senatorial elite into the dirt and what he discovered in doing that was that the mass of the Roman people really enjoyed it," Holland said of Caligula. "Trump has said and done things that are utterly shocking by the standards of traditional political morality, but far from making him unpopular with the masses there is a sense in which he has become the toast of the people."
Read the rest over at The Guardian.
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