Tim Gill: Trump-Chávez Comparisons “Obscure Much More than They Illuminate.”

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The parallel obscene implosions of the Chavista governing project in Venezuela and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump in the US make comparisons between Trump and Chávez over-determined. For the left these comparisons provide a way to turn the tables on Trump supporters. For the right they are a way to challenge memories of Chávez. 

On the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Tim Gill disassembles the comparison between Donald Trump and Hugo Chávez. He argues:

The difference between Trump and Chávez mirrors the difference between what scholars call exclusionary and inclusionary populism. That is, while some populists — like Trump — have drawn lines between native-born citizens and immigrants, other populist leaders have sought to include and empower marginalized or vulnerable populations.

Gill suggests the differences also extend to economic policy where Chávez strongly focused on redistribution whereas Trump would not.