The beginning of the Trump administration has been a maelstrom of chaos. Protests have been happening across the United States as people stand up against a variety of decisions Trump has made. Trump’s Executive Order curtailing immigration from Muslim-majority countries has dramatically affected the lives of refugees and even legal US residents and citizens, and has also spawned a large number of lawsuits against the government. Trump has been inflaming tensions between the US and other countries and frequently takes to Twitter to pursue petty grudges. All this and more has happened, and it has lead to Trump having the lowest approval rating for a new President since that sort of thing started to be monitored. The terms “fascist” and “Nazi” are thrown around a lot in reference to Trump, his administration, his advisors, and supporters, but this article is not going to argue those points. Instead, here is a list of fictional dictators and tyrants that would do a better job at leading the United States of America than Trump.
1. Lord Vetinari, Discworld: Entries in Terry Prachett’s Discworld series are about all kinds of peoples, places, and things on the Discworld. This means that many of the books are not connected except that they take place on the same planet. One constant in the series is the filthy, grubby city of Ankh-Morpork which is ruled over by Lord Havelock Vetinari. Vetinari is ruthless, supremely cunning, and thanks to a large network of spies and agents is essentially omnipresent and omniscient within his city.
Perhaps his success comes from his view on democracy as seen in the novel Mort: “Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.” Is he a tyrant?
Absolutely. Does he employ unscrupulous methods to maintain power and order? Of course. However, he is supremely competent and is a pretty benevolent dictator when compared to other ones.
2. Doctor Doom, Marvel Comics: Victor Von Doom is a monster. He’s a murderer, he’s a dictator, and he’s probably committed every crime possible. He even once turned his only true love into magical leather armour so that he could gain power from a version of the devil. LIke Trump, he does not enjoy people telling him that he’s wrong. However, unlike Trump, Doom does not suffer fools. He is a monstrous tyrant, but he keeps his promises and says what he really thinks. If people love it when Trump does it, they’ll go bananas for Doctor Doom. Just don’t get on his bad side though, Trump just impotently tweets at people he doesn’t like, Doom will straight up shoot your house into space. Is he a better person than Trump? Er… probably not. Is he more competent? Almost certainly.
3. Darkseid, DC Comics: There’s no way that living under Darkseid’s tyrannical rule on the hell-planet Apokolips would be preferable to living under the Trump administration. However, Darkseid can take your free will away and make you an obedient mind-slave, so at least you wouldn’t have the capacity to worry about your miserable existence. Trump only wishes that he could remove the American citizen’s ability to think independently. Also, Darkseid’s propaganda is much better. “Make America Great Again” can move over because Darkseid is “The tiger-force at the core of all things.”
4. Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars Series: If we’re being honest, the Emperor is a lot like Trump. A man from an affluent family rises to power to create a new authoritarian and xenophobic political order that creates blatantly false propaganda while giving his buddies from his previous endeavours positions of authority? It’s a bit familiar. However, whereas Trump keeps making absurd demands and then pounds at his desk with impotent rage when people resist, no one disobeys Palpatine’s orders because they know the words will be backed up with action. Palpatine is a monster, but at least he can keep some semblance of order.
5. The Handicapper General, Harrison Bergeron: In Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical short story set in a dystopic future version of the United States, no one is allowed to be smarter, better-looking, or more capable at something than anyone else, and the Handicapper General is in charge of levelling the playing field. As the Trump Administration and the Republican Party continue to insist that every American, no matter their gender identity, physical appearance, religion, ethnicity, and etc. are equal, the Handicapper General would make sure that this rule is enforced to the letter and enforced on everyone. Sure it would curb individuality, but that doesn’t seem to be a trait endorsed by the Trump Administration.