Trump’s ‘return’ opens possibility of Marcos meeting

By Alex P. Vidal

“Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.” – Aristotle

AS of this writing, news in the United States about former President Donald Trump’s “upcoming” announcement to run again in the 2024 presidential election, has been buzzing.

If ever he will run again and win in 2024, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will still be president by that time—barring unforeseen circumstances.

A Trump-Marcos Jr. meeting in the White House would be historic albeit eerily.

This can only happen, of course, if “candidate” Trump will first roll past his Republican primary rivals; and, second, if he upsets in a rematch “reelectionist” President Joe Biden.

Writing for Vanity Fair on June 6, 2022, Bess Levin, however, warned that Trump will “terrorize the nation” by “apparently planning to announce a bid for 2024 soon.”

This became possible as the Republican senators, in February 2021, Levin pointed out, “chose not to bar him from ever holding office again, despite some of those senators admitting publicly that Trump was ‘practically and morally responsible’ for the violent insurrection that took place the prior month.”

She cited NBC News reports that Trump is “bored at Mar-a-Lago and anxious to get back in the political arena—as a candidate, not a kingmaker,” according to advisers who are “divided over whether he should launch a third bid for the presidency as early as this summer.” (Trump, of course, found 99% of the job of being president hugely boring, particularly the daily briefings he ignored. But apparently he can only remember the parts of the gig he enjoyed, like shredding documents and exploiting the office for personal gain and revenge on his enemies.)


William C. Rempel, a former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter and the author of “Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos as Revealed in his Secret Diaries,” had written an article that pointed to some striking similarities in the way Trump and the late former President Ferdinand Sr. ruled respectively as presidents of the US and the Philippines.

“President Trump’s insistence that border security justifies a state of emergency is a tactic ripped from the playbook of another unpopular and frustrated president—the democrat-turned-dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines,” Rempel wrote in the Los Angeles Times on February 14, 2019.

“The messianic Marcos, who claimed in his diary to be doing God’s bidding, took things a lot further than Trump has threatened to do. He imposed martial law nearly a half-century ago, thereby crippling the oldest democracy in Southeast Asia.”

Rempel added: “But his devastating emergency action — installing himself as dictator to fend off an invented insurgency threat — came from the same well of self-serving motivations and ego-driven politics that feeds Trump’s less menacing wall tantrums today.”

“As fellow narcissists risking constitutional showdowns for personal political advantage, their similarities are alarming enough to justify a closer look.”

“While Trump’s mood swings, rants and exaggerations are on regular public display as Twitter posts, Marcos’ temper outbursts were in the form of private, handwritten entries to a personal diary. More than 2,500 pages of that diary and other confidential Marcos papers were leaked to me in 1988, when I was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.”


Rempel explained that “One obvious similarity between the two men shows up in diary entries bemoaning the Philippine midterms of 1971. Marcos and his Nacionalista Party, like Trump and the GOP in 2018, had suffered sweeping losses in congressional elections. Marcos, like Trump, had boldly declared in advance that the midterm races would be a referendum on his policies and leadership, and he was stung by the results.”

“Marcos conflated his sudden political vulnerability with increasing risks to the nation, writing: ‘I now fear for our Republic.’ Cut to Twitter in 2019 and it’s a Trump tweet singling out one of his chief rivals, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as ‘very bad for our country.’”

“Marcos and many Trump backers, including evangelicals, believe God has political favorites. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told a recent interviewer on the Christian Broadcasting Network that God ‘wanted Donald Trump to become president. And that’s why he’s there.’”

“Marcos said God spoke to him personally in a dream, telling him in 1971, according to his diary, that saving the country was his ‘principle mission in life. … Nobody else can.’”

Rempel stressed that “when Marcos first ran for president of the Philippines in 1965, for example, he introduced a now familiar campaign slogan, but without the red baseball caps: ‘Our nation can be great again.’ Both leaders raged against ‘false news’ and journalists. Among the words Marcos used to characterize reporters were ‘rapacious,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘abusive’ and ‘self-righteous.’ Sound familiar?”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)