Trump, Putin, Duterte – Bully boys are ascendant.
They stoke hysteria in the already fearful with exaggerated pronouncements of crisis, then offer security in the form of a Big Daddy-knows-best arrangement. Scapegoats are targeted to justify aggression or oppression.
Their supporters believe themselves exempt from harsh tactics. Average citizens tell themselves that they aren’t one of “those people” causing problems. The wealthy or powerful think they can keep the guy from going too far. All accept the bully’s implied reassurance, after ranting threats at supposed enemies, “I don’t mean you.”
In the art of breaking deals, that will be just one more broken promise.
If you need a reminder of how far and how badly this can go, read “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis or “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer.