Posted 29 декабря 2022, 09:24

Published 29 декабря 2022, 09:24

Modified 29 декабря 2022, 11:35

Updated 29 декабря 2022, 11:35

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The apple fell far from the apple tree… Why Dictators' Children become Democrats

29 декабря 2022, 09:24
Сабиржан Бадретдинов
Citizens nostalgic for the dictatorship should support not the sons-daughters-grandsons and granddaughters of dictators, but those parties whose explicit or implicit goal is the destruction of democracy.

Sabirzhan Badretdinov

If you look at the political careers of the sons, grandchildren, granddaughters and closest relatives of former dictators, one interesting pattern catches your eye.


Due to the fact that all of them, as a rule, praise their bloodthirsty ancestors and try to whitewash their crimes, the most radical element of the electorate always consolidates around them, dreaming of the return of dictatorship.

But these dreams are always shattered by the inevitable reality: the sons, daughters, grandchildren, granddaughters, relatives, etc. of dictators almost never justify the hopes of their voters and never seek to restore the dictatorship.

This is understandable: as a rule, they were formed as individuals and as politicians in a democracy and therefore look at the world in a different way.

Here are some examples.

Ramfis Dominguez-Trujillo, the grandson of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, decided to participate in the presidential elections of the Dominican Republic in 2020. Voters nostalgic for the dictatorship immediately gathered around him. But if they were not too lazy to get acquainted with his political views, they would have learned that he is a product of the American democratic system, a typical moderate Republican who does not share the views of his zealous fans. He was suspended from the election due to dual American-Dominican citizenship.

Mario Abdo Benitez, the current president of Paraguay, whose father was the personal secretary and closest person to the former dictator Alfredo Stroessner. He was educated in the USA. Returning to Paraguay, he began his political career. Always praised and praises the dictator of Stress. All conservative-reactionary forces rallied around him and in 2018 he became president. What was the disappointment of Stressner's fans when Abdo Benitez turned out not to be a new dictator, but an ordinary conservative politician who never tried to undermine the democratic foundations of the country.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He became president of the country in May 2022. He also failed to meet the hopes of those nostalgic for the dictatorship. Strictly adheres to constitutional principles in his political activities.

Reza Pahlavi Shahzade, the eldest son of the former Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was educated at the University of Southern California. Due to his willingness to return to Iran as a constitutional monarch, many fans of the former shah pin hopes on him for the restoration of a secular dictatorship, as opposed to a religious one. But if they got to know their son's views better, they would know that he is, in fact, a Democrat to the core: a supporter of constitutional guarantees of democracy and an ardent defender of human rights.

Approximately the same can be said about the numerous offspring of dictator Benito Mussolini. All of them are supporters of right-wing radical parties, but despite their extremist rhetoric, they always act within the framework of a democratic field.

In short, my (sarcastic) advice to the citizens of democratic countries nostalgic for the dictatorship: support not the sons-daughters-grandsons and granddaughters of dictators, but those parties whose explicit or implicit goal is the destruction of democracy.  For example, AfD in Germany, VOX in Spain, Lega in Italy, etc.