What’s happening to this country has happened before, in other nations, in other anxious, violent times when all the old certainties peeled away and maniacs took the wheel. It’s what happens when weaponised insincerity is applied to structured ignorance. Donald Trump is the Gordon Gekko of the attention economy, but even he is no longer in control. This culture war is being run in bad faith by bad actors who are running way off-script, and it’s barely begun, and there are going to be a lot of refugees.
Wilders is a less polished, wholly charmless rendition of the neo-right demagogue character creation sheet that gave us Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. These people do not have personalities, they have haircuts. Ugly ones. And we have fallen through the looking glass in which they see themselves reflected as small gods.