One strength of the authoritarian demagogue rests less in what they say, or even how they say it — but more in the voice in which they speak. Duterte’s mother tongue is Visayan — a huge, and mostly poor language group who have had little access to the levers of power. Especially the presidency. Trump speaks the language of American reality television. Both campaigned against their capital cities — Duterte damning “Imperial Manila” (dead center of the Tagalog-speaking region) & Trump chanting “drain the swamp!” (peopled by the well-educated and privileged).
Never mind that, once in office, both did exactly the opposite — the important thing was that their voices seemed to arise from the “forgotten people” who were (& still are) deprived of whatever economic & status gains previous administrations had achieved — achieved mostly for themselves and their kind, I might add. The ill informed & the poorly informed still cling to the illusory status they dream has been bestowed upon them by having “one of their own” in power. In the meantime, the real problems of both nations go largely unaddressed.