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In politics, size matters, even if you have to make it up


In politics, size matters, even if you have to make it up

FREE TO READ |The size of crowds retains an urgent grip on leaders’ egos, hence the ability to stuff 3 million supporters into a café


In politics, it’s not what you do with your crowd: it’s all about the size.

The crowd is the animating energy of power, putting the spring in the goose-step of despots and the zing in the psychosexual compulsions of inadequate, ambitious politicians. For a certain kind of small Big Man there is nothing that compares to looking out over 10,000 nodding heads and seeing his lies land like soft, wet kisses. 

Not surprisingly, the size of crowds retains an urgent grip on the egos of the world’s leaders. It is difficult to keep track of all Donald Trump’s lies – he produces them faster than fact-checkers can type – but one of his first and most notable was his ludicrous claim about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. And it clearly still stings: in August he was still hunched over in the bathroom with a ruler, pouting that the media was talking about the size of Elizabeth Warren’s crowds while his, “which are far bigger, get no coverage at all”. ..

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