U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts as he is introduced during a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina, March 7, 2016.
Chris Keane / Reuters

For those of us who study Latin America, it has been fascinating to watch the gradual but certain Latin-Americanization of U.S. politics. The latest and most compelling sign yet is the rise of Republican presidential contender Donald J. Trump, whose braggadocio, demagoguery, and disdain for the rule of law puts him squarely in the tradition of El Caudillo (loosely translated into English as “the leader” or “the chief”), a mainstay of Latin American politics. Although difficult to define, the phenomenon of caudillismo is easy to trace through Latin American history. During its golden age—the nineteenth century—the typical

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe