Former President Trump’s Support and the Parallels to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Cult of Personality

Throughout history, leaders have garnered immense popularity and support from their followers, often leading to the creation of cults of personality. One such leader was Napoleon Bonaparte, whose magnetic appeal and charismatic persona captivated the masses. Drawing intriguing parallels, former President Trump has also garnered a significant following, prompting comparisons between the two. In this article, we explore the captivating cult of Bonaparte, its fleeting nature, and delve into discussions surrounding Trump’s record and the column by Noonan and Matthews.

The Rise and Fall of the Cult of Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power was nothing short of meteoric. Emerging from the chaos of the French Revolution, he quickly ascended the ranks, seizing control and eventually declaring himself Emperor of France. With his military genius, Bonaparte captured the imagination of the French people and beyond, transforming his image into that of a national hero.

Similar to Bonaparte, former President Trump cultivated a strong following during his political career. His unconventional rhetoric, outsider status, and promise to “Make America Great Again” resonated with millions of Americans. Trump’s unapologetic approach and ability to speak directly to his supporters created a fervent loyalty comparable to the cult of Bonaparte.

The Ephemeral Nature of Cults of Personality

Despite the initial widespread appeal, the cult of Bonaparte did not endure. As noted by columnist Peggy Noonan, the allure surrounding Napoleon began to fade as his military conquests turned into costly defeats. The failed Russian campaign, the disastrous Battle of Waterloo, and his subsequent exile all contributed to the erosion of his support. The once-great emperor became a fallen idol, and the cult surrounding him dissipated.

Similarly, former President Trump’s support has also faced significant challenges. Despite notable achievements during his tenure, such as tax reforms and deregulation, his divisive rhetoric and controversies have polarized the nation. The storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, further strained his standing among many Americans. Consequently, Trump’s cult of personality has experienced fractures, with some supporters questioning his actions and others continuing to rally behind him.

Analyzing the Column and Trump’s Record

In a thought-provoking column, Peggy Noonan reflects on the rise and fall of the cult of Bonaparte and its relevance to former President Trump’s political trajectory. Noonan highlights the ephemeral nature of such cults, suggesting that Trump’s support, like that of Napoleon, may dwindle over time. However, it is essential to approach this comparison with caution, as historical analogies can only provide limited insights into contemporary political dynamics.

Chris Matthews, a renowned political commentator, joins the conversation, adding his perspective on the matter. Matthews argues that while Trump’s support may have faced setbacks, it remains a potent force within American politics. He contends that Trump’s unique ability to connect with his base and mobilize them cannot be overlooked. Matthews emphasizes that a complete collapse of Trump’s support, akin to the decline of Bonaparte’s cult, is far from guaranteed.


The comparison between former President Trump and Napoleon Bonaparte’s cult of personality is both intriguing and complex. While both leaders were able to galvanize support from millions, history has shown us the transient nature of such cults. As Peggy Noonan eloquently points out, the cult of Bonaparte did not stand the test of time. However, it remains to be seen whether Trump’s political influence will follow a similar path.

In the ever-evolving landscape of American politics, the dynamics that shape cults of personality are multifaceted and influenced by numerous factors. Trump’s legacy and enduring impact will undoubtedly be subjects of ongoing analysis and discussion. Only time will reveal the true legacy of former President Trump and whether his support will remain as steadfast as that of Napoleon Bonaparte.