Donald Trump, the controversial Republican nominee, shocked even his most ardent supporters when he announced at a rally today in Ohio that Vlad the Impaler--the merciless Prince of Wallachia, who ordered thousands of his own citizens to be brutally impaled on stakes--was a stronger leader than President Barack Obama.
"His methods might have been a little drastic, I don't agree with all of them--after all, hammering nails into two Turkish diplomats' heads does come off as a bit of overkill--but I believe overall, Vlad the Impaler was a much better ruler than our current president, Barack Hussein Obama," Trump told a crowd of supporters in Akron, Ohio.
"I mean, think about it: Vlad ruled Wallachia with an iron-fist. People were absolutely terrified of the guy. What's that one quote from Machiavelli"? 'It's better to be feared than loved?' That's a great quote, and that best describes the way Vlad governed his people. Okay, okay?" Trump said to the rollicking crowd of five hundred, who responded to his comments with thunderous applause.
This isn't the first time Mr. Trump has publicly praised a ruler of questionable ethics. In the past twelve months, Mr. Trump has had laudatory things to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Benito Mussolini.
To many on the left, Trump's praise of the bloodthirsty Vlad Tepes, whose ruthlessness inspired Bram Stoker's fictional counterpart Count Dracula--most memorably portrayed on the big-screen by actor Bela Lugosi--is contemptible. However, many on the right are congratulating their standard-bearer for his remarks about the fourteenth-century sadist.
"What Trump said is totally spot-on and incredibly insightful," said Rush Limbaugh on his weekly AM talk show this Monday. "Compared to Obama, Vlad the Impaler was a great leader, who instilled fear in the hearts and minds of all his enemies and supporters."
Mr. Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, did not immediately return our calls asking for further elaboration on Trump's highly controversial comments about the blood-hungry Wallachian despot.