Such odious tactics are democracy’s leitmotif globally, as Brexit and Donald Trump’s election demonstrate. In combination, they suggest that democracy is not fit for purpose, especially in developing nations, particularly since there is a clear alternative: China’s political system.
Leitmotif is defined as:
- (Classical Music) music a recurring short melodic phrase or theme used, esp in Wagnerian music dramas, to suggest a character, thing, etc
- (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) an often repeated word, phrase, image, or theme in a literary work
It seems to fit the second definition, but as we can see it's a literary term, so how do you explain the way it is used here?
Theme is defined as:
- an idea or topic expanded in a discourse, discussion, etc
- (in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work
- (Music, other) music a group of notes forming a recognizable melodic unit, often used as the basis of the musical material in a composition
- (Education) a short essay, esp one set as an exercise for a student
- (Grammar) linguistics the first major constituent of a sentence, usually but not necessarily the subject. In the sentence history I do like, "history" is the theme of the sentence, even though it is the object of the verb
- (Linguistics) grammar another word for root19, stem19
- (Historical Terms) (in the Byzantine Empire) a territorial unit consisting of several provinces under a military commander
- (modifier) planned or designed round one unifying subject, image, etc: a theme holiday.
It seems to fit the first, so can leitmotif mean a recurring idea? Can we use it to mean a simple thing such as a recurring idea? Is an odious tactic an idea? I guess everything is an idea, but does it justify the usage?