At The Economist: On the Trump Circus

In Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America, Charles Lindbergh runs in the American presidential race of 1940 and wins. Could another American writer imagine Donald Trump as that kind of a likely presidential candidate? Lindbergh was heroic and admired, even idolized by millions around the world, an aviation pioneer, handsome and dashing to boot, schooled in tragedy, who remained a steadfast American patriot, at least in his own reckoning.

Perhaps Trump is better suited to the movies, more in the mold of Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, rather than The Spirit of St. Louis, starring another American icon Jimmy Stewart as Lindbergh?

Since the anonymous writer of this essay mentioned Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, I thought Mr Roth’s antifascist literary/historical polemic, a re-imagination of America in 1940’s, seemed a more politically resonant,  pertinent to the Trump candidacy.

The writer’s contempt for the candidate and his audience couldn’t be more plain. Yet calling Mr. Trump’s  very receptive supporters ‘wrinklies’ seems an exercise in contempt, that attacks a portion of the readership of this publication. Or don’t journalists realize the truth of that old saying don’t bite the hand that feeds you?

The title of the essay ‘The greatest show on earth’ trivializes the Trump candidacy as a kind of joke. It’s too bad Trump uncannily resembles Mussolini strutting in his television Boardroom, passing out the rough justice of Vulture Capital with the admonition your fired. This is the definition of ‘Leadership’ as confected for the small screen.

Political Reporter

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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