Thursday, October 8, 2020

Der Infuriated

King Lear and the Fool in the storm, (Ary Sheffer, 1834)

There is an almost Shakespearean quality to the picture of Trump alone in The White House on the way to making his gallant return to the Oval Office--regardless of how many staff members are infected. It’s been reported that special PPEs and isolation carts were prepared in the event the president got his wish and insisted on serving his country willy-nilly no matter how many people would be endangered in the process. Here's the president of the United States, but deadly, and untouchable. No matter how much you may hate him, there’s indeed something ineluctably grand about this. It’s a noxious cocktail of Lear, Iago (remember Coleridge's "motiveless Malignity"), Macbeth, Richard III ("a horse, a horse, Trump Tower for a horse"),  Falstaff and Milton’s Satan. Trump is a mixture of Humpty Dumpty and Nietzsche’s Ubermensch. Literally no one has ever thrown a presidential tantrum like this, at least on American soil. In terms of political theater Trump is right up there with Mussolini and Hitler who also famously had their bases rooting them on as they pillaged and plundered. Wonder what Der Fuhrer would have tweeted? In fact, Trump’s current situation is eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s last days in the bunker. Actually Trump was led into underground White House bunker during the summer Black Lives Matter demonstrations in response to the murder of George Floyd. 

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