Rarely and perhaps not in modern times has a presidential campaign more resembled the classic 1957 film, "A Face in the Crowd." Written by
Jeffries has a local radio show on which she interviews interesting characters. She finds Rhodes irresistible and puts him on the air. Rhodes becomes a sensation, eventually climbing the ladder to his own network TV show and then, as politicians approach him for endorsements, a self-described kingmaker.
I think of Rhodes when I watch
As he becomes intoxicated with a beverage clearly not the milk of human kindness, Rhodes brags: "I'm not just an entertainer. I'm an influence, a wielder of opinion, a force ... a force!"
Later as his political and cultural demise approaches, Rhodes says this about his audience when he thinks the microphone is off (Jeffries has kept it on to expose him as a fraud and make amends for creating a monster): "Those morons out there? Shucks, I could take chicken fertilizer and sell it to them as caviar. I could make them eat dog food and think it was steak. ... You know what the public's like? A cage of guinea pigs. Good night, you stupid idiots. Good night, you miserable slobs. They're a lot of trained seals. I toss them a dead fish and they'll flap their flippers."
Rent or buy the film if you haven't seen it. Think of Trump as you watch Lonesome Rhodes, his rise and eventual fall, as ego and arrogance lead to the self-immolation of his career and life.
Trump's braggadocio about how he plans to bully Russian President
Trump has tapped into a deep anger among many members of the public who hate
Trump is a chameleon, having held contradictory positions on various issues over the years as it suits him. He fits the dictionary.com definition of demagogue: "a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people." That's Lonesome Rhodes. That's also
Trump is a serial violator (and he's not alone in this) of
In the film,
So does Trump, who, to give just one example, claims the Bible is his favorite book, but can't name any of its chapters, or even a single verse. Lonesome Rhodes would have known how to fake it. Trump might consult the Gideon version in any of his hotel rooms.