FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We’re Not in Trump Tower Anymore, Toto

I’m really a very good man; but I’m a very bad Wizard.

— Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

He couldn’t have known.  He wrote it years before Donald Trump was born.   But in writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum was prescient.  He wrote a story that foretold the rise and fall of Donald Trump.  Of course, some will think it too soon to be certain of his fall, but that does not for a moment take away from the pleasure of that prospect nor does it make the tale less relevant.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy, a young girl who, together with her dog, Toto, lives in Kansas.  When a tornado strikes her house, she and Toto are transported to to the land of Oz over which the Wizard rules.  The story describes her travels through that country with Toto, and the friends she makes while wandering through the country side. In writing the book, Mr. Baum focused on three main characters who each had one of the characteristics that are found in the supporters of Donald Trump. (There are a number of other characters, such as the witches who represent the “Trumpettes,” the beautiful women who are seen standing behind Mr. Trump at his rallies with blank stares.  Time and space prevent me from explaining their significance. We focus exclusively on the three main characters and, of course, the Wizard himself.  It is impossible to know whether my interpretation is exactly what Mr. Baum intended but never mind-it is what he wrote.

Since Dorothy had not signed up for a trip to the land of Oz, one of the first things she did when she met someone who took pity on her plight, was to inquire how she could get back to Kansas.  (This was long before Sam Brownback was that state’s Governor and her request was, therefore, completely understandable.)  She was told that in order to return to Kansas she would have to go to the Emerald City over which the Wizard ruled and he could help her. The first character she encounters as she heads towards the Emerald City is the Tin Woodman.

The Tin Woodman has been unable to move because all his joints have rusted but, as luck would have it, he had an oil can and Dorothy was able to lubricate his joints. As soon as his jaw is freed, he tells her that he lacks a heart and would like to go with her to see the Wizard so that the Wizard can give him a heart. The Tin Woodman represents the Trump supporters who, having no hearts, support Mr. Trump even when he says that health care professionals who became infected treating ebola patients abroad, should not be permitted back into this country for treatment.  As he explained, “People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences.”

As the three companions continue, they encounter a scarecrow that Dorothy frees from the stake to which he was tied.  The Scarecrow tells Dorothy that he doesn’t have a brain and would like to have one.  He joins her entourage, hoping that the Wizard will be able to give him a brain.  The Scarecrow represents the Trump supporters who, lacking brains, do not withdraw their support when Mr. Trump says one thing one day and the opposite thing the next day.

As Dorothy and her companions continue walking, they encounter the Cowardly Lion who tries to bite Toto. Dorothy slaps the Cowardly Lion and admonishes him. The Cowardly Lion admits that he is a coward and asks to join the entourage so that he can ask the Wizard to give him courage. The Cowardly Lion represents Trump supporters who, like their idol, are afraid of the two “Ms, “Muslims and Mexicans.

When the travelers get to the gates of the Emerald City they are told that before entering they must wear green goggles because the light in the city is so blinding.  The real reason is to make the Emerald City appear to be green because, of course, the Emerald City is not, in fact, green. In that it represents the kinds of promises Mr. Trump makes that look wonderful when seen through his eyes and described by him, but are divorced from reality.

The Wizard tells the supplicants he will grant their wishes if they perform one task for him.  hey complete the assigned task and return to the Wizard’s chambers. Upon entering, Toto knocks over the screen behind which the Wizard is sitting and the visitors see not an imposing wizard but a small, wizened man who describes himself as a humbug from Omaha who got to Oz quite by accident when a hot air balloon in which he was riding got off course.  The knocked over screen represents the Trump tax returns behind which Mr. Trump hides his financial affairs which may well be quite different from what he has led everyone to believe.

Before leaving Oz to return to Omaha, the Wizard gave each of the supplicants what they wanted.  The scare crow received a new head and for brains it was filled with bran, pins, and needles. The Tin Woodman received a silk heart stuffed with saw dust and the Cowardly Lion was given a drink that the Wizard said was a potion of courage. Those are the sorts of rewards the entire United States will receive should Wizard Trump become president. Or perhaps the voters will conclude that Wizard Trump is a humbug who should return to Trump Towers.

More articles by:

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail