• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump Explained in Fiction

The fictive phenomenon of the mercurial Donald Trump, a plausible candidate for removal from the presidency through the 25th Amendment, is best captured by works of fiction than by jounalism.

Two novels increasingly mentioned in this regard are Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny and Herman Melville’s Moby DickHerman Wouk’s 1951 novel tells of a group of Navy officers who remove from command of the minesweeper Caine  its volatile, erratic Captain Queeg. Played in the subsequent movie by Humphrey Bogart, Queeg nervously spins a pair of ball bearings in his hand while obsessing about his stolen strawberries.

A little known fact is that the 25th Amendment was itself fashioned after the book. John Sutherland, a Harvard adviser to the US House Judiciary Committee drafting the Amendment in 1956, stayed up all the night before reading ‘The Caine Mutiny.” Emmanuel Celler, the chairman of the committee, who eventually drafted the 25th Amendment with Sen. Birch Bayh, agreed that the book provided “an excellent analogy”.

Lately, Trump’s narcissistic obsession with his wall on the southern border is best exemplified by another fictional captain, Ahab, in Melville’s Moby Dick. The book’s narrator Ishmael, in the very first chapter, refers to  “the deeper meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting … image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.” Captain Ahab, similarly, sacrifices all and everyone in his vengeful quest for the white whale, projecting his own malice on this dumb beast.

His self-delusion, notes Ishmael, “is the key to it all”:  … “the image of the ungraspable phantom of life,” through which Narcissus, and also Ahab, constructs an ideal self-image and an alternative reality,  a redemption from from impotence and insignificance.

How to explain Trump’s wall and its overpowering, malicious meaninglessness? Later in the book, Ahab asks, “How can the prisoner [himself] reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall … Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it… Talk not to me of blasphemy …; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me … Who’s over me? [Trump’s] Truth hath no confines.”

More articles by:

Doug Noble is an activist with Upstate (NY) Drone Action Coalition.

June 04, 2020
Helen Yaffe
Leading by Example: Cuba in the Covid-19 Pandemic
John Davis
Our History is Our Future
Fred Baumgarten
Chamberlain v. White Plains: A Crack in the Wall for Police Killings?
Steven Newcomb
Domination and the Murder of George Floyd
Jen Moore
Defending Land and Water From Mining Profiteers in the Time of Covid-19
Jim Hightower
I Remember the Lynchings of the 60s. They’re Still Happening
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Abandons Open Skies for New Age Space Weapons
M. K. Bhadrakumar
NATO Returns to Libya to Challenge Russia
Dave Lindorff
Redistribution by Another Name
Thom Hartmann
How Immunity for Cops and Facebook Kills Americans
George Wuerthner
The Problem With Chainsaw Medicine: the Forest Service’s Move to Cut Oregon’s Big Trees
Victor Grossman
An Idea on Providing Coordination and Leadership
Rebecca Gordon
How the Credibility Gap Became a Chasm in the Age of Trump
Tom Clifford
With USA in Retreat, China Reassesses Its Options
Rafael Bernabe – Manuel Rodríguez Banchs
A Proposal from Afar: Trump Must Resign!
Binoy Kampmark
To the Commercial Heavens We Go! SpaceX, NASA and Space Privatisation
Brett Heinz
The UN’s Anti-Poverty Proposal for Latin America: a “Basic Emergency Income”
Peter Harrison
Four Aphorisms
June 03, 2020
Anthony DiMaggio
Revolution, Not Riots: Prospects for Radical Transformation in the Covid-19 Era
Jennifer Loewenstein
From Mississippi to Minneapolis: Leaving the ‘Abyss of Despair’
Kenneth Surin
The UK Compared With Other Countries on the Pandemic
Paul Street
“Total Domination”: Popular Rebellion in the Shadow of Trumpism-Fascism
Kenn Orphan
The Sadism of American Power
John Pilger
The Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’
Eric Murphy
The Police Are The Out-Of-Towners Provoking Violence
Melvin Goodman
How the Washington Post Accommodates Disinformation
Rev. William Alberts
It’s the Worshippers Who Are “Essential”
Georgina Downs
No, the Public Fury Will Not “Move On” Prime Minister!
George V. Wright
It is Happening Here
M. G. Piety
Tales from the Dark Side of Customer Service, or “Christians” Giving Christians a Bad Name
Chandra Muzaffar
A Superpower in Chaos
Thomas Knapp
Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence
Thomas M. Hanna
The Oligopoly That Controls Our Digital Infrastructure Has Deepened Economic and Racial Divides
Andrew Stewart
The Ethics of Police Murder Video Exhibition: Democratizing The News Feed, Re-Traumatizing The Survivors, Or Both?
Binoy Kampmark
Death, Protest and George Floyd
David Rovics
Who’s Trashing Downtown Every Night and Why?
Harvey Wasserman
Trump Is No Accident
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Biden and the Common Sense Voter
Timothy Ingalsbee
Ecosystems, Logging and the Definition of Insanity
Elliot Sperber
The Birds of Brooklyn
June 02, 2020
Zoltan Grossman
Deploying Federal Troops in a War at Home Would Make a Bad Situation Worse
Nicholas Buccola
Amy Cooper is Christian Cooper’s Lost, Younger Sister 
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming is Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
An Unavoidable Recognition of Failure: Trump’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan
John Feffer
Is It Time to Boycott the USA?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail