Don Quixote today.
It has been a long time since I read Don Quixote. It was a true classic, although, anything written so long ago can be difficult. Still there was something charming, entrancing, almost magic in the delightful, delirious chase to an imagined past. There is a little Quixote in all of us, a little desire to be heroic, return to a greatness we may never have had.
Listening to Trump I can’t help but think De Cervantes would have understood his calls to action. His need to slay dragons, his need to have songs written about him. His need to find monsters that don’t really exist, because the real monsters are not so easily defeated.
Quixote was bound up in all the religious dogma of knighthood, and the manly requirements of the martial arts is a ridiculous mixture of comedy, and tragedy. Quixote actually believes he is destined to a life of knighthood, his greatness is ordained. It isn’t so damned funny, though, when it comes from a head of state. When you see the alliances so carefully established to protect the peace being cast aside in a careless act of foolish self delusion.
Certainly, Trump does not have the charm, or chivalry, and there is nothing even slightly amusing
about his confrontations with allies, and trading partners. In fact, the rhetoric is frightening, terrifying. Everything to him seems to be based on a zero sum accounting principle. Every gain in prestige or power for a subordinate, competitor, or head of state is automatically deducted from his accumulated wealth of self worth.
Like Quixote, he longs for a past that doesn’t exist. “Make America Great Again,” is not a slogan to him, it is an overreaching, all encompassing imperative. And he sees himself as the Dragon Slayer in Chief. Any time you try to recreate something that never was, based on the memories that are fiction you end up with a distorted version of reality, a nightmarish world where decisions are based on belief, and desire rather than fact.
Of course, there are rumors, and allegations that Bannon is the real delusional knight, and Trump only the willing Pancho Sanza. It really makes little difference. Either way brings the same disturbing conclusion, the dissolution of the American Dream, and the birth of the tyrannical oligarchy based on the madness of sir Donald, de la Manhattan. And you don’t have to wait for it to be made into a movie.