Way back a long time ago, I think about 191, when AMC actually showed CLASSIC films I came across Elia Kazan’s 1957 film “A Face In The Crowd” starring a young Andy Griffith. At the time, I was struck by the similarities between this small town cornpone who turned into a rhetorical Pied Piper and one William J. Clinton. Fast forward 17 years and the media-generated illusion of Barack Obama was foisted on us.
I was reading Cal Thomas’ column today and he equated the Trump phenomenon to the same thing. This is an excerpt; I didn’t think you’d mind my spoiling the end, since most don’t have time. The entire film is available for viewing on Youtube. It co-stars Patricia Neal as the radio host who had fallen in love with him then realized the monster he had become.
“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 Donald Trump. The two have much in common. Rhodes’ view of women seems to mirror Mr. Trump’s. In one scene, Rhodes says, ‘A guitar beats a woman every time.’ He marries more than once and has several affairs during and in between those marriages.
“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.'”
I think the huge difference is that back then character actually mattered. Had something like that happened to Obama it wouldn’t have made a whit of difference.
This is the official trailer
The long knives will be out tonight during the Trump Show, masquerading as a debate, on CNN. I have plenty to post today and, of course, will have more tomorrow.