Ted Malloch: TRUMP As “Tragic Hero”
Think Dirty Harry, “make my day
Yes, Clint Eastwood or even better his character Walt Kowalski, in the movie, Gran Tourino.
Trump is all of them and far more.
Like the famous gunslinger in the classic Westerns that rides into town, shoots up the place, killing the bad guys and rides off into the sunset, Trump is a real “action hero.”
Rawhide or Unforgiven come to mind, unless you are a fan of the John Ford classics in this same American genre.
Trump is precisely a ‘tragic hero’ because he embodies the tragic reality created by decades of progressivism and statism and its internationalist dimension—globalism.
He has seen the evils face to face and to each of them he shouts emphatically, NO.
He is a self-styled disruptor who knows his thanks will come in the afterlife for his deeds here. He seeks no reward or monetary prize – his palace on earth has already been built, now he builds his mansion in Heaven.
Sophocles, born 496 BC in Colonus, near Athens, wrote the foremost dramas in golden age Greece. He was, with Euripides, one of the greatest two playwrights of the ancient world. His works include, Oedipus and Antigone, both tragic heroic epics.
In his Poetics, Aristotle writes that the purpose of such tragedy is to arouse pity and fear in the audience, and so create a catharsis — or cleansing of emotions — that will enlighten people about life and fate.
Each of the plays of the Oedipus Trilogy achieves this catharsis that Aristotle defined as the hallmark of all tragedy.
Think of Trump in this same vein.
Trump is a modern Oedipus, destined to slay the rigged system that produced the backdrop for his victory, just as Oedipus slew his own father to get the crown. Patricide was among the highest crimes of Ancient Greece, just like defeating the democrats today – the cops will come after you with a crusading zeal whether you colluded or not.
The ancient world was full of such tragic heroes.
Another one of them was Ajax, son of Telamon, grandson of Zeus himself, and king of the island of Salamis. Described in Homer’s Iliad, the ancient poem about the Trojan War, Ajax was large, strong and fearless – just like Donald Trump.
After Achilles’ death he fought Odysseus over who should wear the mighty suit of armor Achilles left behind. Ajax, the military hero, tragically commits suicide by falling on his sword.
In an important apologia, The Case for Trump, noted historian Victor Davis Hanson (VDH, to his fans) of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, provides a robust argument for Trump and his policies.
He too sees him as a tragic figure come to fix the broken nation.
VDH explains how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a very hostile media and Washington establishment to become president of the United States — and an extremely successful president.
A heroic feat, to be sure.
Listen to him forcefully present his thesis here:
We see Trump in the grand theatre of politics both domestic and international, almost daily. The world, not just America, is digesting Trump and Trumponomics.
He is truly an earthly demigod, a GEO DEUS, to coin a term.
He has raised the profile of the Presidency to an unheard of level. He uses Twitter and the media to prevail on every subject under the sun 24/7.
The entire news cycle, not occasionally, but all the time, responds to him and his every partial sentence or proclamation.
Already in his historic Inauguration address, breaking with all tradition, Trump used words like “carnage” and “crippled” and said the real problem was the entrenched establishment from both political parties sitting directly behind him on the dais of the US Capitol steps.
America is under threat, and only a hero like Trump can save it.
The true promise and the solution stood in front of him, he proclimed—the American people. Our own tragic hero loved his country so much that he would sacrifice his wealth, lifestyle, and fame to, Make America Great Again.
Now he wants to Keep America that way.