"Red Dennis," Eric Shapiro's new novel, is out. I haven't read it yet but the…
Think about the politics of the moment. There’s a divisive president whose management skills are in serious question. A raging pandemic with thousands dying daily. The president loses his bid for reelection, is doing his best to subvert the guy who won. Armed militia men are threatening government officials. The president, who is still in office as of this writing, spends half his time on the golf course and the rest of the time fueling rage about a stolen election which, clearly, wasn’t stolen.
To really believe the election was stolen involves impossible leaps of logic, incredibly convoluted plots, and delusion on a galactic scale. The dude just plain lost.
His niece, a clinical psychologist with a doctorate, calls the president the most dangerous man in the world. Virtually unlimited military power is at his fingertips. He encourages police violence and regards right-wing militias as patriotic. Maybe, in his diseased imagination, he believes the military, or the police, or a combination of police and right-wing militias, can keep him in office, or be used preemptively to “maintain order.”
That last bit would be enough to spark an actual, armed revolution.
And when his term as president is over, he will use his influence to maintain right-wing rage to keep the cash flowing and essentially make his devoted and armed followers into his own private army, at their expense. Does anyone see the resemblance to 1930s Germany?
It’s the story of the century. Who will write the screenplay? And who will play the president? I doubt Alec Baldwin would be interested.
But this president’s term in office has been so stressful and exhausting for so many millions that anything other than documentaries will probably require the passage of years before anyone will be willing to finance it. There is such a thing as too much, too soon.
Updated January 15, 2021: