I find myself writing again at the age of 66. I am re-reading OSC's Characters and Viewpoint, which was one of my guide posts back in my early days. On page 116, Kindle edition, OSC says:
"And if, like Charles Manson and his “family” or Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, the madman has succeeded in convincing others that his version of reality is the truth, the audience’s fear and loathing is all the greater."*
Though I'm not sure OSC would indulge us with his current political views, I do wonder if this book were revised today, if he would include in the above list: "Donald Trump and his Republican party."
Just curious. Not meaning to start any sort of argument here in Hatrack.
*Card, Orson Scott. Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint: Proven advice and timeless techniques for creating compelling characters by an award-winning author (p. 116). F+W Media. Kindle Edition.
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It's certainly possible. Though of the Republican politicians who have started emulating Trump/regurgitating his talking points, it strikes me that they're not so much true believers as rather people who are either trying to massage his ego in order to manipulate him, or riding on his coattails. There are plenty more who seem to privately despise him (if any of the leaked private conversations are to be trusted), but are silent/tacitly go along with him for the most part because they like what he's doing. And a handful - like Romney, or the late McCain - who openly oppose him.
None of that really maps to situations like Nazi Germany or the Manson Family, where people actually really worshiped the leader and/or were terrified of speaking out for fear of reprisal from the true believers (the Gestapo or other cult members, respectively). Which isn't to say that Trump doesn't talk about himself in messianic terms (see his recent "King of the Jews" and "second coming of God" tweets), just that he isn't intelligent or charismatic enough - and his followers aren't desperate enough - to really pull it off.
If he is a Hitler, then he's a bargain bin Hitler at best.
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