Readers React: Donald Trump’s frightening literary doppelganger
To the editor: When Robert Penn Warren created Willie Stark, the flawed politician of his 1946 novel “All the King’s Men,” little did he know that he was providing yet another example of life imitating art in the person of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (“Donald Trump, the candidate of hope and change,” Opinion, March 20)
Willie Stark and Donald Trump rouse voters with grandiose promises, pie-in-the-sky stuff. But so disturbed by the status quo are the disaffected that they do not look too closely.
Both realize that good intentions are not enough, that change often requires destruction before fulfillment. Thus does Gov. Stark blackmail his way forward, threatening to destroy political opponents with exposure of secrets from their past. And thus does Trump destroy his opponents with an insulting mouth and puerile lectern histrionics. Fueled by alcohol, Stark forges ahead, accepting that politics is a dirty game, a view shared by Trump, whose fuel is narcissism.
Where they differ is that a sober Gov. Stark is capable of regret. Trump never regrets; regret is for losers.
Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati
To the editor: Regarding a President Trump, Doyle McManus quoted Ben Carson in his Sunday column: “We’re only looking at four years.”
The harm produced during those four years could last a lifetime — or longer.
David B. Housh, Glendora
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