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US elections
Tribune
Opinion articles written in the style of their author." These texts are to be based on verified facts and must be respectful towards people, even though their actions may be criticized. shall feature, along with the author's name (regardless of their greater or lesser renown), a footer stating their office, academic title, political affiliation (if any) and main occupation, or the occupation related to the topic being assessed

And God gave us Trump

The ex-US president has proven he can survive aggressive attacks every time we think he has finally been defeated

In a deeply divided country, the upcoming elections are seen not as a contest between Democrats and Republicans, but as a battle between good and evil.
In a deeply divided country, the upcoming elections are seen not as a contest between Democrats and Republicans, but as a battle between good and evil.Fran Pulido
Antonio Muñoz Molina

Donald Trump often reminds me of the monstrous creatures depicted in cheap science fiction and horror movies from the 1950s. They emerge mysteriously to conquer or destroy the world. The more they are provoked, the stronger they become, growing faster and towering over the heroes who foolishly attempt to subdue them. Like the giant Godzilla that decimated Japanese cities, these creatures withstand attacks, effortlessly swatting away fighter planes like insects. Unlike the vulnerable and sentimental King Kong, who was a product of colonial exoticism from 19th-century adventure novels, Godzilla is far more menacing. King Kong, lost and out of place in 20th-century New York, posed little threat and struggled to survive, much like other endangered species.

In the early years of cinema, the horror genre inherited its monsters from Gothic novels. Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s creature, the Werewolf and Mr. Hyde were all brought to life on the big screen. However, the 1950s introduced a new form of terror with the atomic bomb, and gave birth to modern monsters like Godzilla. Horror cinema visualizes the nightmares of a rationality driven to madness by the monstrous nature of reality. The transformation of humans into grotesque beings no longer comes from bloodsucking bites or chemical potions, but from the destructive power of nuclear radiation. Creatures born from devastation and destruction become nearly indestructible. However, most movies opt for comforting endings, maintaining the timeless fight between a hero and an evil, powerful beast that is ultimately defeated.

Unlike fiction, reality can defy verisimilitude. Commercial films invent misguided beings and impossible plots that become metaphors for their time and offer unsettling premonitions. Yet no fictional dystopia can match the chilling reality of news headlines and broadcasts. Today’s mega-billionaires (Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc.) resemble the all-powerful, misanthropic villains of Ian Fleming’s novels and early James Bond films. But compared to their modern-day incarnations, Fleming’s villains now seem endearing, much like Doctor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes novels. Not only are they technologically obsolescent, these fictional characters were bound by the rules of believability and coherence that literature must always obey.

No one could have predicted the rise of Donald Trump. He bears some resemblance to the Lex Luthor character with his distinctive yellow hairpiece, played by Gene Hackman in the 1978 Superman movie directed by Richard Donner. He also shares some traits with New York mafia bosses and wise guys, who themselves imitated the clothing and language of the fictional gangsters in films by Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Like a movie monster created by makeup and special effects experts, Trump seems immune to the weapons and increasingly aggressive attacks launched against him. At times, he deceives us by playing possum. We are duped into thinking that Trump lies dead in his grave, in a coffin that no vampire claw can pierce, or under the Artic ice, or at the bottom of the sea.

But that’s a trick that never fails to work. The film is suddenly shattered by a shocking event, causing fear to ripple through the movie theater. The fallen beast rises, more ferocious than ever; the radioactive dinosaur emerges from the ruins. Trump lost the 2020 elections, but his supporters claim it was a stolen victory. When he incited the assault on the Capitol Building, even his closest allies feared he had finally gone too far. Yet, his shameless, steadfast support for the rioters has only increased his popularity. Trump faces multiple trials for fraud, electoral fraud, sexual assault and tax crimes. Despite this, millions of evangelicals see him as a victim of persecution, comparing him to Jesus Christ in Pontius Pilate’s court.

Trump has consistently flaunted his sexual promiscuity, infidelities and divorces, along with his physical and verbal abuse of women. This behavior has been likened by evangelicals to that of King David, an adulterer who still served God and brought military glory to Israel. Trump is also compared to King Cyrus the Great, an idolater and sinner who, according to the Book of Isaiah, allowed the Hebrew people to return to their land from Babylonian captivity. Europeans often have trouble understanding Americans who are fixated on the Old Testament’s bloody religiosity and literal interpretations of the Book of Revelation. In this deeply divided country, the upcoming elections are seen not as a contest between Democrats and Republicans, but as a battle between good and evil, with profound consequences. A popular video among evangelicals features a booming voice proclaiming, “And God gave us Trump.” The terror and grotesqueness of this video surpasses the most chilling fantasies ever seen on the silver screen. The nightmares of reality have rendered fictional horror irrelevant. The daunting beast that cannot be defeated has returned in a new guise, proclaiming to be the Messiah.

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