As a generation, we’re so fantastically entwined in our pop culture that it’s too easy to compare current events to movies. Films and television shows become perfect analogies for the things we’re experiencing on a daily basis and yes, even the things we fear. With that in mind, what movie plots best resemble the Trump Presidency thus far?
- Be Prepared, Mr. President
We all know the story of The Lion King — you know, the iconic Disney animated film that is essentially a retelling of Hamlet with lions? Mufasa is King of the Pride Lands until he is slain by his brother Scar, and Mufasa’s son Simba, heir to the throne, leaves the Pride Lands in order to survive. While Simba grows under the care and tutelage of a warthog and a meerkat, Scar destroys the Pride Lands.
While Jeremy Irons as Scar may have one of the best musical performances in Disney History, his character is a perfect analog for the current administration.
Scar gains power by nefarious means — even if Donald Trump didn’t kill anyone to get his position, there’s still the overshadowing possibility that he had the Russians help him win the election.
Once he has his power, Scar runs the Pride Lands into the ground. There’s no food left for the lions, and anything that hasn’t been killed has fled the area. While the president hasn’t managed to run the country into the ground — yet — he certainly seems like he’s trying his best.
It’s Scar’s arrogance that is eventually his downfall. He had all the power he needed — he was King of the Pride Lands — and he squandered it.
- Electrolytes! It’s What Plants Crave!
Imagine being considered to be of average intelligence when you go to sleep, but when you wake up, you’re the smartest person in the world. That’s that happened to Joe Bauers, played by Luke Wilson in 2006’s dark comedy Idiocracy.
It’s been a running joke that the United States has become an Idiocracy, that a movie that was supposed to be a comedy has slowly become a documentary. The country is run by a blowhard reality television star — in this case it’s President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho — and the country is predominantly made up of people immersed in trash popular culture.
Right now, our president is the exact definition of a blowhard reality television star — he was the host of The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice for more than a decade before he was ousted from his own show for racist remarks.
If he suggests that we water our crops with Gatorade because the plants are craving electrolytes, we’ll know that we’ve made the full transition into a true Idiocracy.
- Immortan! Immortan Trump!
The recent reboot of the Mad Max franchise couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. The movie follows Max, the titular character, as he is captured by Immortan Joe, one of three warlords who run various local towns.
Immortan’s character is nearly iconic for his mistreatment of women — he keeps some for his personal breeding purposes, and others to harvest their breast milk. While our own president hasn’t gone so far as to collect and capture his own personal harem (though he is on his third wife, that’s pretty close) his remarks about women are just as infamous. Just look for his “grab em by the p****” audio recording.
Less obvious, perhaps, is the comparison of Immortan’s War Boys — his pale half-life soldiers, in many cases no older than children, who follow him with a fanatical loyalty — to Trump’s followers. You could find many comparisons between those War Boys and the president’s fanatical following — you know, the following that is willing to beat protestors in exchange for having their legal fees paid by the president?
We may not have run out of fossil fuels yet, and we may not be warring over water, but the resemblance between Immortan Joe and our own president is a little bit uncanny.
- Harry Potter and the Orange-Skinned Beast
Millennials are often called the Harry Potter Generation — we grew up on tales of Hogwarts and the exploits of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Good conquers, evil is defeated and we grow up along the way. That’s also why so many millennials were afraid of Trump’s rise to power — simply put, they’ve seen this story before.
First, the evil returned but no one in the older generation even bothered to see or acknowledge it until it was too late. Even the government turned a blind eye to the hatred and evil being fostered and, as such, was infiltrated. In Harry Potter, it was the Death Eaters — those loyal to Voldemort. In the real world, it’s the alt-right, the Nazis and white supremacists that are marching to foster hate and even killing people in the name of their quest for purity.
Dumbledore’s Army, the first line of defense against the Death Eaters once they began to resurface, was largely made up of teenagers and young adults.
Are we saying that President Trump is Voldemort? No, of course not, but if that hair turns out to be one of his Horcruxes, we’ll be the first to scream “I told you so.”
They say art imitates life, but in many cases life begins to imitate art. It doesn’t matter if the original writer or director intended it to be an allegory for modern times or a metaphor for current events, the point still stands — there are plenty of movies that we can think of just off the top of our heads that are prefect examples of how disastrous the current presidency has been and is continuing to be. Time will only tell what movies we’ll be able to add to this list in the future.
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