How an Old Western Explains Donald Trump


Is Donald Trump a real man?

Not by the standards of Homer Bannon in the Academy-Award winning movie “Hud.”  My colleague Jim LaGrand explains in an open letter to Trump supporters published today at The Federalist.

Here is a taste:

During a confrontation in which Hud boasts that he doesn’t give a damn what his father or anyone else thinks of him, Homer offers this dead-on analysis of his son: “You got all that charm going for you, and it makes the youngsters want to be like you. That’s the shame of it—‘cause you don’t value nothing. You don’t respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself, and that makes you not fit to live with.”

Viewers come to see that Hud is no hero. Rather, he’s an anti-hero. He’s still a leading figure, but he twists or corrupts almost every traditional heroic virtue. Hud is proud of being a man without principles, of not being troubled by morality, of being determined to get what he wants no matter the costs. All this he excuses because he’s a winner—at least in his own eyes. He wins over women (including other men’s wives), he wins contests (even if he has to resort to trickery), and he tries (ultimately unsuccessfully) to win over young Lon to his worldview.

This brings us back to Trump. As journalists and columnists have tried to make sense of his recent rise, they’ve offered many historical comparisons and parallels. No two people are exactly the same, but to a striking degree, Donald Trump is the anti-hero Hud Bannon.

Read the entire piece here.