The problem with Trump being an unhinged, scary man with a huge list of grudges and perceived slights AND the ability to launch nuclear weapons, is how do you make that scary in a horror narrative?
Obviously, the reality of it is absolutely petrifying. The kind of thing that would keep you up all night if you let it. I have a baby daughter and I really, really don’t want her growing up an apocalyptic wasteland.
But If we’re trying to tell a horror story where Donald Trump is a major character, our problem with going down the nuclear route, is that the real horrible shit is going to happen to everyone else.
The image of him waddling defiantly over to the nuclear button, mangling a prayer to some deity he doesn’t believe in before pressing LAUNCH is one to chill the blood, but a great narrative it does not make. After all he will be in a bunker far below ground, with his aides, some champagne and a load of nubile young women, all participants in a ten females to one male breeding programme.
Everybody else will suffer, the rest of the world will bear the horror. And when it comes to a nuclear winter, it doesn’t really matter who pushes the button.
In ‘The Dead Zone’ movie, there’s a great and memorably frightening scene where Greg Stillson launches the payload (in the book it’s a lot more abstract), but that’s one scene with a supporting character. It’s difficult to tell the story when the major protagonist is the one bringing on the apocalypse, as he won’t have to face the consequences in the same way we will.
So even though it’s real world scary, the threat of nuclear annihilation is going to have to hang there in the background of any tale we eventually write. Unless something brilliant occurs to me, it can’t be a major part.
As such we look elsewhere.
And the thought occurs that maybe the key to writing a horror story where Trump is the protagonist lies in his seemed warped, paranoid and self-aggrandising psychology….