President Donald Trump’s behavior has always been erratic, but in the midst of a government shutdown during the holidays, it’s gone off the charts. And it’s being compared to some pretty horrifying scenarios, most notably Colonel Walter E. Kurtz’s slide into madness in the iconic film Apocalypse Now.
That’s the observation former Clinton White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart made in a CNN appearance Sunday, Newsweek reports. Although he did admit in a tweet later on that he used “a little literary license” to make the Vietnam War comparison.
A little literary license here https://t.co/oNVFhzu1Ij
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) December 26, 2018
But Lockhart isn’t the only one to see some worrisome red flags here. Many of Trump’s critics mocked even his more mundane “Merry Christmas” wishes, echoing concerns over his increasingly bizarre behavior over the past few days.
Trump stubbornly vowed to keep the federal government shut down until he receives $5 billion Mexican border wall is granted funding by Congress. So CNN’s John Avlon asked Lockhart to explain his comments comparing Trump to Kurtz, the character adapted from Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness.
“For me, it’s a cross between Macaulay Culkin in ‘Home Alone’ and Colonel Kurtz in ‘Apocalypse Now,'” Lockhart told the CNN host.
“You’re blowing America’s mind right now,” Avlon responded.
Then the former press secretary ticked off his reasons for believing this, Raw Story reports.
“It is getting crazier and crazier,” Lockhart said. “Over the course of a couple of days he blew Santa’s cover (by question a seven-year-old child’s belief in Santa Claus); he said ‘I was home alone;’ he said ‘I’m signing bills’ and then when they did a closeup of the bills, it was a blank piece of paper.”
And Trump has created his own mess since he refused to sign off on Congress’s last attempt to keep the government running.
“These are all problems of his own making,” Lockhart said. “He’s furious at the Fed for raising interest rates too fast — he passed, in a booming economy, a deficit-busting tax cut… if he hadn’t done that, the Fed wouldn’t be raising rates.”
He wrapped up the interview by elaborating further on his comparison between the president and Colonel Kurtz.
“He is a little bit like Col. Kurtz, surrounding himself with crazy people in the jungle, talking about crazy stuff!” Lockhart said.
“So is Stephen Miller Dennis Hopper in this scenario?” Avlon asked.
“Exactly!” Lockhart replied.
And that is discomfiting, to say the least.
Perhaps this quote, by Dennis Hopper’s photojournalist in Apocalypse Now is fitting:
“What are they going to say about him? What? Are they going to say he was a kind man? He was a wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom? Bullsh*t, man!”
You can watch Kurtz define horror in the video below and then decide for yourself if Trump is following this script too closely. And in the second video below, you can hear Lockhart’s response.
Featured image by Миша Ротов via YouTube video