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The Candidate in the Rye: Ever Notice Donald Trump Speaks Like Holden Caulfield?

"The Candidate In the Rye" is a short parody book I wrote and published on Amazon. The basic premise is that for a man running to become president of the United States, Donald Trump has an impressive amount in common with America's most tortured teenager. It's free as an ebook for at least the next couple days. On the surface, the parallels are all too easy to draw. The declarations of phoniness, the upbringings of privilege, the objectifying of women, the ignorance of otherness, the bastardizing of intimacy, the embracing of isolation, the aimlessness of purpose, the quietly desperate fear of failure. And, of course, the garish red hat, worn to make a statement. This is a silly little book, and it tries to be funny. But while deep-diving through the Trump archives and mixing and matching his words with Holden Caulfield's, it was hard not to feel a little sad. Not caustic, tweet-ending "Sad!", but a simple sorrow over how hard it has become to see outside ourselves. We grow up being taught there are enemies within our own ranks. We learn to believe we can trust no one but the voice inside our own heads. Then we feel betrayed when politics becomes a game played with 300 million pawns. I try to imagine what I'd tell Holden, if I ran into him, wandering the streets of New York. That he is not alone, that so few of us are any good at fighting off our own phoniness, that it's okay to not know what you're doing, or where you're going, or why. And then I try to imagine what I'd tell him 50 years later, if he was on the cusp of becoming the leader of the free world, and so little had changed. There's a quote from Holden in the book, taken only a little out of context: "I don't even know what I was running for -- I guess I just felt like it." And the more you read, and the more you watch, all you want for him is an excuse to stop, if only for just a moment, and take a deep breath.

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  • tagged this with like this idea 2016-10-17 19:11:05 -0400
  • published this page in Ideas 2016-10-17 19:10:57 -0400