After reading Richard III, Shakespeare’s tragedy/history about a power hungry manipulative sociopath who plots his way to the throne of England, I cannot help but think of Donald Trump. It’s as if Shakespeare modeled Richard Gloucester after Trump. And while Trump has not actually murdered his adversaries as did Richard, he did destroy his political rivals on the campaign trail and as president has gone after his opponents and critics with a vengeance. In the following post, I’ll explore the physical, personality, and historical similarities between President Trump (not my President) and King Richard III, the illigimate and brief ruler of England.
Physically, Richard Gloucester, later King Richard, aka Richard III, and Donald Trump share some attributes. Both are unattractive. The tall and portly Trump sports synthetic, free flowing, drug induced orange hair. Richard had a withered arm and hunch back. Both are sensitive and testy about their physical flaws and Trump goes to great length to prove that his hands are above average and that his hair is real.
Psychologically, both men are extraordinarily needy and quite unaccustomed to hearing the word no. They seem to have not been deeply loved as children and consequently developed inferiority complexes. At one point, Richard admits to hating himself. Trump on the other hand can admit no wrongs. One could argue that both are narcissistic, and incapable of feeling empathy or sympathy for others. They personalize all events and interactions and value loyality above all else, and become paranoid and suspicious of their closest allies.
Both rose to power by deceit, threat, bluster, and the brutal takedown of opponents. Richard had them all killed while Trump cut them down with viscious verbal attacks. Like Richard, Trump is spectacularly unfit and unqualfied to govern and has surrounded himself with loyal but incompetent and enabling men and women. And it is yet to be seen who among his loyalists will become suspect and driven out. Will it be KellyAnne Conway or Sean Spicer who draws the figurative fate of Buckingham? Could Steve Bannon be secretly plotting with the Russians to use Trump and then claim the throne for himself as did Richmond through Lord Stanley? Will Trump’s reign of terror end as abrubtly as did Richard’s brief tenure on the throne? The writing may already be on the wall. Toward the end, Richard became positively unhinged, to the point of flailing wildly with a sword on the battlefield after being unhorsed, not unlike Trump’s incoherent tantrums on Twitter lashing out recklessly in ALL CAPS at ALL critics real or imagined like Don Quixote.