President Trump is looking a bit like King Lear these days, with a White House that is becoming eerily similar to a medieval royal court (think: loyal sycophants, political intrigues and a controlling ruling family). In the wake of a chaotic July (think: his failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, a rogue communications director, attacks against his own Attorney General, and a whirlwind of staff hirings and firings) it’s easy to assume that the blame-shifting witch-hunted Trump probably believes he’s “a man more sinn’d against than sinning”. However, the first six months of his impotent presidency (with exactly zero legislative achievements under his belt FYI) have been a Shakespearian tragedy of his own making.
Hopefully King Lear’s descent into blind madness, murder and war mongering doesn’t play out IRL but the blame-shifting, resignations and profanity coming out of the White House isn’t making anyone feel optimistic about the future. President Trump apparently enjoys the chaos and tension – if so, he must have had more fun last week than anyone else. The latest shakeup came with the ousting of chief of staff Prince Priebus (to be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly) and the subsequent firing of Scandalous Scaramucci. Trump's stormy few weeks at home have also been echoed by a brewing storm of challenges overseas (think: North Korean missile tests, Russian diplomatic staff reductions and Venezuelan election violence).
There is one main area in which the president is unlike King Lear – he lacks a Cordelia to give him a much needed reality check and tell it like it is. Instead, he has been flattered, coddled, and enabled all the way to the presidency, and those who embarrass or refuse to indulge the president are humiliated, betrayed and shown the door. Conclusion? This White House is broken. It can’t enforce executive orders, pass legislation or implement the president’s agenda. It can’t retain good staff, boost good morale or generate good press. So how will this all end, you ask? If Shakespeare has taught us anything – not very well. This tragicomedy presidency not only proves the “excellent foppery of the world” – it proves that Americans should read more Shakespeare.
Doth thou feel as if thy life is all doom and gloom? Movie for thy mood: Ran