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  • Denis Pepin

Trump’s Presidency: The Real-Life Horror of a Stephen King Novel

Updated: May 12

A patriotic scene of a person draped in an American flag standing in front of a classical building and a cheering crowd, with fighter jets flying overhead and rays of light shining from behind.
A future Donald Trump imposing his will on the nation and the world.

The US Constitution's framers probably did not think about prohibiting people with criminal records from running for office. Maybe they realized that such a scenario could only be imagined in fiction, so maybe they thought this was pointless. However, a cult leader and sex offender who has been impeached twice, charged with 88 crimes, and displays sociopathic and authoritarian tendencies could be chosen by citizens, in a scenario that was unimaginable for 237 years and is now a terrifying and realistic prospect.


As Stephen King envisioned in his 1979 novel, a character like this was something that the framers would have considered only possible in fiction.


Surprising and extraordinary themes are essential to grip readers in a creative writing piece. Known for his spine-chilling tales, Stephen King's 1979 novel "The Dead Zone" featured a doomsday US president with a storyline that eerily resembled Donald Trump's. Little did we know that 45 years later, in 2024, we could potentially witness a similar eccentric leader come to power. The only difference between "King’s deranged president", and Trump taking office, is that Trump’s actions, such as spreading misinformation, inciting violence, and undermining democracy, have now been normalized by his supporters and become a tangible reality. 


In "The Dead Zone," King paints a haunting portrait of power-hungry ambition, political fanaticism, and ego-driven leadership that bears an uncanny resemblance to our current reality. Greg Stillson, the protagonist-turned-antagonist in this gripping story, and Donald Trump himself are parallels in this article.



Summary of the Plot and Main Character

The novel “The Dead Zone” by Stephen King tells the story of Johnny Smith, a normal man whose life changes drastically after a car crash puts him in a coma for almost five years. He wakes up with a new power - the gift of seeing people’s pasts and futures with a touch.


As Johnny tries to navigate his new reality and come to terms with his newfound gift, he becomes aware of a rising political figure named Greg Stillson. Stillson is charismatic but also deeply flawed, with a dangerous ambition and an alarming disregard for the well-being of others. He quickly rises through the ranks and captures the attention of many supporters who are drawn to his strongman persona.


Johnny's visions reveal that Stillson will eventually become President of the United States and bring about catastrophic consequences for humanity. Faced with this knowledge, Johnny grapples with whether or not it is his responsibility to stop Stillson before it's too late.


"The Dead Zone" takes readers on an intense journey as Johnny wrestles with his moral compass while trying to prevent tragedy from unfolding. It showcases Stephen King's talent for creating complex characters and exploring profound themes such as fate, free will, and the corrupting nature of power.


Through Johnny Smith's story, King offers us insight into how individuals can be seduced by ego-driven leaders who prioritize their agenda over the greater good. The similarities between Greg Stillson and real-life figures like Donald Trump cannot be ignored - both possess magnetic personalities that attract devoted followers while also exhibiting questionable ethics.


King paints a chilling portrait of what can happen when political fanaticism goes unchecked; when leaders are driven solely by their desires rather than considering the long-term consequences of their actions. It serves as a sobering reminder that we must remain vigilant in our evaluation of those who seek positions of power, ensuring that their intentions align with the well-being of society as a whole.



King's Insight Into the Dangers of Political Fanaticism and Ego-Driven Leaders

Through his portrayal of Stillson's fanatical following, King warns us about the dangers of blind allegiance to charismatic leaders. He reveals how easily people can be manipulated by empty promises and inflated egos.


Stillson is an alluring and seemingly unstoppable politician who captivates crowds with his bombastic speeches and promises of making America great again (sound familiar?). However, beneath his charming facade lies a deeply disturbed individual driven by his ambition and thirst for power.


What makes this novel so chillingly relevant is not just the similarities between Stillson and Trump as individuals, but also the cautionary tale it presents about the dangers of placing blind faith in leaders driven solely by their egos. The consequences can be catastrophic.


"The Dead Zone" showcases Stephen King's remarkable insight into human psychology and societal dynamics. Through his compelling storytelling, he forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about our susceptibility to manipulation.


While some may argue that literature is purely entertainment or escapism from reality, works like "The Dead Zone" prove otherwise. They show us that literature has immense power to shed light on current issues and warn us about potential pitfalls if we fail to recognize them.



In Conclusion

Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" is a chillingly accurate prediction of the dangers posed by political leaders driven by ego and fanaticism. Its relevance today serves as a stark reminder to always question the motives and actions of those in power, and to never blindly follow charismatic leaders without critically examining their character.


In this short clip, Martin Sheen played a dictatorial US President from the 1983 movie version of the novel The Dead Zone. Could this clip be a reality with Trump? Imagine him in this scene and explore the following links to see how it could unfold:




 

Don’t let the Trump-Abyss Drag You Down!


Trump-Abyss is a blog that reveals the harmful truth of Donald Trump. His actions have undermined democratic principles, provoked unrest, and disseminated false information. He has brought us perilously close to a nuclear conflict, estranged friendly nations, and strengthened adversaries. His conduct has demonstrated a profound disregard for the welfare of society and the principles of justice.


Share the Trump-Abyss blog with your friends, and family, and on social media platforms. The more people are aware of the dangers of a Trump’s presidency, the more they can take action to prevent or mitigate them. Together, we can defend our democracy and our planet from the Trump-Abyss. You have the power to stand up for what is right and fight for a better future. Whether you choose to vote, protest, donate, or educate, you are making a difference in the world.



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