Trump likens himself to evil captain from “Mutiny On The Bounty” in bizarre attack on governors

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The President of the United States continues to unravel. The pressure of “leading” a country as its economy tanks and a deadly virus rips through its populace while simultaneously pouring all of his energy into convincing that same country that—despite all of the blatant evidence to the contrary—he has been doing and continues to do a good job responding to the pandemic is proving far too much for his meager facilities to handle.

Trump is acting even more erratically than usual and is increasingly picking pointless fights to distract from his own staggering incompetency. One of his morning attack tweets today was especially bizarre.

The president wrote that Democratic governors should be aware that “Mutiny On The Bounty,” a film about the crew of a sailing ship in the 1700’s who rebel against their selfish and brutal captain, is one of his “all time favorite movies.” He failed to specify whether he meant the 1935 or 1962 adaptation of the story.

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It’s likely the outburst was prompted by the decision of several West Coast states, in light of this administration’s failings, to form a coalition to plan their economic reopenings and the simultaneous decision of a bloc of East Coast states to do the same.

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“A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain,” wrote Trump, presumably meaning that the governors are being mutinous against him even though they need his help to fight COVID-19. It’s impossible to not see a not-so-thinly veiled threat here: fall in line or you won’t get what you need from the federal government.

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Only a mind as warped and self-centered as Donald Trump’s could classify governors pushing pack against misinformation and fighting for the medical supplies needed to save the lives of their citizens as “mutiny.”

It’s important to note that governors don’t work for the president. They are the executives of their individual states, duly elected and invested by the Constitution with powers that do not flow from the White House. This is Trump once again flaunting his disturbed authoritarian fantasies.

Most tellingly, Trump seems to see himself in the captain of the HMS Bounty, a man named William Bligh whose greed and horrific treatment of his crew justifies their mutinying. In other words, Trump is fantasizing about being the villain in this scenario. While the rest of his metaphor doesn’t track, in this regard he’s absolutely correct. Trump is a monstrous captain and he steered America right into this disaster.

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Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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