Over the weekend, comedian Louis C.K. made news for telling his fans in an email that Donald Trump is like Adolph Hitler. And that’s a bit much, isn’t it? Doing The Apprentice for NBC while selling ties is rather unlike attempting a coup in Munich, being imprisoned, and blaming the Jews. The Art of the Deal isn’t exactly Mein Kampf.
I say that as someone who abhors Trump’s nakedly bigoted campaign tactics. He’s the only person who could ever cause me to vote for Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio.
Still, I get why folks intending to vote Trump would delete the Hitler email or dismiss the news stories about it. And yet, if they looked beyond the lazy Hitler comparison to a short section at the very bottom of C.K.’s email, they’d find a far more persuasive criticism, one that stands out from what most pundits, celebrities, Mexican government officials, and undecided voters are saying about Trump.
Here it is:
Trump is a messed up guy with a hole in his heart that he tries to fill with money and attention. He can never ever have enough of either and he’ll never stop trying. He’s sick. Which makes him really really interesting. And he pulls you towards him which somehow feels good or fascinatingly bad.
If Trump voters reflected on that criticism with an open mind, at least some might concede that he does seem like a man who tries to fill a void in his heart with money and attention. Some might agree that he can’t get enough and won’t stop trying.
Is electing that kind of man president worth the risk?
C.K.’s analysis dovetails with comedian John Mulaney’s more lighthearted take on Trump:
Donald Trump is not a rich man, he's what a hobo imagines a rich man to be. It's like Trump was walking under an underpass, and he heard a guy say, "Oh, as soon as my number comes in, I'm going to put up tall buildings with my name on them. I'll have fine golden hair. And a TV show where I fire Gene Simmons with my children." And Trump was like, "That is how I will live my life." When he makes a decision he must think to himself, "what would a cartoon rich person do? Oh, run for President."
And it isn’t inconsistent with comedian John Oliver’s take, which I noted last week:
Now, I know I’m biased, being willing to support almost any candidate over Trump (even though I don’t particularly like most of them, either). But Trump fans, shouldn’t you be worried that all these comedians are so ardently against your guy? Comedians aren’t, after all, a politically correct community. These are people who delight in traveling from town to town, grabbing a mic, and violating all taboos.
They dislike the establishment as much as you do—and mock it mercilessly.
And they’re in show business. There is no better candidate for the comedy business than Donald Trump. He’s larger than life, endlessly entertaining, great for ratings, and Trump jokes almost write themselves. There are so many reasons for comedians to pray for eight years of a pompous Donald Trump in the White House.
Yet they all seem to be warning that he’s a dangerous jerk. Even apart from my own opinion of Trump, that makes me nervous. Maybe if Trump wins, the novelty of presiding over the oldest democracy will wear off and he’ll leave the U.S. for a younger, Eastern European nation.
Still, why risk it?