The metaphor of Greg Stillson, the lunatic presidential candidate in Stephen King and David Cronenberg‘s The Dead Zone, is as American as apple pie — a flag-waving monster sociopath. Many believe that Stillson and Donald Trump are cut from the same cloth. Nine and a half years ago I noted that Sarah Palin seemed Stillson-esque on a certain level. So we all know the drill. Now King has said in so many words that Stillson is Trump and vice versa.
From a 4.26 N.Y. Times Magazine interview with author and twitter-hound from Maine:
Posted on 9.13.08: For the last few days I’ve been trying to put my finger on why Sarah Palin gives me such a bad case of the creeps. Apart from the long list of negatives and serious doubts that everyone has already brought up, that is. Then it hit me — she’s Martin Sheen‘s Gregg Stillson character in David Cronenberg‘s The Dead Zone (’83).
Sarah Palin; Martin Sheen as President Gregg Stillson in David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone.
And when that vision came to me I was twitching exactly like Chris Walken‘s Johnny Smith character. McCain dead, Palin making the call…I saw it sharp and clear as if I was watching a snappy movie trailer. It’s the single scariest realistic possibility that real-life and realpolitik have put before the American public in the history of this nation, and a lot of the Walmart moms are going, “Girl’s one of us! A tough mom…yeah!”
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with an Us magazine cover story and the attendant malignancy of the media, looking to drive up ratings with the hot girl and hot story of the moment.