Trump: A Tragi-Comedy
13 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 11, 2018
This article explores the concept of tragi-comedy in which both forms of artistic endeavor are combined. An example of the genre, the film “The Death of Stalin”, is reviewed, portraying the consequences of dictatorial leadership. However, it is not only in the Russian mindscape where tragi-comedy can turn into a cautionary tale about flawed leadership. Looking at the state of the world, “great men” are once more on the rise and disturbing socio-political developments are occurring even in the “land of the free”. Given President Trump’s determination to “Make America Great Again”, this article explores the question of how he is recasting leadership. What’s very disturbing in these dynamics is the obsequiousness of his inner circle. Drawing parallels with scenes from the firm in the aftermath of Stalin’s death, I explore how exposure to flattery prevents leaders from recognizing the hidden agendas behind such behavior. Flattery has an insidious way of moving into the collective unconscious, often with devastating results. Observations are made about the interface between flattery and groupthink, as well as how it gives rise to social defenses. Ultimately, the question becomes, will Trump’s presidency be a comedy or tragedy?
Keywords: Dysfunctional Leadership, “Great Man”, Obsequiousness, Flattery, Social Defenses, Groupthink, Faulty Decision-Making
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation