April 7, 2016

What Donald Trump & a Tone-Deaf Opera Singer Have in Common (& What it Says about Our Need for Power).

YouTube screenshot

I recently saw the movie Marguerite, a French film about a high society woman with a passion for singing. She cannot carry a tune, but none of her friends have the heart to tell her.

The whole premise is funny—a woman with absolutely no talent wants to be an opera star—but it drives home an all too familiar and serious concern that is very much alive and well in this country. With a little money and a little charm, you can buy your way to the top these days.

The movie was a sad, drawn-out account of greed and hubris, that after the first hour grew just as tiresome as our current presidential campaign.

I went to this movie looking for a few laughs, but after the first 30 minutes, I found myself searching to find humor in the tale of a woman so full of herself that she is completely oblivious to her lack of talent. I began to see that Marguerite is not all that different from Donald Trump—a man who speaks highly of himself in front of the American public, touts his business accomplishments and claims he can run a country when he has almost no experience.

It is hard to take such puffery seriously. The sheer absurdity of it becomes amusing and we find ourselves watching it, despite its flaws and at times grotesque, off-note points. And as the absurdity continues, we start to wonder how it’s still happening. How can people continue to follow these less-than-talented buffoons?

And then we see that they have earned their followers not on merit, but on the fortunes they have amassed.

While others may have far more knowledge and talent, these people hold the power because for some reason folks believe that with a little money, they can be just like them. Suddenly, it’s no longer about talent, capability or earning your way to the top—it’s about buying your way to the top.

Perhaps that was the humor, and I just didn’t get the joke.

A comedy, Marguerite is not. In my opinion, it’s a sad commentary about an egocentric individual with no sense of humility who believes she can buy her way to success. And sadly, it’s all too similar to the state of politics in this country.

I’m left wondering why the Republican Party doesn’t work together to find a more capable candidate. Maybe, just as with Marguerite, they are afraid that if they revealed the truth, people would see that there is nothing left but smoke and mirrors. And that when the money runs out, so will their power.


Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: YouTube screenshot


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