Can Donald Trump Channel Colonel Slade?

Every person who has seen the classic film, Scent of a Woman, will remember Al Pacino's performance as Colonel Slade, the blind, suicidal, coarse, angry  man, who at  the end of the film, reveals his superior character.  Superior to who?  To the elitist, arrogant, academic snobs at the private school for the rich and privileged children of the establishment professional and political class.   

There is no need to retell the story; it was and remains profound and timely.  It will always be profound and timely.  No amount of socialist, bureaucratic intervention will ever rid the world of people like Headmaster Trask and his school filled with entitled, affluent young people destined for vaporous greatness because of the accident of their birth.  Many hundreds of such people have sacrificed much, have given much to this country.  Many others so blessed have used their position in life only to further enrich only themselves, protect themselves and the power and status to which they were born.   

Trump falls into neither category.  He was born to wealth but without the imprimatur of American  social legacy or entitlement.   His father was truly a self-made man, the kind of man America has long celebrated for making something of himself from nothing.  Donald Trump  went to college but does not seem to have learned much while there.  Chances are that he did not pay any attention in class because he was anxious to get out of school and make his fortune.  He knew he would have a head start.   With a few million dollars seed money, thanks to his father, he managed to build his own empire, with numerous fits and failures along the way.   He is an American entrepreneurial role model, a type Americans both revere and loathe. The  fictional Colonel Slade had served his country as a soldier and had virtually nothing to show for it but his service legacy, his blindness,  his rage and his character, buried deep within him. 

Millions of Trump supporters seem to see in him their Colonel Slade, a man who can verbalize, in their own syntax, their fury at eight years of stagnant economy, joblessness, unfettered immigration, contempt, and disappointment in their elected representatives.  Is he such a man? We do not yet know for sure.  He wastes so much time raging against the petty nonsense of this political campaign, and against  the media's calculated agenda to destroy him.  He wastes time that could be spent outlining and  defining the catastrophic failures of the Obama administration, of which a Clinton administration would be a more leftist continuation.

He became the Republican nominee because enough people believe him to be the antidote to the contempt for the American people shown by the political class, left and right.  Those people who support him do not care about his tax returns, the immigration status of his wife, the numerous gaffes that reveal his ignorance of American history and foreign policy challenges.  They do not care about his businesses that have failed; enough of them have succeeded and provided jobs for tens of thousands of people.  

They assume he will rise to the occasion if elected.  They want their version  of Colonel Slade to stand up to the snobs in DC., to the folks who want to do away with fossil fuels no matter how it affects the poor who cannot afford a Prius.  They want someone who  breaks all the mandated rules of political correctness and nonsensical gender distinctions.  They don't want men in their kids' school bathrooms.   They don't want their kids punished if they say a prayer in school or chew a cookie into the shape of a gun.  They want a Colonel Slade to call all this what it is:  the destruction of American culture and tradition.  

Is Trump the guy?  Hard to say at this moment in time.  He keeps undermining his own appeal by being a thin-skinned jerk.   One thing is certain:  the US needs to be saved from another Clinton.  She is certifiably corrupt to the core, unqualified, a known failure on every level.  If Trump, an unlikely candidate to be sure, is not the man to save America, then who?  Where is Al Pacino when we need him?

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