Superman, Batman, Zach Snyder and ‘The Fountainhead’: How to define a Trump supporter

With all the press over the new Batman vs Superman movie the director, Zach Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter that one of the next projects he’s working on is an updated version of The Fountainhead.  The faces of nearly everyone in the liberal community of media and entertainment nearly melted off.  Snyder is a highly respected film director and is at the top of his game.  But it doesn’t surprise me that he and a growing contingent of Warner Bros. directors and screen writers are showing themselves as Objectivists—Ayn Rand’s philosophic dispute against Kantian collectivism.  It’s no secret that I was very supportive of the film makers of Atlas Shrugged, which I thought was a successful cliff note to the great American novel—Atlas Shrugged.  That book is what America is all about and could have only been written here by our culture.  Ayn Rand was onto something with her work and I personally think The Fountainhead is one of the greatest novels ever written and I’ve read Finnegan’s Wake—and I understand it—just for reference.  Finnegan’s Wake to me is probably the greatest novel in the history of mankind as far as its scope—but within it there are way too many Kantian limits.  Ayn Rand takes away those limits and delivers us to a time before Plato and Aristotle’s great debate—to a time when mankind was contemplating that it was not the gods of Mt. Olympus who ruled the universe, it was the minds of mankind.

This is extremely important to understand because the candidacy and potential presidency of Donald Trump is the kind of story which might be a sequel to one of those Ayn Rand classics—he is a clear combination of characters from both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.  Trump’s popularity is very similar to the popularity of Ayn Rand’s novels even to this day nearly 60 and 70 years after their release.  Atlas Shrugged is the most reviewed book in the Library of Congress behind only the Bible for a reason—people are curious—but the life around them built largely in the summation of Kantian philosophy doesn’t assimilate well to what they feel in their heart and souls.

I know people from every side of the argument regarding Donald Trump.  I know the Glenn Beck Tea Party types, I know hard-core Objectivists, and I know traditional Republicans and I see their difficulty in understanding Donald Trump and his supporters.  Some of them like Glenn Beck and even Ted Cruz are staunch Atlas Shrugged supporters—they love Ayn Rand—yet they don’t understand her—because religion clouds their thinking on the philosophy of the matter.  Ironically, that is their same aversion to Donald Trump—that he’s a godless heathen who lives for himself counseling only himself not seeking the advice of God in times of crises.  Trump declares that he relies on his own mind to make decisions—which is a very Ayn Rand type of thing to say—and Beck along with Cruz followed by a contingent of Tea Party supporters are frazzled by such a proclamation.  Establishment Republicans hate Trump because he isn’t Kantian enough—meaning he doesn’t think in a Platonic fashion deep enough for them.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES)  Then of course Objectivists aren’t sure what to think.

Not long ago I compared Donald Trump to Howard Roark from The Fountainhead and Objectivists sent me private messages concerned about my sanity.  They declared that Trump was not ideologically pure enough to be an “Objectivist,” and he certainly wasn’t the hero Howard Roark.  But a real life examination into the way that Trump has lived proposes a direct comparison.  Trump has always had a very Roark-like certainty about hm.  I don’t claim to be an Objectivist.  Personally, I think mankind is at a stage where we need to deep dive Rand’s thoughts expanding on Aristotle’s original concepts—but perhaps either going back to a time well before Greek philosophy or into a new period that mankind has never been before.  I am personally concerned with flushing out these kinds of thoughts over my years.  I see Objectivism as a first step in that process and Ayn Rand was certainly onto the scent.  However, Rand’s books were relatively simple-because they are exploring complex concepts and needed a host of adult characters to drape those concepts off of—for instance, there are no children in Rand’s books, The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged—which makes it easy for the characters to act on their authentic natures.  The world is neatly aligned in a way that represented Ayn Rand’s time period and her personal decisions which was to not have children with her husband and to carry on lavish affairs of her own with other men and force her husband to watch essentially.  In the end Rand was a bit broken-hearted with some of her decisions and it hurt her following regarding Objectivism.  That doesn’t mean she was wrong—it just means she wasn’t completely right.

I think the life of Donald Trump would be a sequel to Ayn Rand’s classics—and I think his third wife Melania is the key to his present success.  I think Donald Trump fits right into the pages of Rand’s heroes with John Galt and Howard Roark and that is essentially why people are so bothered with his presidential candidacy.  Objectivists would obviously disagree, but they share with most religions an almost sanctimonious relationship with the purity of Ayn Rand’s characters that they have become Holy figures to them similar to religious fanatics who insist that the life of Jesus Christ as it was written in a book 1700 years ago is testament to the precise way that we must all live today—and that the interpretation provided over the years and nurtured along by Immanuel Kant followed by many others—like Karl Marx would formulate political philosophy around the values of altruism.  Donald Trump was a great person before he met Melania—but after she became his Lady of Tubber Tintye.  CLICK HERE TO REVIEW.  She was his hero’s journey much the way Dagney was brought to such a figure in John Galt in Atlas Shrugged.  In that case Galt was the type of treasure found in the classic story of The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island.  In real life, Melania was the treasure that Donald Trump found and what we have today is a presidential candidate who has successfully completed a hero’s journey equivalent to a classic novel and he is here to bestow upon mankind the boons of his adventure.

While many people think their version of reality is the correct one, the established political people have their Kant, while Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz and their Tea Party followers have their Bibles and the Ayn Rand at war within their very souls trying to fit a square peg into a circular entrance.  Conservatism to many of these people means “obedience to God.” The education class has their Marxism—which was formed by Kant to proclaim that Trump is too stupid for the right to “rule” because that is how archaic they still think of mankind—as a species that needs to be ruled over by an aristocratic elite.  And Objectivists hate all of the above, but they don’t think of Trump as equivalent to John Galt or Howard Roark.  Yet to know Trump through his many years of work, he is clearly willing to stand his ground for the authenticity of his creations, like Roark did at the end of The Fountainhead.  There aren’t any other people on earth in any positions of authority or wealth that have ever done as Trump is doing now—and that is to risk it all for a chance to fix everything for the sake of American authenticity.  He’s not retreating from the world the way that John Galt did to let the system collapse on itself the way that Ayn Rand suggested.  His stand is a much more masculine one—and one not yet defined by any art or literature—at least those known in establishment circles.  Donald Trump is the next step in that eventual evolution.

Trump supporters have been lied to and manipulated by all the groups mentioned above, religious groups, political groups, activism groups—everyone, and they still see things sliding into an abyss.  They have been told that they are bad because they are a particular color, that they are bad if they think well of American sovereignty, and that they are bad if they aren’t willing to give the skin off their very backs to those too lazy to make their own way in life—and they are the majority.  People like Trump were allowed to the table of power so long as they brought their check book, but they weren’t invited to help fix anything.  For Donald Trump I think love brought him full circle and into this political theater and the instincts of the American people understand it in spite of what everyone is telling them.  Trump has great love for his wife, his children, and of course himself.  People don’t comprehend it yet, but they know to trust it because literally everyone else has let them down.

From what I know of the new Superman movie with Batman, the debate is going to be precisely what I have been talking about.  Superman represents the type of Ayn Rand hero that evolved under American philosophy—essentially Objectivism.  Batman represents the law and order of a Platonic society—which migrated from Kant to Marxism riding on the back of organized religion—all denominations.  Can Batman simply let society fall in line behind a man who is superior in every fashion—and could destroy the world if he cared to in a moment?  That is the theme of the new Zach Snyder version of Batman vs. Superman—arriving in theaters soon as of this writing.  But filmmakers must make their livings looking five years into the future to anticipate the trends of that future time.  Given Trump’s impact on the world of politics it does not surprise me that Warner Brothers is looking to Snyder to provide an update to The Fountainhead.  Even though many might fight the words I’m saying about Trump today, our civilization will be looking for answers in the years to come and only Ayn Rand has offered a plausible explanation into the nature of Donald Trump so far in the entire history of the world. 

 Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche before Ayn Rand likely started the chain reaction—but prior to them in all of known history only gods of some mystic realm held such power of mankind.  It was the job of human beings to appeal to the egos of their deities.  Trump is not that kind of offering.  He is something else that nobody has ever seen before in politics—or philosophy—and Trump supporters feel innately that they can trust it—because they still hope that its possible in America to step beyond the shackles of Immanuel Kant—even if they’ve never heard the name before—and live their lives as free people for the purposes ascribed in Ayn Rand’s classic American novels.  Zach Snyder as a filmmaker has his hands on that pulse—and is working on The Fountainhead to show it to us for later analysis.  For decades in the future we will still be coming to terms with this time period—and it will be through our art that we understand what has happened.  In hindsight, we’ll be glad that it did.  But we will rely on art—as we always do—to define it in our lives—even if the Trump train is moving too fast now to do anything but vote in favor of that gut we have in our stomachs.  That is the very definition of a Trump supporter.

Rich Hoffman


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