Donald Trump seems to think he’s still on his reality TV show shouting, “You’re fired!” while President Stephen K. Bannon is busy drafting executive orders with his favorite black crayon.
Such is the surreal universe in which we find ourselves. Those who thought they were electing Trump to the presidency likely have never heard of Jerzy Kosinski — author of the novel and later the movie “Being There,” in which protagonist Chance the gardener, a simpleton who worked for a wealthy benefactor, is mistaken for an aristocrat named Chauncey Gardiner through a grand misunderstanding born of magical thinking.
When Gardiner’s employer dies and the gardener is forced to enter the larger world, his body of knowledge consists only of what he has seen on television. When he speaks about flowers and plants, others interpret his simple words as insightful and profound observations on economics and foreign policy. They hear and see what they need to see and hear. Finally, Chauncey is selected as the perfect next president based solely on people’s utterly incorrect interpretation of him.