Trump as ‘Ben-Hur’
Ah, the unintended comedy gold offered by Donald Trump and his DC lovelies! The latest is National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who had this to say to the Post’s David Ignatius about his boss’ “tremendous” managerial skills:
Flynn’s real test will be his relationship with his boss. He likened Trump to the chariot driver in “Ben-Hur,” urging his horses forward. That image captures Flynn’s challenge: how to build an orderly national security process led by a whip-cracking charioteer
Flickering through my mind is a cinematic image of that man’s-man, Charlton Heston donning breastplate and skirts and bearing the reins tightly as Ben Hur, whipping his frothing horses across the finish line. Except that superimposed over Heston’s face is that of Donald Trump. And in place of Heston’s steeds are “horses of a different color,” Steve Bannon, KellyAnne Conway, Mike Flynn, Rex Tillerson, and Gen. “Mad Dog” Mattis. All straining at the bit. All held bravely in check by that great Roman charioteer, Ben-Trump.
A question comes to mind: of all the movie heroes to whom to liken Trump: Ben Hur? Really? A 75 year-old sword and sandals epic (there’s also a 90 year-old version directed by that cinematic war-horse, Cecille B. DeMille)? A film almost no one under 60 will know anything about? President as Roman gladiator?
Sure, there’s the obvious connection between Heston & the GOP. Trump in the Heston mold as heroic man’s-man. And clearly this would be the type of martial image a Gen Jack D. Ripper-type like Flynn would gravitate toward. Finally, there’s the pleasing (for Trump) evangelical angle of Ben Hur converting from Judaism to Christianity.
But the entire episode is a hopeless exercise in testosterone-fueled fantasy. Eventually, I predict Ben Trump will be toppled from his chariot and his horses will run riot. Though perhaps a bare-chested Vladimir Putin will jump from a chariot careening alongside Ben Trump’s to take the reins and save his life, thus earning his undying gratitude. Stranger things have happened
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There was a 2016 remake – (released in August)
It however bombed in the box office….