The Manchurian President


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A classic Hollywood political thriller may tell us more about what’s happening in America than any history book.

BY NEAL GABLER | FEBRUARY 22, 2017

As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.

But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has noted the relevance of the movie The Manchurian Candidate. But the relevance is more than skin or celluloid deep. It goes to the very heart of this bizarre and frightening political moment.

First, the fact that this implausibly plotted Hollywood thriller could now be applied…

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