Trump and Showing Red To Get Green
He learned it all from Vince McMahon.
Update: If you want to come to the live show in NYC you should probably get tickets soon-ish, since they’re selling pretty well. It’s Thursday, May 18 at 7pm.
But also: If you’re in DC, Sonny Bunch is hosting a screening of War Games on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:30pm. It’s $7 to see a classic ‘80s movie in a luxury theater with The Bulwark’s Across the Movie Aisle crew.
You can’t beat that with a stick.
I’m going to try to be there, but can’t promise.
War Games was a seminal movie for me. I saw it in the theaters during my Quaker elementary school days, during which the prospect of imminent nuclear holocaust was very much a thing. At the time, this movie scared me more than Jaws. I’d like to see it again.
So get your tix to the movie while they’re still available.
1. Wrestling Talk
On the Sunday Next Level, Tim and I talked with Abraham Josephine Riesman, who just wrote a biography of WWE’s Vince McMahon, Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America. You can watch the YouTube version here or listen to the podcast version here.
We spent the first half talking about trans stuff, which was fine, but around the 25 minute mark we turned to the intersection of wrestling and politics. I don’t want to oversell this section, but it’s good.
Riesman makes a number of points about how the Republican party has tracked with pro wrestling:
Transitioning from the optimistic, city-on-a-hill, say-your-prayers and eat-your-vitamins ethos of the Reagan / Hulk Hogan era to the heel-heat driven, own-the-libs mentality of the Attitude / Trump era.
Trump learned how to draw heat with crowds from his time as a special attraction with McMahon in the early 2000s.
The current mode of conspiratorial ideology—in which the Deep State and the ruling elites hide the truth from Real Americans—mirrors the neokayfabe of the WWE.
But I want to talk about another parallel that we didn’t get to on the show.