Supervillain In Chief Donald Trump Caught Plagarizing The Dark Knight Rises In Speech (VIDEO)

Speech to inspire, or to terrify?

Speech ready, up to the microphone he stepped, in the rain, all eyes upon him. Around him, those who believe in his cause. At his fingertips, the power to destroy one and all.

If today’s inauguration felt more like a scene out of a movie, rather than political tradition, you would not be wrong. In the opening remarks for the new administration, Trump channeled not the inspiring words of our forefathers, of great orators of American political history, but instead turned to a figure of fiction.

A foil to the DC comics character Batman, Bane came to the big screen in a big way in 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” His speech before the football stadium is one of the best scenes from that year. It helped place the character as one of the best movie villains according to ranker. But to hear his words, the words of a super villain, coming out of the mouth of President Trump, must give us pause.

Populism and Power

In all probability, the similarities within the speech is purely by accident. The rhetorical model of giving power to the people by taking it from corrupt leadership has been used by politicians for well over a century. From Vladimir Lenin to John Lennon, we can find this model used repeatedly. It is understandable for President Trump to latch onto this, in a bold attempt to present himself as a strong populist.

The key is when you select the target of your ire. Those who seek to build, those with an eye to the future, turn this ire against the systems causing the power imbalance. Those who only seek to empower themselves turn the anger against people, to make targets out of others instead. In so doing, the danger of a populist message rears its ugly head.

Dangerous words

The concept of “taking power away from the corrupt” can be empowering to people. This is a dangerous cycle, for it then focuses the blame not on a system of exploitation, but only on “the other.” Its own simplicity of message belies the danger it presents. Debate becomes a fight between us and them. Solutions are ignored as blame is given.

Bane used this language to demonstrate to the audience that this man was not there to help anyone. The Dark Knight series is built around the causes of terror. The antagonists wrap their words to hide the fact that each of them only live to fulfill their fanatical vision to seek the world in flames. Joker, Scarecrow, Bane, Ras Al Ghul, the villains within the Dark Knight series are monstrous in action, but purely human in nature.

President Trump

The speech is now in the history books. How we are judged now depends on how we proceed from here. If the rhetoric continues down this poisonous path, history will judge us harshly.

We must turn this around. It is up to us to reject the danger within this language, and to reject the hatred which will fester as a result. That is the power of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Cover image – President Donald Trump’s official White House portrait, with the mask of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises in overlay

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A former candidate for State Representative in Washington state, Nathaniel is a seasoned political writer who brings an analytical and informed eye to politics. He is currently promoting his newest book, "The People's Constitution," now available in both paperback and Kindle.