Saturday 3 September 2016

Is Donald Trump really Judge Cal in disguise?

Image result for judge cal city wall
A wall bristling with electronic surveillance and machine gun towers on the border. Donald Trumps dream? Now where have I heard that idea before?

Long term readers of 2000AD, the comic featuring  Judge Dredd,  will recall the maniac chief Judge Cal, who built a mile high wall, bristling with machine gun emplacements around Megacity1 (what the USA had morphed into in this distopian view of the future). The wikipedia entry for Cal notes "Cal built a wall one mile high around the entire city to keep them in, enslaving millions of people to perform this task. The wall was covered in gun emplacements to shoot anyone who tried to escape"

Whilst Trumps wall is allegedly designed to keep Mexicans out rather than US citizens in, this will clearly be the case as well. It has long been a tradition of people on the run from US authorities to take a trip to Mexico.

 It is worth American citizens considering just how closely Donald Trumps vision for the USA is starting to resemble a Police Prison state, ruled by decree, with Presidential whims leading to all manner of policies which are incompatible with an elected democracy, based on fulfillment of a manifesto of policies. 

Judge Cal himself was based on a real life historical leader. Wikipedia notes the parallels between Judge Cal and Roman emperor Caligula, citing gigantic and impossible building projects as a similarity. "There are many other parallels too, for example forcing people who had pledged their lives to him to commit suicide (see below) and gigantic and impossible building projects. At one point Cal orders a one-mile wall to be built around the city within three weeks: this neatly ties in with this quote from Suetonius:
Caligula seemed interested only in doing the apparently impossible-which led him to construct moles in rough deep water far out to sea, drive tunnels through exceptionally hard rocks, raise flat ground to the height of mountains, and reduce mountains to the level of plains; and all at immense speed, because he punished delay with death.[19]"
Trumps statements this week that he'd start deportations of illegal citizens within hours of becoming president are just the type of pronouncement we'd expect from a cartoon chief Judge in the Dredd stories. Trumps vanity is viewed with high suspicion just as Cal's was by the former chief Judge Goodman, who Cal desposed of. Cal also appointed a Goldfish as his deputy, and I was reminded of this by the appointment of Senator Pence and some of his statements.

 Of course there are plenty of behaviours that are different. Trump doesn't expect his close followers to commit suicide, although for some it has been career suicide to be part of his team. Trump is clearly not a deranged psychopath and unlike Cal, the US system will place controls on him that will thwart most, if not all of his most bonkers ideas.

Cover to Prog 1517
I don't actually think Cal is the character who most resembles Trump in Dredds world. That is reserved for President Robert L. Booth, the final president of the USA. Wikipedia credits him with the following (who does this remind you of?)

"Belligerent and wanting further power, he whipped up public sentiment with the idea that the rest of the world was living off America, sent the army to seize foreign oil" reserves
Perhaps the most worrying thing is that the greatest parallels avaialble for Trumps view of the future are both comic characters that wreaked devistation on the citizens of America and the rest of the world.


Unknown said...

Yes, finally! Someone has noticed the eerie similarities. Also, Cal's use of the Kleggs, the crocodilian enforcers of his rule puts a new twist on "drain the swamp".

This is 1979 and 2000AD predict an orange-faced, sphincter-mouthed bully with a dodgy blonde mop.

Scary, innit?

Anonymous said...

"Every evil character is Trump!" Grow up

Totally That Guy! - Glasgow Web Development said...

You neglect to note that once the wall is completed, it is a massive *asset* to the city and every time it's damaged or breached, repairing and rebuilding it is a top priority. Of course, the world of Judge Dredd is a massive grey-on-grey dystopia and even it's most benign leaders are outright fascists in our terms but the wall certainly seems to perform an important purpose.