By Shelton Bumgarner
As anyone with some knowledge about The Foundation Saga will tell you: Donald Trump is The Mule.
Let’s review exactly why this is the case. According to Wikipedia:
The Mule is a fictional character from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. One of the greatest conquerors the galaxy has ever seen, he is a mentalic who has the ability to reach into the minds of others and “adjust” their emotions, individually or en masse, using this capability to conscript individuals to his cause. Not direct mind-control per se, it is a subtle influence of the subconscious; individuals under the Mule’s influence behave otherwise normally – logic, memories, and personality intact. This gives the Mule the capacity to disrupt Seldon’s plan by invalidating Seldon’s assumption that no single individual could have a measurable effect on galactic socio-historical trends on their own, due to the plan relying on the predictability of the actions of very large numbers of people.
In the Foundation universe, there is the notion that Hari Sheldon came up with something called The Sheldon Plan that predicted a way through which what would otherwise have been 10,000 years of darkness after the fall of the Galactic Empire could be reduced to 1,000 through the use of two Foundations.
Now, as told in The Foundation Saga, The Mule is a comic character who has the ability to subtly influence people’s minds. He is a threat to the Foundation and the Shelton Plan because he disrupts the Sheldon Plan’s basic notion that no one person can disrupt history significantly.
In my reading of all of this, the American Constitution is analogous to The Sheldon Plan. One of the interesting plot points of the novel’s universe is that a hologram of Sheldon pops out at crucial junctures in the plan’s progression to reaffirm its success. So, in my imagination, it’s kind of like if James Madison was to pop out steampunk style every four years and tell us, in general terms, who had just won the presidential election and why.
There’s a scene where Sheldon does this and everything is out of whack because of The Mule. It seems as though if you know anything about The Foundation Saga that the similarity between Donald Trump and The Mule is painfully obvious. In the context of fictional Foundation history and real American history, the two characters are almost completely identical.
If someone in Hollywood doesn’t have the wherewithal to do something with this obvious comparison, I give up on the whole industry. A great screenwriter and director could do something really, really powerful with The Mule in the context of Trumplandia. I struggle to understand why no one in Hollywood has yet to notice this and begin production on a movie or even a TV series that addresses this point. I know that HBO, was, at some point in the recent past supposed to be working on something like what I suggest, but I haven’t heard anymore about it.
I, personally, can’t do anything about it because I don’t have the rights to the book and even if I did, I know my limits and I’m struggling to write a novel about the zany nature of Trump’s era. A screenplay would definitely, at this point, be a bridge too far.
But we’ll see, I guess. It still find myself waiting for all the great art to come out of the Trumplandia era. It will happen, eventually, of course. I just worry it may be too late.
More on this subject.
By Shelt Garner
The more I think about it, the more it makes total sense that Jack McBrayer could probably win an Oscar if he played The Mule character as written about in The Foundation series.
The Mule in the series is introduced as something of a goof. Only later do we learn who he really is and the power that he has. So, if I was writing the screenplay for Jack McBrayer, I would break it down like this:
We introduce The Plan and how it’s supposed to save humanity from 10,000 years of darkness. We introduce the four (if I remember correctly) people who will ultimate race around the galaxy looking for The Mule’s home planet. (I’m too lazy to look the plot of the novels up and this just gives you a general sense of what to do with it, anyway.) At the end of the first act, The Mule’s forces storm Terminous and we’re kicked into the second act’s special world.
In this act, our four core group of people race around the galaxy, hoping to understand The Mule and as such bring him down. Lots of cool shit happens and we’re introduce to the world of The Foundation (which, of course, unfortunately Star Wars stole huge chunks from.)
At the end of this act, we learn who The Mule is and “all is lost.”
In this act, we see the Oscar-winning aspect of The Mule character for Jack McBrayer. All along he’s been this goofy-happy guy and in the last act the audience learns he’s actually really evil. And, what’s more, you have the Trump allegory in there as well (if you read exactly what I’m summarizing.)
We have our climax, The Mule is defeated and we leave the door open for a sequel.