21 pop-culture villains the Trump campaign could embrace after the Death Star

By Starr Rhett Rocque

On Thursday, Brad Parscale, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, tweeted that they are team Death Star and they plan to “fire on all cylinders.”

The tweet is referencing the campaign blitz they plan to launch for the next phase of the presidential campaign season, but in true stereotypical villain format, it both telegraphs their plans and is not an original concept. Parscale also tweeted that the media began referencing their campaign as the Death Star, so they decided to lean into it.

None of this is ironic, given the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and its callous disregard for human life. Villains tend to be all about money and world domination, no matter whose lives are at stake, so this is on brand.

But if they’re going to be villains, they might as well stay committed to that premise. There are other villains whose philosophies the Trump campaign might want to consider for inspiration.

Eye of Sauron

The following tweet makes a good case for Lord of the Rings‘ Eye of Sauron. The Eye of Sauron was part of a larger plan for world domination mastermined by Morgoth, which in this case could be metaphorical for Mitch McConnell.

The Legion of Doom

Their lives consist of constant plots to take over the world and doing everything they can to undermine the Super Friends. You can basically look at that as the bipartisan wars that plague American politics.

Snidely Whiplash

Snidely Whiplash represents the ridiculousness of leaning into evil. His antics are so extreme and stereotypically villainous that it’s almost funny.

“The Man”

If you’ve ever watched a Blaxploitation flick (or even School of Rock), then you are familiar with the concept of The Man. It’s an exaggerated trope inspired by the stereotypical white men in charge. The Man is always on a quest for power—typically at the expense of poor people and minorities. As seen in movies like Foxy Brown, Black Caesar, and even I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (a parody of the Blaxploitation genre), The Man has no complexities or redeeming qualities.

Blofeld

What’s a list about villainous philosophies without a James Bond reference? Blofeld—the character who inspired Austin Powers‘ Dr. Evil—has been a thorn in Bond’s side in several James Bond books and movies. But all he really wants is, you guessed it, world domination. Part of his backstory is that he was hired by the Polish Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs and appointed to a sensitive communication position, which he used for buying and selling stocks at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Foreseeing WWII, he made copies of the top-secret information he was privy to and sold it for cash to Nazi Germany. This might sound like an extreme character backstory but we’re beyond the point in real life where there is a cap on how crazy things can get. So far, in the past four seasons of the United States, we’ve seen Russian election meddling, Trump’s attempts to force the Ukraine to dig up damaging information against a political rival, an impeachment where one side of the aisle refused to acknowledge facts, a literal virus being called a hoax, confirmation of UFOs, and so much more.

Goldfinger

Goldfinger—another popular Bond foe—was also the richest man in England. Not surprisingly, his money wasn’t traceable, and he didn’t pay taxes. His obsession with gold and acquiring as much of it as possible was the impetus for his dastardly deeds.

Cobra Commander

A fanatical leader who demands total loyalty and allegiance, Cobra Commander’s objective is to control the world’s governments and hoard as many resources as possible. His method of achieving his goals is to bring about chaos. Full stop.

Mayor Larry Vaughn

Mayor Larry Vaughn from Jaws technically wasn’t a villain, but he did ignore warnings from experts about the impending shark attacks that ended up costing the lives of several people. That makes him callous and complicit in the loss of human lives that could have been saved.

The Bugs From Starship Troopers

Chaos is the name of the game.

Voldemort and His Death Eaters

Social media is rife with comparisons of Trump and his administration to Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort and his sycophantic band of Death Eaters. Voldemort’s philosophy was to eradicate the world of muggles (non wizards or “half-bloods”). In other words, the entire Harry Potter series was a metaphor for how people treat people in real life when it comes to racism, classism, sexism, and all the other violent isms where the core philosophy is to get rid of people or at least make their lives harder simply for existing. The Death Eaters carried out Voldemort’s bidding no matter how bad things got as long as there was something in it for them.

 

Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor is actually the leader of the Legion of Doom. He is also rich, entitled, arrogant, and immoral. In the DC Universe, Luthor represents our fear of the rich and powerful. Luthor uses his influence and resources to further his goals no matter what it may cost others, and he always seems to escape prosecution. What’s also interesting about Luthor is that he donates to charity—not because he cares about people, but because he understands that public perception is important. Lex Luthor has a complex story arc in the DC Universe and at times can even be seen as an antihero.

Frank Booth

Frank Booth is deranged and capricious, and that is terrifying.

 

Buffalo Bill

If they really want to be committed to sociopathic rule, then they might as well go full-on Buffalo Bill. This Silence of the Lambs character took his disdain for women seriously by kidnapping them, murdering them, and making suits out of their skins.

Skeletor

This one’s a no-brainer, but imagine Trump with the added bonus of a Havoc Staff. A HAVOC STAFF!

President Snow

We’re about a month away from districts being declared. Get your cardio up.

Gordon Gekko

Self-explanatory.

 

Jack Torrance

Jack Torrance was not qualified to maintain the Overlook and ended up descending into madness as a result. It brought about his downfall.

Pennywise

Michael Myers

Jason Voorhees

Freddie Krueger

 
 

 

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