On this frigid January humpday, ophthalmologist and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul took to his Facebook to draw an important comparison between Donald Trump and Gollum, the bipolar monster from The Lord of the Rings who coined the term “my precious.” Which, to be fair, sounds a lot like “Make America great again!”
In “Electing Gollum Should NOT Be Our Objective,” the title of his Facebook post and also something a schizophrenic person would say, Rand compares the Republican party’s leading candidate to the worst thing he can think of off the top of his head that might resonate with millennials:
One candidate on this national stage wants you to give him power. He tells you he is rich, so he must be smart.
If you give him power he claims he will fix America, but there is another tradition in America. A tradition that believes that power corrupts, and that our goal should be not to gain power but to contain power or limit Presidential power. Our founding fathers feared centralization of power.
They wrote the constitution to restrain the accumulation of power by the government. Trump is ignorant of this tradition, or worse yet, he is overtly opposed to the limited government tradition.
This race should not be about who can grasp the ring. Electing Gollum should not be our objective. This race should be about which candidate will best protect you from an overbearing government.
I am the only one on this national stage who really doesn’t want power or dominion over you. I want to set you free, I want to leave you alone, and I want a government so small you can barely see it.
Rand “Doesn’t Really Want Power” Paul has made a valuable point here, which I’d like to meaningfully expand upon. Below is a full list of presidential candidates as characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Rand Paul as Aragorn, the heir of Isildur and the rightful king of Gondor. There is no doubt in my mind that Rand considers himself to be Aragorn, a reluctant but fearless and sexy leader who eventually gets to be in charge of everyone. Let me be absolutely clear: Rand Paul is not Aragorn, at all; Rand Paul is an extra who gets shot by an arrow or something. But because his thoughts and feelings provided the impetus for this blog post, I’ll give him this.
Chris Christie as Gimli Son of Glóin, a dwarf of the Lonely Mountain. Hot-headed, stocky, wholly irrelevant; this is honestly the most obvious thing that has ever happened in the history of comparing presidential candidates to Lord of the Rings characters.
Carly Fiorina as one of the Nazgûl, Servants of the Enemy. I mean, hello! Sorry!
Ben Carson as an Ent, if there were bad Ents. The Ents are the best characters in LOTR, and it really pains me to give Dr. Ben Carson the satisfaction of comparing him to a really cool wise tree who can take a joke. But since both talk and move and react at the pace of a slightly alive rock, this seems apt.
Marco Rubio as Theoden, the brainwashed King of Rohan. Marco is canned and lifeless, an establishment favorite who basically has the Koch brothers—AKA Wormtongue!—whispering in his ear.
Jeb Bush as Boromir Son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor. Boromir has daddy issues and brother issues and confidence issues, just like Jeb! He succumbs to the temptation of The Ring and tries to kill Frodo but eventually dies an honorable death, which is really the best we can hope for in terms of Jeb’s political career.
John Kasich and Jim Gilmore as Merry and Pippin. Merry and Pippin are Frodo’s fun stoner hobbit pals who are are thoroughly likable, unlike John Kasich and Jim Gilmore. But I couldn’t remember their names, which did remind me of John Kasich and Jim Gilmore, whose names I also couldn’t remember.
Mike Huckabee as Sauron, a disembodied evil spirit taking the form of a fiery and sort of vaginal eye. “Sauron was become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.” -The Silmarillion.
Ted Cruz as Saruman the White. Saruman is learned as hell and used to be a big deal wizard, but eventually sides with Sauron because he wants that ring. I guess in this analogy Ted Cruz was always aligned with the dark side, but he did go to two Ivy League schools.
Bernie Sanders as Bilbo Baggins. I will allow that Bernie has his shit a little bit more together than Bilbo, but he is a very stubborn 74-year-old, so this seemed like the best option.
Martin O’Malley as Legolas Son of Thranduil, king of the Mirkwood elves. Martin O’Malley is so much like Legolas. He’s hot in a boring, elvish kind of way, and I can’t remember any of his lines.
Hillary Clinton as Gandalf the Grey. I know this feels wrong, but hear me out—Gandalf was out of the game for a while, and then came back all shiny and new with different hair, 100% ready to do battle with the forces of evil. Sound familiar?!?
No one is Frodo. No one is Sam. Is Arwen on this list? I don’t think so! We’re on a long, dark trek to Mordor, people, and there’s not a hero in sight. In fact, you can feasibly make the argument that every single person running for president is a tricksy, sub-human power freak—that every single person running for president, including Dr. Rand Paul himself, is really just another slightly less damp incarnation of Gollum.
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Image via New Line Cinema; photoshop by Bobby Finger.