We were talking earlier this week about how eerily Trump’s campaign and even general persona seem to mirror those of Parks and Recreation’s Bobby Newport. Apologies to everyone who yelled at me for trying to ruin one of our most beloved shows, but we have to dive into this even deeper.
Turn back now if you want to keep your mind free of connections between Cheeto toupee trash and our favorite Lord of the Dance, Paul Rudd.
According to the show’s creator, Mike Schur, those parallels weren’t soothsaying, so much as tapping into what Courtney wrote about this week— that these encounters between competent women and angry man-children are nothing new.
It's how ignorant bullies have been "debating" smart women for a very long time. https://t.co/eHy7WBMyqI— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) September 27, 2016
As Schur told Vanity Fair,
Leslie Knope was intelligent, hard-working, wonky, supremely qualified, and not particularly skilled at public appearances, so we just made her opponent the exact opposite—rich, ignorant, entitled, telegenic, and thoroughly uninterested in the actual work. We wanted to give her the most up-hill battle we could, and in politics, that frequently involves a person who is right for the job struggling to defeat a person who is more famous or charismatic, or just has more money.
Schur also notes that a lot of what makes Trump tick is the same entitlement we see in Bobby Newport, but minus all affability. Because “Bobby wasn’t evil, really, he just kind of felt like he should have whatever he desires.”
The character was never going to be as evil as Trump, because, as Schur puts it, “Well, it was a comedy show, and a person with a blackened, rotting soul isn’t much fun to write for.”
Blackened soul or Paul Rudd adorable, ANY woman will tell NOT ALL MEN, the traits they share are absolutely nothing new.
We wanted to put on display what women in this country have known for a very long time: men will just talk over you, brush you aside, or dismiss you and your ideas as unworthy, and then plough ahead and do whatever they want. That’s not just in politics—that’s the business world, and sports journalism, and every other institution in America, with very few exceptions. Women are very used to making solid, considered arguments and men just kind of going “yeah yeah yeah, thanks, sweetheart, I’ll take it from here.” That is Trump’s attitude in a nutshell.