How Breaking Bad Foreshadowed Trump

Ostensibly evil, White can also be seen as providing catharsis: a radical therapy. His words are mild, but his deeds tear asunder one politically correct temple after another, leaving them in ruins. Even White’s signature product, his 99.1 percent pure blue meth, and the show’s ever-present luminous green suggest a kind of detergent, a toxic agent dealing death both to the poisoners and the poisoned and thereby cleansing the earth.

.. In the final season of Breaking Bad, Walter White has to rely on neo-Nazis to kill on his behalf. And whenever we see Mexico in Breaking Bad, it is a land of murderous drug pushers who worship the Santa Muerte. Everyone else in Breaking Bad is white, and, because of his chemotherapy, White himself is literally a skinhead.

.. Trump is best understood as a man of the 1980s, and much about him recalls that bygone era: the décor of his buildings, his 1986 deal to buy Mar-a-Lago, his best-selling 1987 book The Art of the Deal, and his bouffant hairstyle. Fast-forward to 2017 and Trump’s guiding principle appears to be resetting the clock back to the Reagan era:

.. Like Walter White, Trump has imported into an elite social universe a dose of desperation from the other side of the tracks. That is their common appeal, which Cranston has spotted.

.. Something must be done. If it isn’t done quickly, even Trump may be given short shrift. And his successor would surely promise more-radical solutions. Trump’s election, then, may mark not the end but the beginning of a protracted period of upheaval.