Stephen King doesn’t just write novels and short stories – he has also recently written a piece for The Guardian, where he outlines the similarities between U.S. President Donald Trump and two characters from his popular books. While the books were written some time ago, in the article he talks about the political rise of the 45th POTUS while making clear comparisons between Trump and two strikingly similar and insidious characters from his novels. He said such men rise to power first and foremost as a joke.

‘The Dead Zone’ and Greg Stillson

The first that came to King’s mind was the character Greg Stillson in the novel “The Dead Zone.” He described Stillson as being a “door-to-door salesman” who has the gift of the gab and a “ready wit.” Stillson also has the common touch with the people.

In the story, many people laugh with scorn at Stillson’s political leanings, but the man still manages to get elected as mayor of a small New England town and ends up winning a seat in the House of Representatives.

A character in the novel who has precognitive abilities recognizes something terrible when he shakes Stillson’s hands. That character saw that the man would “laugh and joke” himself right into the White House, where he would then start World War Three. You can watch that scene in the excerpt from the movie version of "The Dead Zone" here.

‘Under the Dome’ and Big Jim Rennie

The second comparison came from “Under the Dome,” a science fiction novel written by King. In that book (and a TV series that followed) a character called Big Jim Rennie comes to mind.

Rennie started life as a car salesman who managed to rise to power in the town.

King describes the character as a crook and a sociopath with a folksy attitude that people could relate to. Turns out Rennie is the worst possible choice to handle a bad situation during a time of crisis (when a huge dome totally encompasses the town) and is described by King as being incompetent at his best and malevolent at his worst.

As mentioned by Mashable, even though both novels were written several years ago – before Trump was even a twinkle in the electorate eye – King says that both Stillson and Rennie bear a distinct resemblance to the current U.S.


In fact, he says there is enough of a resemblance for him to believe he has a pretty good understanding of just how this type of man can rise to power – first as a joke and second as an “viable” alternative to the current status quo – ending with leaders who are self-centered, headstrong and totally lacking in experience. He went on to say that this type of man does not often manage to get into such lofty positions, but when they do it always leads to troubled times.