What’s Keeping Stephen King Up at Night?
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The prolific horror author is “terrified” of a Trump presidency
The monster hiding under Stephen King’s bed isn’t the terrifying clown from It, and it’s something the author finds far more fearsome than a deranged Jack Torrance. What pokes and prods at King from beneath his mattress is apparently Donald J. Trump. In a recent tweet the bestselling author said that Trump “is actually Cthulhu” and explained the Republican candidate’s “absurd hair” is a convenient cover for the tentacles.
King hasn’t shied away from expressing his contempt for Trump this election season. On Saturday at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, he appealed to his experience as a former English Teacher to explain why he saw a Trump Presidency as so disastrous:
“We live in a society where many believe that libraries and other cultural endeavours… are of minor importance. As if learning to think is a thing that just happens naturally, like learning to walk. Believe me, it’s not. Learning to think is the result of hard work and steady effort.”
King told the crowd that the diminishing importance of cultural institutions, such as libraries, has led to an “illiteracy or semi-literacy in a national population,” which makes it possible for candidates like Trump to have a real shot at becoming commander-in-chief.
King also pinpointed what he sees as one of Trump’s main campaign strategies: fear. “We’re afraid the government is going to take away our guns, we’re afraid that Mexico is going to invade the United States, we’re afraid of this, we’re afraid of that, we’re afraid of taxes, we’re afraid of transgender bathrooms — the whole thing.” King, the well known expert in the nuances of fear, said that frightening people was Trump’s way of keeping them from having a rational discussion.
King continues to fight his anxieties about national illiteracy by donating to small libraries, which was one of several reasons the National Book Festival was honoring him this past weekend.
However, come November, American libraries might need to look for a new benefactor, as King has threatened to move to Canada if Trump wins.