Does life imitate art; or does art imitate life? That is very much an open question. Is the story of Don Quixote a description of life or a prescription for life? Truth is to be found on both sides of the issue. Cervantes’ novel is a telling commentary on human nature. How much of our lives do we spend cultivating delusions? Who has never tilted at a windmill?
Is Donald Trump a good example of the Don Quixote Complex? Certainly the two men share much in common. Both of them have raised narcissism, paranoia, and delusion to a fine art. Quixote and Trump have created their own private universes from which they peek out at the world. Fact and truth have been surrendered to illusion and fantasy. Quixote viewed windmills as giants to be slain. Trump’s giants are Clinton, Comey, Mueller, the House of Representatives, and The New York Times. Don Quixote had his personal sidekick, Sancho Panza. Donald Trump has his trusted attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Both Quixote and Trump share in having romantic dreams. Quixote dreamed of becoming a knight on a quest to revive chivalry. Trump’s dream is to emulate his hero, Vladimir Putin.
No matter how beautiful our delusions, sooner or later they all come crashing down. Don Quixote’s moment of truth came when he realized he was not really a knight errant. Trump’s awakening is unfolding before our eyes as a result of his extorting or “shaking down” Ukraine’s President when he requested a favor, finding “dirt” on Biden and his son. Don Quixote has already come face-to-face with his fate. Trump’s obituary (impeachment) is still being written in the halls of Congress.