As the 2016 campaign has been heating up and the insults are flying fast and furiously, I've been seeing it more and more like the traditional fairy tales, where an underdog battles the forces of evil and ultimately prevails. In this case the victory would be winning the race and being crowned king or queen - whoops, President - for the next four years. And usually the villain is an evil king or queen, or some much feared dangerous predator, such as a wily wolf.
Now what seems like an especially fitting way to describe the events of the last few days is the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf - now called the Big Bad Trump. As is well known, the basic story is that an innocent girl walking through the woods is tricked by the evil wolf to tell him where she is going. Then, he jumps into her bed and poses as her grandmother, so he can eat her, but she escapes, and goodbye, big bad wolf. Some commenters on the story have seen the underlying message as an attempt at sexual seduction, where a potential victim escapes. But putting that idea aside, this seems like a great parable for what is happening in today's political campaign.
In this case, the original story comes from a European fairy tale dating back to the 10th century, where it was told by French peasants and later by Italian peasants. Eventually, it was published in 1697 by Charles Perrault and later by the Grimm Brothers in 1812. Some of this additional detail on the story is especially relevant for the modern-day political drama.
In brief, once upon a time there was a little girl, who was loved by everyone, especially by her grandmother, who gave her a little red riding hood, which led her to be called Little Red Riding Hood. Today, perhaps think of grandma being like the Democratic Party giving Hillary Clinton her mantle to run. Then, one day, Little Red's mother gave her some cake and a bottle of wine to take to her ill grandmother, so she would feel better, much like the DNC chair gave Hillary lots of money to help the party recover its mojo and obtain victory.
But, as the story goes, Little Red met the wolf along the way, who enticed her to tell him where she was going, since he was eager to eat up both Little Red and her grandmother, just as one time, Donald Trump gave money to the Democratic Party and hosted Hillary and husband Bill at his 2005 wedding to Melania Knauss, his third wife, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. So just like the wolf seemed to be a great friend as he accompanied Little Red through the woods and invited her to listen to the birds and pick flowers, while he ran to her grandmother's house, Trump seemed to be a great supporter of the Clinton's - that is, until he decided to run against her.
Think of his decision to run against her as a little like the wolf devouring Little Red's grandmother and getting in her bed, pretending to be grandma, with her cap pulled down over his face. Then, when Little Red notices that her grandmother looks very strange, asking "What a deep voice you have...what big ears you have...what big eye you have..." concluding with "what big hands you have" and "what a big mouth you have," the wolf always has a ready answer just like Trump. No matter the question, the wolf or Trump has an answer, which ends with the final answer: "All the better to eat you with!" After that the wolf/Trump pounces and eats her up. So you might think the wolf has finally won.
But then along comes a passing huntsman, who hears the wolf, who has just fallen asleep and is snoring after his tasty meal. So the hunter goes to check on grandma, sees the wolf in bed, cuts open his stomach, and out pops Little Red and grandma. Then, they all fetch big stones, fill up the wolf's belly, and when he gets up and tries to run away, the stones are so heavy that he falls down dead. Afterwards, the huntsman goes home with the wolf's skin as a trophy, the grandmother eats the cake and the wine, and Little Red goes home determined to never leave the path by herself.
The ending of the story is the perfect parable to what may happen today. So who's the huntsman? Well, it could be any of the Republicans who are going after Trump, so they can get rid of him - from Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich to Romney and the big Establishment donors. After they are finished carving up the Big Bad Trump so his campaign collapses, they can at least feel happy they have succeeded in taking down their big game trophy. At the same time, they have left the path clear, so the DNC can now enjoy the fruits of success, as Little Red goes back on the path to victory, now that the Big Bad Trump is gone. And the other Republicans who have hunted Trump down have gone away, too - this time because they are so weakened by fighting each other that they need more time to get their next hunting party together for a future hunt.
Gini Graham Scott, PhD, writes frequently about social trends and everyday life. She is the author of over 50 books with major publishers and has published 30 books through her company Changemakers Publishing and Writing. She writes books and proposals for clients and has written and produced over 50 short videos through Changemakers Productions and is a partner in a service that connects writers to publishers, agents, and the film industry. Her latest books are Scammed, Lies and Liars: How and Why Sociopaths Lie and How to Detect and Deal With Them, and The New Middle Ages: How the Growing Inequalities Between Rich and Poor Threaten Our Way of Life.