If you were looking for a liberal's thoughts on Donald Trump's immigration policy strung together with a plot, the September 12 episode of American Horror Story: Cult is just the show for you. If, however, you were looking for an entertaining horror story that won't preach at you for an hour, I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck. The episode "Don't be Afraid of the Dark" featured the show's main Trump supporter, Kai (Evan Peters), race-baiting and spreading the dreaded “fake news” in order to instill fear and gain power.
In last week's premiere, we saw Kai urinate into a condom and throw it at a group of migrant workers while mocking them, hoping they would retaliate. Retaliate they did and, while Kai was being beaten, his cohorts filmed it. This week, we find out the video was quickly spread as an example of a random act of violence perpetrated by illegal immigrants on a white man. Why? Because Kai wants to run for city council, and he needs to foment fear in order to win.
Newswoman: What started as a grotesque example of crime in a small Michigan town has taken an unexpected and political turn. It was a week ago today that local man Kai Anderson was badly beaten by migrant workers outside of a local hardware store. The attack was filmed by Meadow and Harrison Wilton and given exclusively to us here at Channel 7.
Harrison: The video doesn't even convey how awful it was. Oh, thank goodness for modern technology. I just hope it helps them convict those guys.
Newswoman: The attackers are being held in an ICE detention facility, while authorities decide whether to make them stand trial or to deport them immediately.
Kai: I'm disgusted and outraged. When President Trump called them criminals and rapists, he was viciously attacked by the PC police. I grew up in this town, and I remember when our communities were safe, but they're not anymore. Look at my face. Look at my face, Michigan! I'm done complaining. Which is why I'm here at City Hall picking up my paperwork so I can officially run for the seat on the city council that was made vacant by the tragic murder of Councilman Chang. Just vote Kai Anderson. Vote for the man who can take your fear away. They're out there.
While Trump did say that some murderers and rapists are entering the country illegally, the writers conveniently had Kai leave out the end of the sentence in which he said, “Some, I assume, are good people.” These crimes, of course, do happen, largely in sanctuary cities like Portland and San Francisco. Maybe creator Ryan Murphy hasn't heard about these cases, seeing as the liberal media barely reported on them (I tend to doubt he's a Fox News aficionado). Anything to advance the narrative, though.
Later in the show, Kai goes door-to-door campaigning for the city council seat. He knocks on the door of Cult's main characters, lesbian couple Ally (Sarah Paulson) and Ivy (Alison Pill). While he is, at first, confused as to how to address Ally, saying "Hello, ma'am. Miss. I never know what's right. Everything seems to offend nowadays," he quickly gets down to business.
Kai: You need to give a humiliated man some way to redeem himself in his own eyes, or else he's at risk to be drawn into darkness. Like Germany after World War I. May I come in and speak to you about some of my ideas?
Ally: No. No, you cannot.
Kai: When was the last time you felt really safe? Like, can you remember when you weren't scared all the time?
Ally: I'm sorry, um... What does that have to do with you running for city council?
Kai: Did you know that you are 40% more likely to be the victim of a violent crime committed at the hands of an illegal immigrant, and that the murder and rape rates are the highest they've ever been?
Ally: That-that's not true-- those numbers don't seem right to me. Where are you getting your information from?
Ally: Facebook. Okay, well, you might want to recheck the veracity.
Kai: There are no political parties anymore, ma'am. It's just-- miss-- it's just them and you and the people like me who are willing to stand between you.
Ally: I am interested in reaching out to people, making contact with other human beings, building bridges, not walls.
Kai: What's that behind your back? This door is new. Strong. Why would you need a strong door like this? Bars in the windows? Why would you need a knife to answer the door? Are you gonna melt all this metal down and build a bridge?
So, we have a blue-haired man standing on the doorstep spouting the fake news he got on Facebook acting crazy and - guess what - he's a liberal caricature of a Trump supporter. The one who wants to build bridges and connect with people, equally as predictably, finds Trump to be abhorrent (you may recall that, in last week's episode, Ally compared his election to 9/11). The only thing Kai has going for him is fear. He doesn't have facts, he doesn't have the truth, he doesn't even have an accurate representation of what Donald Trump said in his announcement speech. So, he's going to go door-to-door trying to make the constituents feel unsafe enough that they will vote for him out of that fear.
I would surmise this is how the show's creator Ryan Murphy thinks Donald Trump got elected. If he thinks Trump won on fear, what is he doing when he puts in lines such as “It's scary to be brown these days” or "The world is fucked up and the election made it worse?"
He is also playing to fear, only it's the fear that he shares, the fear that he wants viewers to share as well. Then again, who knows how to use fear better than the man who created American Horror Story?