//The strategist who could have put Hillary in power: Christopher Shinn on his play The Narcissist

The strategist who could have put Hillary in power: Christopher Shinn on his play The Narcissist

Continuing our Future Plays series, the writer introduces an extract from his unstaged script about a disillusioned ex-Clinton adviser navigating the slow-motion apocalypse of US politics

The Narcissist takes place in 2017, a year after Donald Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton. Jim, one of Clinton’s former campaign strategists, has left politics, disillusioned after his warnings that Trump could win were ignored. At the start of the play, he is at a fundraiser for a prominent female senator who is in the early stages of planning a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination. She has her aide arrange for Jim to meet her in the penthouse kitchen for a few minutes, as she’s heard rumours that his 2016 advice, had it been heeded, would have led to a Democratic victory.

I wrote The Narcissist in order to explore what is happening in the American psyche. It is a kind of loose sequel to my 2008 play Now or Later, in which a centrist Democrat took power just as nascent resentments on the right and left were beginning to intensify. Twelve years later, these resentments are the mainstream of American politics, and we are living in a kind of slow-motion apocalypse. But the centre-left establishment still struggles to integrate this cultural development into its conception of the country.

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Read more: theguardian.com