Gabriel Bell in Salon:
Asked to draw parallels between his fictional narrative of a fascist, anti-Semitic uprising on American soil, Roth said, "Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism, but he was also — because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25 — an authentic American hero 13 years before I have him winning the presidency." He add that actual, real 2018 president Donald Trump is, by comparison, "a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac." It's about as good a summation of what our current commander in chief represents as you'll get.
Roth, when asked if he could have predicted today's political and cultural landscape responds that, "No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today. No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as “the worship of jackals by jackasses”) could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U.S.A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon." He adds, "How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times! How quaint!"