— Philip Roth
Context: 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. How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times! How quaint! But then what could I know in 1960 of 1963 or 1968 or 1974 or 2001 or 2016? … However prescient The Plot Against America might seem to you, there is surely one enormous difference between the political circumstances I invent there for the U. S. in 1940 and the political calamity that dismays us so today. It’s the difference in stature between a President Lindbergh and a President Trump. 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. … Trump, by comparison, is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac.
Comparing Charles Lindbergh's leadership of an "America First" movement with that of Donald Trump, in responses to being asked about foreseeing an America such as now exists in his earlier writings, including his alternate-history novel The Plot Against America (2004) where Lindbergh defeated FDR for the presidency in 1940, as quoted in "No Longer Writing, Philip Roth Still Has Plenty to Say" by Charles Mcgrath, in The New York Times (16 January 2018) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/books/review/philip-roth-interview.html