Pity poor Trump. Evil is loose in the land, and has found home and voice in Donald Trump. His appeal to the worst within us, and to some extent, the worst among us, should be obvious to anyone of moderate intelligence, with the exception of those who, due to legitimate economic grievances, have set aside critical acumen, objective judgment, and moral principle, to rally around Trump’s notoriety, emotional tirades, colossal ego, and empty promises to redress their grievances.
Understanding Trump, and a great many of those who support him, requires understanding one’s own temperament, character, ethics, and intellect. It also requires objective observation of his temperament, character, ethics, and intellect, as revealed by his history, recent actions, and the nature and veracity of his pronouncements.
Who among us can claim to be entirely free of the darker angels of being---ego, envy, avarice, ambition, deceit, hate, and vengeance? The capacity for them exists in everyone to some degree. Just as surely, the capacity for their opposite exists in everyone---empathy, humility, praise, generosity, honesty, love and forgiveness. An equitable, beneficent, peaceful, secure society, and government, will depend on the degree to which we oppose and subdue the darker angels of our own being, and amplify the better ones.
Pity poor Trump. He has not been blessed with much intellect, has acquired only limited knowledge, has little predilection for ethics or morality, and has virtually no capacity for introspection. Instead, he has been shaped by four primary lusts; lust for wealth, lust for fame, lust for power, and lust for vengeance. Nothing need be said here about misogyny and lust for sexual gratification.
Pity poor Trump. His lust for wealth is undeniable. He was a privileged child from birth. As a youth, he inherited a small fortune from a father who acquired much of it by dubious means. He has since pursued wealth and luxury with dogged intensity, and little apparent concern for those impoverished by his greed, numerous business failures, and corporate bankruptcies. He has methodically exaggerated his successes, and cloaked his failures in secrecy and dissimulation, including his tax obligations.
Pity poor Trump. His lust for notoriety and fame is equally undeniable. His pathological desire to write his name large on everything he touches has been constant throughout his life. His eagerness to see his face and name in print, on television, and the internet is insatiable. His brags and boasts, his posturing, his self-adulation, are beyond Narcissistic. They are eerily similar to medical descriptions of a sociopath.
Pity poor Trump. His lust for power has no constraint. In all his business activities he has sought, usually acquired, and callously exercised unilateral, individual power. He did so during his “reality television” career as a powerful executive whose only memorable line was “you’re fired,” as he disposed of supplicants posing as apprentices. His use of presidential power is increasingly unorthodox, unprecedented, and unilateral.
Pity poor Trump. His lust for vengeance is ever present as he publicly attacks, degrades, and denigrates those who oppose, or criticize him, or refuse to subordinate themselves to his wishes. Nor is he above destroying them by surreptitious means. His vengeance and anger are not limited to individuals, but are often directed toward large classes of people, including nations and races that do not meet his favor.
As I’ve written before, Trump, deep in his being, perhaps even below his awareness, does not wish to be, president of a republic, and a servant of the people. He lusts to be commander of a vast people whose grievances are such that they can be incited to hate and fear others unlike themselves. People who can be induced to distrust all existing institutions, and to blindly follow any demagogue who promises them preference and privilege. He wants to be that demagogue. He wants the power reward or punish people to suit his whims. He wants the power to crush and destroy those who do not submit to his blandishment and dictates.
There is nothing, that such people will not do to feed their insatiable desire for self aggrandizement, notoriety, wealth, and power. History is replete with examples of the social and physical carnage that such people cause if they once get their hands on unilateral power, Hitler being the most notable example in the past century. They simply cannot help it. It is in their bones. They see everything they do as good, as right, as justified. Any opposition they see as evil, intent on destroying them.
There is no cure for the epidemic of hate and fear Trump has aroused in a substantial part of people, other than a massive uprising of empathy, generosity, civility and love among those not yet infected----an uprising powerful enough to embrace and engulf those whose grievances, hate and fear cause them to follow Trump---powerful enough to arouse in them the better angels of their nature, and ameliorate their legitimate grievances. To fear or hate Trump and his followers is merely fuel on the fire, for fear and hate is the basis of their power.
His call to “make America great again” rings hollow. The kind of greatness he admires is the kind that led us to ruthlessly decimated native Americans people, import and enslave millions of people of color, suborn and exploit generations of women, to make war on the Vietnamese, and presently causes us to commit atrocities secreted within the CIA and other covert government entities. This is not the kind of greatness we should wish to see in this nation.
The greatness we should wish to see would be based on morality, virtue, equity and principle--— the very things that Trump has subordinated to his lusts. It is the kind of greatness that this nation has always professed, has often reached for, but has never fully realized.
Is it not better to pity rather than hate someone like Trump who’s lust for fame, wealth, luxury, and power has devoured the better angels of his being? Is it not better to have empathy for those with legitimate economic grievances that make them susceptible to his blandishments? Is it not better to do everything possible to redress the obscene mal-distribution of power and wealth that is now tearing this nation apart? Is it not better to oppose the darker angels of all beings by curbing them in ourselves, releasing our better angels, and appealing to the better angels that exist in everyone?
Oppose him in every non-violent, ethical way. Remove him from office as soon as possible. Laugh at him when you can. But Pity Poor Trump, for he knows no better.