“What is it like to be”……Trump?

The soon to be ex President of the USA represents everything that is wrong with our species and yet what must it be like to live inside that shell of violent emotion? We should pity the man and people like him.

It is not easy to live your life in a manner which promotes the best interests of our planet if inside you seethe with emotions such as rage, hatred and anger. Perhaps Mr Trump also suffers from other unfortunate qualia. Lust perhaps, envy? Who knows.

We are in a position to know what it is like to be Trump since we share with him the whole range of human emotion and feeling. Most of us will at times have felt all of these destructive sensations and yet the happiest among us have probably mastered the art of balance. We have learnt that the capital vices are good for neither ourselves nor those around us.

Mr Trump and his 88 million Twitter followers are therefore people to be pitied and helped rather than despised and derided. On the spectrum of what is normal, many of them will veer far off that scale. If you define normal as a person who is occasionally taken with one or other “deadly sin”, but is able to live mostly a quiet and pleasant life without falling prey to such emotions, then you probably have a fairly good definition of normal.

Mr Trump and his followers are not, by this definition, normal. Not, at least, in terms of modern normality. Perhaps back in the days of the Vikings or the Goths, Mr Trump would have been considered “normal” and his attitudes applauded.

Let us be frank – Mr Trump is not alone in his condition, even in the 21st Century. But hopefully the majority of us see the sad and damaging pointlessness of hating blacks, or gays or anybody else. Perhaps most of us have come to understand the damage which unbridled lust, or greed causes.

Not so Mr Trump, it seems.

What is to be done then? With people like Trump? In an ideal world as such people age, they would seek and hopefully find some sort of enlightenment. They would realize that even if there is no objective right or wrong in a universe indifferent to suffering, it makes for a better existence to behave as if there were such standards.

Trump can not be a happy man. He can not be the sort of person who looks in the mirror and feels content. It may be fair to assume from the angry expression so often on his face, from his body language and above all by his extreme and violent views, that he is a deeply unhappy man.

And for that I pity him. God knows I have felt enough unhappiness in my life to understand how difficult it is to be happy though human.

There have been so many others like Trump throughout our unfortunate history – some more successful in their attempts to wreak havoc, some less so.

If Trump had the self awareness, the balance to choose his behavior, would he change his ways? Would he seek calm and peace and slough off violence, greed and hatred?

Unaided, perhaps not. The fault is not altogether his. All species on earth have evolved with one aim – to survive by any means possible. While some would prefer not to survive if it means committing atrocities, some are still saddled with the savage drive natural selection has bestowed upon them.

The seven deadly sins are in some of us endogenous, so securely implanted that we will never defeat them unaided. Those people see nothing wrong in such urges and are happy to give them full expression.

More enlightened (and luckier) individuals over the ages have preached peace and decency. They have been largely unheard but their voices continue to provide reason and balm in a hostile and dangerous world.

Unfortunately, the likes of Trump are most unlikely to see the error of their ways. They suffer. they are not happy people.

All we can do is to try to convince such individuals that their behavior damages our world as well as themselves and will eventually destroy us.

75 Comments

      1. Yes, I don’t think the man can help himself. Nonetheless for the sake of the US and the rest of the world he needs to be put somewhere he can do no more harm. Thank you for your comment. A

        Liked by 6 people

      2. You are very welcome, Anthony. Thank you for publishing your post. It is very timely indeed.

        Speaking of folks like Trump and his supporters with respect to critical thinking and many other complex behavioural, sociocultural and political issues, I have recently published a very detailed post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/misquotation-pandemic-and-disinformation-polemic-mind-pollution-by-viral-falsity/

        I would be delighted if you could kindly submit your comment to my said article, as I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of it regarding the increasingly pressing issues that many of us are facing.

        By the way, I would like to wish you a very happy New Year. May you find 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and blogging!

        Liked by 4 people

  1. It’s hard to remember, especially this week, that Trump is a product of his genetics and life experiences. Had any of us been born with those genetics and had those experiences, we would be him, as unpleasant as that is to think about. Also hard is to remember the same thing about his supporters.

    Still, we are stuck living in this world, and such people have to be held responsible for their decisions.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. They must indeed be held responsible for their actions. Without the rule of law, we are mere savages. But what rule of law? Imagine if Trump’s coup were to succeed: what would the rule of law look like then?

      For the good of your country and the rest of the world, I hope the transition of power goes smoothly and that Trump is sidelined to some place he can do no further harm.

      While my post was not intended to be political, I have none the less been deeply shocked by what has happened over there. And saddened.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It’s been a rough week. I haven’t posted on this because every time I try, it comes out as a rant, and I don’t like to rant. I just hope getting this very disturbed man off the stage allows us to move forward.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I can quite understand your position. It was almost this sort of (understandable) reaction which prompted me to write the post. It probably helps that I am a foreigner and not so closely involved. I have thought about Trump long and hard over the past four years and he has exasperated me. At the same time I have had to deal with a man in this country who has many of Trump’s failings. I have come to the conclusion that such people are simply “unaware”. Unenlightened. They have no gift for introspection since they are so strongly governed by their unfortunate in-built and instinctive drives. I eventually came to the conclusion that while they have to be put in a place they can do no harm, they are nonetheless to be pitied.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. On the one hand, I really want to hate this. Really. I want to have it be black and white, because he is a horror show of a human and because he has done remarkable damage. But he is so pitiable. He needs to be in prison: people must be held accountable for the choices they make, even if they have bad teachers. But it has been evident for a long time that he is painfully insecure. His desperation is at times uncomfortable. For that, I do feel sorry for him, despite my current anger.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I understand your position. It is all to easy to “hate” Trump but that would be to fail in the same way he has failed as a human being. And yes, he needs to be brought to justice. A society in which such men go unchallenged disintegrates into chaos and horror.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. The Oxford American Dictionary defines ‘pity’ as
    1 the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes.
    2 a cause for regret or disappointment.

    I can’t feel the first for Trump. Also, ‘regret’ and ‘disappointment’ do not describe my feeling for him.

    Personally I am disgusted by his narcissistic behavior. He seems to have caused harm in almost everything he has done. He doesn’t care about America or the world. All he cares about is himself.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I understand where you are coming from Ron. His behavior has been extreme and extremely unfortunate. It is just that I feel we humans are the way we are. Some of us seem to be able to reflect on our behavior and amend it, others do not. Trump is clearly the latter. I pity him because i do not suppose he has led a pleasant or satisfying life. That sort of behavior has undoubtedly impinged on the quality of his life and not for the better.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. He has a severe form of narcissistic personality disorder, and possibly other mental issues. NPD is one of the dark triad (NPD, psychopathy/sociopathy, machiavellianism) which is characterized by a fairly complete lack of empathy. Its hard for someone with empathy to imagine what its like to lack it. Someone with NPD once described themselves to me as “not human” and needing to study and copy “normal” behaviour because they did not understand it. For a person with NPD, it is overwhelmingly important to feel fabulous and think they are the best, most intelligent, etc etc. So they are almost totally resistant to treatment, and the best strategy is to ignore them and minimize interaction. Unfortunately, a cult involving substantial proportion of Americans seems to have formed around Trump, and be completely resistant to any evidence of his nature and behaviour. Likely he will probably continue to foment trouble. And the damage to democracy from his convincing many millions that the election was fraudulent may be long-lasting.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. A wonderful diagnosis and thank you. If human behavior was to be plotted on a Gaussian distributions, Trump would undoubtedly be placed in the tail. He is a damaging and dangerous man; imagine what would have happened had he been re-elected.

      I still pity him though as I pity anybody born with an unpleasant aspect to their life which they can not change. My depression may not be as damaging as Trumps narcissism none the less it is an involuntary endogenous part of me that i am unable to change. Perhaps Trump’s personality disorder comes within the same category.

      Perhaps he can not “change his mind” in the same way that I am unable to.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. For me, he is the epitome of all that is rank with humanity.

    He is all seven deadly sins, and each one rolls out like a tombola/lotto ball whenever the wind turns.

    As individuals we mature and evolve over time and wisdom provides nudges for us to change our ways to become nicer people.

    He has none of this. Is this because he has mental health issues? Is it because he is a materialist reductionist? Is it because he is a narcissistic megalomaniac? The answer is probably yes to all of these and many more questions too.

    Irrespective, he should be put to task for what happened this week. He warped the mind of individuals and five people lost their lives as a result.

    Forgivable? Not a chance, through the book at him and the Republican Party for putting someone so awful in the position in the first place.

    Here’s hoping Joe pops his clogs soon (no offence) and the US has a black, African Asian American Female in charge, that really could change the whole world for the better.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes indeed. Perhaps most people are lucky enough to have the gift of being able to change, and he has not been so gifted. He should indeed be brought to justice. I still feel sorry for the guy though – it can not be pleasant to be Trump and I still say it is very probably not his fault – just the genetic lottery. Or is that too naïve? “A black, African Asian American Female in charge” – yes, I like that idea. I can’t help thinking that one the whole women are nicer people than men.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree, and I think the original moniker of Mother Earth is a nod to that notion.

        As for feeling sorry for Trump due to unlucky genetics I’m not so sure. I recently watched the Peter Sutcliffe mini series on Netflix, and although an introverted character when he was younger, I didn’t once feel sorry for him on a genetic level for the devastation he left behind, the same could be said for Trump.

        But even monsters are teachers, showing the world what not to be like.

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Hi, Anthony.
    I agree that Trump has some serious personality disorders, particularly his misogyny and narcissism to a pathological degree. However, i differ with most assessments that he is a racist, homophobe or hateful man. (See https://capost2k.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/trump-does-the-unthinkable/.)
    He IS to be pitied in that his attitude that he can never do anything wrong has often plays into the hands of his antagonists. For example, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by impeaching him before nine more days have passed, other than to salve the hatred of those who still do not want to believe he won the 2016 election, e.g. Pelosi.
    He will be 78 in 2024, the same age as Biden is (now becoming President). And the portending fiasco of having an octogenarian president will play out and exclude him or any others of his age from being elected again.
    He has done more for the advantages of African-Americans in the US than any president since Lyndon Johnson. He has elevated conservatives to courts to reinvigorate a Constitutional originalism that liberals seriously lack, legislating from the bench. He has stood by Israel in ways that made Obama probably lose sleep … as he should have for the shameful way he treated our best ally in the mid-east.
    Most of his anger stems from his narcissism and fear that people opposing him oppose his ideas. He was a very poor president in many ways, but like a mixed bag of nuts, very good in others.
    I deeply appreciate that your blog was written with some sense of identification with unhappy men, as we have likely all been there or more near than we cared to be, at some point in our lives. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” and I seriously doubt anyone in our congress could pick up a rock. I know I could not.
    (See also my latest guest blog by Dennis Prager with particular attention to my note at the end of it.) Have a good week, my friend.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I am totally opposed to hatred. Which is why I try to pity Trump rather than hate him or express hatred against him. People are born the way they are, and it is remarkably difficult to change – or I have found it so in any event.

      Yes, you are right, whatever his record he is a mere man sharing a very difficult life. I can not condemn him, nor should I. But I do believe he represents a danger to us all in terms of security and I shall be glad to see him gone.

      To be honest with you, I hope he finds some peace in his life.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Yes Trump somehow needs to be stifled for the sake of humanity. However the real focus must be to consider the reasons that so many people follow him. Trump like any dictator has tapped into the raw fears and frustrations of a section of the population who feel, for their own reasons, marginalised or disenfranchised. There are many of these groups in all societies. Trump has picked out a grouping that are prepared to voice their frustrations through bullying and extreme antisocial actions and he is more than happy to fuel them for his own ends. The reasons for all inequalities in society must be addressed by governments. We know what they are and strategies need to be put in place to rectify them. Lack of opportunity, poverty, victims of oppression, poor education, ignorance, hate speech, religious differences, imperialism, exploitation and the list goes on. The major problem is that most western governments are subscribers to neoliberalism. All the time that the social agenda is dictated to by those who seek simply to amass huge wealth and power for a very small percentage of the population of the planet it is very difficult to combat the very real issues faced by ordinary people. There must be some kind of new way forward that everyone can subscribe to. At the moment the very wealthy are running riot across the planet.
    Where are all the thinkers when we need them?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. What a stunning comment and thank you. You reflect exactly the way I feel about human society in the 21st Century. Until we achieve a just post scarcity world where equality replaces the appaling system we have at present, nothing will change and rabble rousers like Trump will continue to attract followers. We live in an unjust, cruel, dog eat dog world where competition is glorified and decency and compassion have little place.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Dear Mick J Scott,
      I am one of the thinkers and I have offered my share of intellectual contribution to humanity in the form of a very long and analytically detailed post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/misquotation-pandemic-and-disinformation-polemic-mind-pollution-by-viral-falsity/

      You are very welcome to see and join the conversation between Anthony and myself at the comment section of the said post.

      Dear Anthony,
      Thank you for your excellent comment, to which I have replied with a bespoke comment. I would like to inform you that I have recently expanded this comment and now it is about 1000 words in length.

      The ending of the post itself has also been extended by five or six more paragraphs.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Anthony the pen is mightier than the sword 💫💫💫 thank you for precisely what needed to be written. All the comments section is also a mixture of intelligence of blogging experts. 💯💯💯💯💯💯

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Not taking issue with your views on Trump, but I have been and continue to be distressed by some of my friends who have Trump living, rent-free, in their heads. If one is constantly thinking of a hated figure, what does this do to one’s own being?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Totally agree with you. I think perhaps the difference is that I am not obsessed by Trump mor so I hate him. He merely puzzles amd saddens me. If anything I just feel sorry for the guy ~ he can not be a happy man.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I feel there is some sanctimonious hypocrisy as everyone jumps on the bandwagon to denounce this “evil” man. I actually found him amusing for a while and the US economy was doing very well before the pandemic. He’s perhaps a liar and a cheat but tell me that his opponents are not?

    I think one of the big differences between Trump and Biden is that Trump is not a smooth talker. Not that Biden is. But Biden knows how to feed pablum to the masses… at least, while he’s stumbling through his teleprompter, probably with text written by someone else.

    It’s a complex situation but at least Trump tried to hint at some of the real problems that plague America and the world. Like organized crime.

    On that note, I believe that some sanctimonious hypocrites are sort of scapegoating Trump and projecting their own unresolved issues onto him.

    Not to say that I am a follower of Trump. I’m not. I’m not even American.

    But I don’t think he’s quite as bad as some say.

    Look at this, for instance… Trump and Michael Jackson photo…

    https://epages.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/michael-jackson-did-you-know-that-he-and-trump-were-pals/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My suspicion would be that anybody climbing to the top of the greasy pole is going to be a ruthless and self serving individual. Like you however I do not approve of the vindictiveness which is gathering. It does seem failly clear however that Trump has incited violence perhaps hoping for a coup, a revolution and clealry that will not go unrewarded! It is not a pretty picture and I don’t suppose any of these people are very nice.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My impression is that he just wanted to go out with a bang. But I have no idea what was going through his head. I think the point we agree on is that the world is pretty nuts. So anyone in a position of power and needing to make tough decisions simply must know that. How they do that… how they appear on the outside… I guess that’s where the variability comes in.

        Glad we can talk about this and not get all heated up. It’s really not worth it! 😅

        Liked by 3 people

      2. For the most part I would agree with you. Most psychologists say that intense anger bypasses the usual reasoning centres of the brain. But in some relatively rare instances I think anger can have survival value.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yes, I believe you are right. In war or the jungle for instance. The trouble is we have not learnt (perhaps even can not learn) to control it is settings where it is simply damaging. Its a raw, built in instinct. Probably needs to be bred out!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Interesting, I guess if it were bred out, naturally I would hope, we would have far less need for police. Mind you, greed, cheating and lying would probably still be around. 👩‍✈️👨‍✈️👩‍✈️😅

        Liked by 2 people

      5. It sounds radical but human behaviour seems to derive from our Darwinian evolution. At this point we need to take a hand and make sure our evolution leads us in the future to become a more pleasant and altruistic species. I’m serious in this.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Hmm. I dunno. First, I had a biologist friend who provided counterexamples to Darwinian theory. So I’m no big believer in that. Second, the potential for abuse in genetic manipulation is extreme. The problem with your analysis, as I see it, is you do not recognize evil for what it is (and probably always was and will be… that is, irrational).

        You see, evil miscreants are miserable and try to make others miserable. Why would they do that? a sane man like you asks.

        Ah, but you are forgetting that evil is neither sane nor rational, in the fullest sense of the word.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. I’m sorry to say that I do not recognise the existence of evil at all. On an objective basis. But then as you know, I am not a believer in Christian or any other dogma. I believe that in an uncaring universe we attribute a label to certain behaviour. And we must do that ~ or society would collapse. As you say there is a great danger that Dr Mengele may take over but you could say that we have been attempting to steer our own evolution for years anyway. Starting with the domestication of fire perhaps. As to evolutionary theory I was of course forgetting that many do not see it as compatible with a creator god. I sometimes forget that we humans all have different views and beliefs and assume that all share mine! What foolish solipsism. In short, I have no idea really. All I do know is that I wish for a better and fairer world where we abolish poverty and suffering. I have little idea how to achieve my utopian ideals!

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Actually, I agree with you on several points. First, it does seem that the biological impulses – especially sex and aggression – are still quite dominant in mankind (assuming they are simply biological). I think about this too: You know, “how does the spiritual fit with the biological?” My answer – or an answer – is that our genetics and biology offer a kind of stained glassed window if you will… a TEMPLATE thru which certain spiritual powers can pass thru and influence us.

        I don’t see you as solipsistic. For me, that’s the idea that “only I exist.” I have rejected that on ethical grounds. I talked about this with the madman/Jekyll and Hyde professor way back in his class. The irony of this man is that intellectually he knows I’m a straight shooter.

        I would *not* say the professor is evil but rather mostly gripped by evil. There’s a huge difference there. Perhaps even a chance for redemption.

        Anyhow, I enjoy talking with you because you are not out to “win” an argument but to share ideas, which is great.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. I think being out to “win” is why we have such problems in society. It is competition as opposed to cooperation. The very heart of our wretched existence is because we are still driven to compete, to ensure our survival, to do better than everyone else and take their goods and land and woman. Now THAT is where Christianity and I meet. On that mount. Listening to those Beatitudes!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I read this post and some of the comments with interest. I do agree with what you say. We have long believed that Trump is mentally ill. As soon as he is no longer able to mismanage the pandemic, incite violence, dismantle government, and alienate our allies, I may feel more kindly toward him!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. If you read about his childhood, a lot becomes clear. His father was unloving and inattentive, his brother drank himself to death. To this day Trump is a child who wants to be loved by his dad.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I also did not know. Then read an interesting article about it. None of this justifies his behaviour or actions of course, although gives context.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. It sounds naff, but we must be the change we want to see in the world. We must response worth kindness and love, even when inside we are utterly confused and appalled at a person’s actions. Trying to shout louder only exacerbates the problem.

    The solution will take a long time to be reached, but we must try.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughtful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Anthony, a Scholar and a Gentleman 🎩. As I was reading your written words I had tears in my eyes 😌. My Father would have said ” Natures Gentleman”, indeed a statement of honour. Words of Wisdom without judgement today is rare. Shalom my friend 😔⭐

    Like

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