You could argue that I have it easy: I don’t vote – or, rather, I make an elaborate production of voting for no one. Plus which, while people who take me seriously take me very seriously, those folks are few in number – and most of them don’t vote, either. My favorite candidate in this race is a hopeless case – Rand Paul – and I like his father better than him, and I like perennial libertarian favorite #NoneOfTheAbove best of all.
But even though the eventual winner of this election – the ignominious Fallguy – will be remembered as one of history’s great losers, the candidate I want to see lose – and lose in the most humiliating fashion – is Donald Trump.
Why? Because Trump is a monster. People natter all the time about sociopaths – where sociopath is almost always a squishy sobriquet meaning, “He called me on my vices and the truth hurt” – but Trump is the real thing: An actual remorseless bullying thug.
You know that’s true. If you hate him, it’s why you hate him. Much worse, if you like him, it’s why you like him: You think he will be your monster – which is me calling you on your own vices.
Why is Trump a monster? Because his father summarily rejected him at the age of 13 or 14, when he shipped the already-vicious bully he had spawned off to military school:
You will have noted that I tend to focus on fathers. A mother’s job is to nurture her child’s body. A father’s job is to cultivate his intellectual and emotional life. Where children or adults betray enduring, outsized unmet needs, these are failures of cultivation rather than of nurturance. This is not to say that a mother cannot commit outrageous injury or negligence, but even that is made possible by the father’s acquiescence or absence. It’s his family. They’re his children. When they emerge undone, its his fault – and the children generally see it that way, as well.
For the life of me, I do not know what to make of all that mother-centered psycho-therapy. Show me a broken adult, and I will always look to dad first. An undermothered child may never make it to conceptual fluency. But a fully-human human being is fathered (in fathertongue) to some stage of completion. Most children of the West born since 1900 or so are underfathered to one degree or another, mostly by full or partial paternal absence. The obsessive, yearning behavior we see everywhere almost always looks like father-hunger to me. We long for an ideal to live up to, and we languish without it.
One way of looking at Trump is the man trying, Alexander-like, to eclipse his father’s achievements. I’m told anecdotally that at his debate-dodging poutfest, he twice insisted that his father had said of him, “Everything he touches turns to gold.” The fact that he felt the need to issue this irrelevancy twice suggests to me that it’s a lie, with the very New-Yorky admonition more likely coming in this admittedly-unfair form: “Everything he touches turns to shit.”
But whether he’s trying to best his father or simply to win his respect, his is an impossible quest, and the frenzied need to achieve the impossible is what makes him so dangerous.
You know he will rip through anyone and anything to prop up his phony blowhard “self-esteem” – and to pretend to hide from the world the scalding humiliation he has felt for every day of his wretched life. You know he will stop at nothing in his insane defense of his outraged insanity. And you know that, should you come out on the wrong side of Donald Trump, he will shred you – or your family – without a second thought – or a second of remorse.
So what will you say to your children when Trump comes for you – or for them? What excuse will you offer them, after having intentionally picked up a man you know full well is a monster as your hitch-hiker?
#LiveUpToYourHumanity and attend to Rule #7 of The Church of Splendor: Look out for your own. And if you vote, vote mindfully. No monster can ever be your monster – but you can be forevermore his prey.