Before you get the wrong idea, this piece is about sociology and politics. Or, more specifically, it is about the empty vacuum that is the soul of modern humanity, so desperate not even for adulation, but merely a strong reaction. We seem willing go to any lengths, promise anything, or support ideas that offend nearly everyone just so long as you’re still thinking about us.
Yes, Donald Trump will be the inevitable focus of this piece, but that has much more to do with the present tense (and, I suppose, the relative obviousness of his desperation) than with something particularly unique about him. We can pick any world leader apart for the same issue. Here: take the 13th US President Millard Fillmore, who is, to this point in our history anyway, the only President we could outright state was a traitor to the nation he once led.
Fillmore, after shamefully leaving office through his “Know-Nothing” administration, angrily grumbled throughout the rest of his life. He resented Americans, resented the trends of youth. He did not especially care about slavery–saw no benefit, nor evil in the practice. He fundamentally did not care. But he was so bitter, so bitter. The American public had rejected him. Wasn’t he worthy of their love?
Fillmore went on to side with the Confederacy during the Civil War, purely out of spite. The America that once rejected me, he thought, now I, from my still slightly elevated platform, I reject you. Let us form a new nation, one more in line with my emotional wreckage. Maybe–who knows?–maybe I’ll get to be President again and gain the respect I’ve never gotten, but have always deserved.
The comparisons with President Trump to this ruined emotional state are baffling, if we choose to consider them. Donald Trump is a void of character, empty of concern for everything outside of his immediate desires. He is a glutton, a selfish little boy who always explodes when given the answer ‘No.’ Think about how people raise their children today. Think about the valid criticisms so many of us have about those weak-willed parents who call their children “buddy,” or allow them to get away with everything. Who give them anything they want. Who have never taught them the meaning of the word ‘no.’ There is your President. For all of the weakness dedicated supporters supply to their political and social opposition, for every stereotype they apply to them without knowing anything about different ways of life, they still fail to see that Donald Trump is the product of the same failed moral guidance–a monstrous spoiled brat who holds his breath and stomps up and down until getting what he wants.
Can you imagine one of those horrible children given enough power and influence to rule the world, to make changes that inadvertently affect everyone on the planet? Of course you can. We are living in that moment. And when they talk about Trump’s ‘lack of empathy,’ this is a far more serious problem than even the whining left give it credit for. The fact that the President of the United States is incapable of caring about the many horrible tragedies that befall mankind is incredibly dangerous. If you notice the smugness and aloof randomness of his choice of communication, you will find that he makes personal attacks instead of conciliatory statements about everything. (and Twitter, itself, as influential as it has become, is a sewer of loathing; on a personal note, I have been ‘banned’ from Twitter for quite some time now. It was once my primary advertising venue, before my wonderful real advertisers came along to make me the slightest of profits. And in contradiction to the conspiratorial ideas about Facebook and Twitter and other social media venues banning people of a particular political bent, I can prove that this is not true. The only people banned are like me, not specifically aligned with any political agenda or ideology. We’re just rude assholes, attacking people on grounds each outlet declares against their rules of social conduct. So right-wing motherfuckers, and your left-wing brethren: it is not intentionally silencing your political views. It is your and my own fault, ultimately, because we either believe in absolute freedom of speech, or we’re simply hateful pieces of shit who mock people for small and petty reasons with irrational outrage.) If Donald Trump were not President of the United States, he too would be banned.
In the past most leaders at least used to pretend that they were stricken by the various horrors that plagued the world. Some of them, I have no doubt, truly did care about the misery others and their own actions caused (Jimmy Carter, for example). But not Trump.
The key here, I believe, has to do with an ability to love and be loved. Barrack Obama, for example, say what you will about his policies and politics–even apply those conspiracy theories so many people like to proclaim without ever attempting to prove (yes, the same goes for Trump. And Clinton. Bush/Bush, Reagan, and on and on and on back through LBJ and JFK and FDR and TR, McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln, even back to the founding fathers)–despite all of these biases and disputes, I doubt anyone thinks that Barrack Obama has never been loved, or loved anyone, in his life. As for Donald Trump. . . a case could certainly be made.
As stated previously (and in earlier essays), Donald Trump grew up a mercilessly spoiled child who was never taught the value of hard work (regardless of how hard he pretends he is working). He was bought off and dismissed. Nothing he ever did was good enough to prove himself to his father, who cared far more for his work than his family. No one ever expressed affection for little Donnie. It is doubtful that his parents even loved him. They barely tolerated him. And he does not love his own children. He hates his namesake Junior so much that he allows him to declare the most ignorant statements in daddy’s favorite forum, Twitter, consistently making a public fool of himself. Considering that the President seems compelled to comment on literally everything, the fact that he never acknowledges his son’s increasingly desperate attempts to get his father’s attention makes these efforts all the more pathetic. Don Jr. cries out, “Daddy! Look at me! I hate people every bit as much as you do!” The poor child (and he is a child, a cheap imitation of his father, flailing mindlessly in the swamp of a ravenous world he has never had the to need to consume) is lost. He has no actual reason for being.
The considered daughter, Ivanka, comes across more like a showpiece than anything Donald Trump truly cares about. She is perfectly coiffed, was given a decent education with, no doubt, instruction in eloquence and lessons in manners, like some 19th century heiress . But he does not love her. All he can say is how beautiful she is, his only sense of pride. He made that thing. She is beautiful because of him. She is an object, just another Trump-branded possession. She was probably not allowed to take her husband’s name, even if she wanted to.
When a world leader is incapable of feeling sympathy or affection for anyone or anything; when a world leader is trapped in the endless present tense, wondering what the world can offer him, this will spread and rub off on all the people nominally under their control. And this is far from an isolated incident. Numerous leaders both past and present have been such hollow sociopaths, or merely self-directed assholes. Selfish, greedy and preponderantly ignorant as a result of their lack of interest in anything outside of their momentary interest. The individuals who support such empty shells cannot help but lose their souls, forgetting that we are all a part of the same dependency on living. The opposition, for their part, become similar monsters by staring too long into that abyss of indifference. Hatred is what blooms from such fallow soil. And people on every side of every issue find it much easier to hate than accept and forgive. Everything becomes a blame game, and it is the lost childhood activity once called ‘whisper-down-the-lane.’ That was a game where one person starts with a statement and, as the next person whispers a repeat to the one beside them, we chronicle just how much the statement changes when it reaches the end. It is always rather drastic, not even considering the smug jerks in the middle who maliciously change the meaning. And this is how blame works–it starts off directed at one person, or group, or even your own fault, and transforms into another reality at the end of the line.
People are so angry, so resentful, everywhere in the world, and this is because they cannot understand why nobody truly loves them. It is a world desperately lacking love and simply consideration. The new idea of love has more to do with possession–with ownership. It is about cutting one’s self off from anything else that may matter, and holing inside, paranoid, peering through the cracks to see what the other people, every bit as frightened by the world, might be plotting against them. Yet there isn’t even time to consider other people. It is a lost, intolerable place, darkly shivering within your temporary shelter. And then someone shoots up the place, or sets off a bomb, or drives into a crowd, or joins a fanatical organization with the goal of eliminating everything that is not their own.
Why won’t you love me, we selfish creatures ask the world that we despise. Why won’t you realize that I am the only one deserving such praise?