The “Donald Trump” Within All of Us

President Donald J. Trump’s view of the world appears to be that of one who sees himself as better than the other. His treatment of those with whom he disagrees demonstrates a lack of human concern and compassion. Trump’s indifference — his casual exhibition of undignified speech and behavior paints the picture of a thoughtless, cruel, and heartless bully.

The danger of Trump’s penchant for playing kakistocratic politics with hatred and bigotry is far-reaching. That is, whenever a person plays politics with elements that veer from normative and cultured behavior, such action imperils civil conduct and reasoned discourse — threatening our very democracy.

It is undeniable and unfortunate that Trump’s rhetoric arouses the worst thoughts and passions within certain segments of the population and emboldens dark, sinister, and self-serving ideologies that foster a climate of intolerance, division, and violence.

While many would agree that Donald Trump’s character needs an overhaul, at the center of all the criticisms lies the reality that there is a bit of Donald Trump in all of us.

Within each of us, there are self-absorbed and narcissistic tendencies. There is a part of us that is compassionless, unkind, and unsympathetic. We often go about our daily lives uninvolved and unmoved by the plights of others. There is a part of self that wishes to identify only with the things that will enhance one’s life as opposed to others’ lives.

It is not enough, therefore, simply to decry Donald Trump’s rhetoric of hate. It is also not enough to point fingers and condemn Trump while at the same time justifying and normalizing our own thoughts and behaviors as if our way of being should be at the forefront of change and become the elixir for the masses. Furthermore, being consumed by bitterness and angst because of another person’s choices is not a solution.

The starting place for change ought to be a thorough examination and cleansing of our internal person. We must acknowledge the part of self that is antagonistic toward the actions we deem as intolerant, thereby, making us the embodiment of the thing or person we wish not to be.

Do we as a society have the right to judge and correct people when they are acting out the worst version of themselves? Indeed, we do. Even so, our shared humanity should be the criterion employed in calling out injustices against fellow human beings.

I am of the mindset that if every person directed his or her energy, in word and deed, toward some great purpose — trying to build a better future versus tearing down, then humanity would move closer toward living in peace and harmony.

Featured image: Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images, Thinkstock.

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “The “Donald Trump” Within All of Us

  1. Love your closing statement:

    “I am of the mindset that if every person directed his or her energy, in word and deed, toward some great purpose — trying to build a better future versus tearing down, then humanity would move closer toward living in peace and harmony.”

    I agree completely.

    This morning I just listened to the first part of a podcast called “Under The Skin” (ep. 85) with Russell Brand interviewing Brené Brown. Brené had some really interesting things to say about Donald Trump’s rise to power and how it happened. I haven’t been listening to podcasts much lately, but this one was an an excellent part of this urgently necessary global conversation, so I’m glad I made time for it, and thought I’d mention it. Similar themes to your post.

    Beautifully and thoughtfully articulated, as always… thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nadine. I trust you are thriving and basking in life’s happy moments. In my search of inspiring content, I am grateful that you mentioned Russell Brand’s pod. I took a listen to the episode with Dr. Brené Brown and thoroughly enjoyed the content.

      Here’s a question for you (or anyone who wishes to chime in). How does one (myself included) go about embracing and living the power of vulnerability in a world that values and celebrates pretentiousness (i, e., the wearing of masks)?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a lovely, thoughtful reply… you truly are inspiring in your way of communicating, Josiah!

        And what a brilliant question. It’s the same one I think my heart asks every time I publish something real and true and flat out me, on one of my strange blogs, and then afterwards feel shame for having exposed myself — in other words, I am constantly seeking that same answer, albeit in a nebulous way.

        But when I put your beautifully articulated question to my “inner answer voice,” at the moment I read it, the answer came back immediately as “quietly and joyfully.”

        That might partly be because I have a lot of noise in my head at the moment, i.e. a lot of “radio me” that I don’t often enough take time to move past. I wonder if the answer would be different for everyone, and perhaps even at different moments in their lives?

        I will love to read more answers, including yours, and I’m so thankful to you for asking the question.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your thoughtful observations prompt my responses. So, the credit goes to you, Nadine. 😊

        I love the idea of “quietly and joyfully,” as it led me to the following. I wonder if on the opposite spectrum of vulnerability is “conformity?” If so, then I could see how conformity can quickly evolve into a moral dilemma. That is, to go against the grain…to live out one’s authentic self (i. e., seeking truth, following one’s heart) is to defy conventional ways of being, which could be viewed as a threat by those who wish to maintain the status quo of socially accepted conventions, standards, and behaviors.

        Thus, it stands to reason that the very act of shunning vulnerability for the sake of social affirmation not only compromises one’s personal agency (soul-consciousness) but also could potentially lead to behaviors that are unbecoming of one’s unique identity and antithetical to one’s personal and social maturity.

        I think I’ll develop this idea more in-depth. Thanks again for being a spark.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Now this has really sparked my interest.

        First off, when I read what you said about the shunning of vulnerability as compromising “one’s personal agency (soul-consciousness), I got deep “recognition tingles.” That lit a lamp inside me.

        Next, when I re-read your second paragraph (a few times, actually) I suddenly began to see my own problem (as a writer/creator) formatted against the two extremes: vulnerability vs conformity. Then I began to visualize vulnerability as being equal to love/creativity, and conformity, in the way you eloquently describe it, as equating to fear/competitive-mind.

        When I publish my truth of the moment (my “true truth,” that is, not some over-edited or watered-down version), I am acting out of love, creative flow, and a willingness to make myself vulnerable for the sake of achieving my higher purpose — i.e. to enlighten others, even if it’s just to the truthful perspective (“bad” or “good,” or neither) of one other human on this planet.

        When I am feeling shame, or when I over-edit or “water things down,” I’m acting out of fear and/or competitive-mind. Fear — in its most extreme form — for my own life, or the lives of my loved ones, or my/our freedom. However, in effect, my fear takes away the very “personal agency” or freedom I am trying to protect. Though it might protect my physical person and comfort, my soul-consciousness is in jeopardy and/or oppressed.

        This creative anxiety, it seems, is caused by a struggle (or moral dilemma) between love/creativity/exposure, and fear/competitive-mind/protection.

        Oh, and you words are very kind… but your thoughtful post prompted my response. So the credit must go back to you, Josiah. 😊 I have truly enjoyed this conversation, and look forward to your following posts/developments!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It would be nice to see a change in behavior in those that make so much noise and rail against just one man. Do they not see that they are behaving in a manner that is even sometimes worse than him? Reacting in such a harsh manner to the crap that is said can be more off-putting than the crap said. I think resolutions would be much more prevalent if conversations were had versus what we see now. I try to listen to both sides. It would be nice to not need to walk away shaking my head as often as I do…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am not always pleased with some of things that Donald Trumps comes out with either. But considering how things have gone in this country he really is the lesser of 2 evils. And it amazes me that some people act like they were hit by a bus when Donald Trump got elected. The fact is that America has a very long history of not taking care of its own people. Many of things that he has said were right on the money … NAFTA – very bad for American workers. When it was signed it spelled the end of MANY Americans jobs.

    Crisis at the border – right on the money again. If people think that there is no crisis at the border then come and live in a border state like Arizona like I do. The crime in the city of Pheonix is horrible. The most recent murder was a home invasion where a man was raped and stabbed over 80 times. And this is not a rare occurance, crimes just like this are on the news daily. Sadly, many of these crimes are committed by illegal immigrants. This is what comes from open borders and there is nothing racist about that. It is fact and Donald Trump knows it and so does every average person who lives in these border states and is trying to survive it. These kinds of crimes affect us all. It doesn’t matter what color your are. It isn’t a race issue, it is a safety one.

    So all of these wonderful thoughts of humanity are all good and fine but it isn’t going to protect you from these heinous crimes that are being committed by questionable people that are being let in to this country. As long as this keeps happening you will never have any kind of gun control because it all that people are left to protect themselves with.Until the goverment can get a handle on exact who is being let in ALL immigration at that border should stop, period.

    And where is the “human concern and compassion” for American citizens who are trying to live their lives and stay safe in these areas??? We already have so many here in need – homeless on the streets – that no even talks about let alone considers helping. Why bring more people who can’t take care of themselves while our American citzens are left on the streets to die. Where is the “humanity” in that? It is not right that our people are going without while illegal immigrants are given a free ride. Again, not a racist issue.

    These are all common sense issues that seems to me people should get but don’t!

    And for all of these reasons like excessive jobs loss, homelessness, and violence so bad that people have to arm themselves just to walk their dog in broad daylight, (which is what I do), people are fed up and that why we have a president like Donald Trump!

    So as long as all of this continues I suggest you buckle up and get ready because the Democrats will never beat him in 2020. He tackles the issues that affect us all no matter what race we.

    #AmericaFirst #AmericansFirst

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, like you, I too believe that America’s interests should be prioritized. I also believe that recognizing and protecting the humanity, moral worth, and dignity of every person regardless of that person’s nationality or citizenship is always the right thing to do.

      Like

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