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The Trump Presidency: Celebration of the Little Boy, and Mass Awakening PDF Print E-mail
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by Jan Lundberg   
21 January 2017
Image Donald Trump has won a bet, perhaps with himself, that a grandiose ego can transcend the world of the business deal and reach the level of nation-dealing. As a sole qualification for being president of the U.S., not to mention his being a white male of a privileged background, this is very slim. Yet, one could point to the refined education and style of ex-president Obama, and lament that someone so intelligent who gained the trust of the pro-peace electorate (and the Nobel committee) kept the wars going instead of ending them.

But Trump seems to have a complex world view, and apart from whatever good he might do there is a worrisome Reaganite knee-jerk right wing tendency. Reagan took down the solar panels off the roof of the White House as soon as he was installed, while Trump began dismantling Obamacare. Both actions were taken without suitable alternatives, and done as if there was a mandate.

However, when Trump's Inaugural ceremony is a flop compared to hundreds of thousands of protesters turning out in DC and many other cities even outside the U.S. -- totalling millions -- the "mandate" never was, especially when we recall the low voter turnout that allowed his victory in November. More important, perhaps the mass awakening that most activists only daydream about is upon us already. Shown below is the Women's March turnout in Austin, a surprisingly typical scene in large U.S. cities on Saturday.

Austin, January 21, 2017 - photo courtesy Progress Texas

We can draw upon psychology as a discipline to understand what Trump intends to do, based on what he has done in the past. And that is, doing and saying whatever he likes, with no consequences. The aspect of “little boy,” enjoying mischief as a spoiled child who would never be corrected, is evident. “Pussy grabbing” must appeal to a segment of aggressive male youth that sees females as sex objects or targets for misplaced rage. On the intellectual level, Trump’s speech forms are heavily colloquial and boyish; big on childlike repetition. While endearing to some who were put off by the standard speech of Obama, Sanders, and Clinton, it makes one wonder if Trump is able to read a serious non-fiction book with ease. But hey, some well-read people have been very dangerous!

We are in a very temporary period of White House and federal government “acquaintanceship,” rather than a honeymoon, for Trump and his climate-denying, pro-corporate, militaristic crew. The “outsider” label does sort of apply, but it would have been much more true if Sanders had won and brought into the executive branch many a radical activist. Trump is of the 1%, religiously so, with a loose cannon image. So, today is the celebration of Little Boy Trump, and he does deserve a cigar and being called Mister President — for a short time, until seriousness starts falling around the new administration’s heads, and avalanches of criticism and legal actions gather momentum.

Reality sets in. As if there are not enough crises, more will materialize and land on Trump’s plate. He may shovel it off to the side and sleep until noon as Reagan did, but whether Trump is hands-on or not isn’t the issue. The interesting question is what happens next, when people get a better idea what they voted for (or didn’t vote at all). I don’t foresee a popular uprising, but I’ve been wrong before on this — I witnessed the Battle of Seattle against Bill Clinton’s WTO meeting, and Occupy Wall Street; I was only convinced of these movements’ power after they got going. So, assuming that a sustained political opposition to force Trump to honor American values of peace and protecting the environment is not in the offing, what might be ahead?

The mass awakening in store for the U.S. public, as the realization grows regarding Trump’s missteps and glossed-over notions of reform — reform against reforms — may be about how a man should relate to his fellow man, to women, to communities of color, and nature itself. It does not take a genius to picture Trump’s wife and daughters grating under The Donald’s crass sexism. That is only one level needing improvement for him and anyone who puts himself or herself into his presidential shoes for a moment — and we all do this. At this point, Trump is a big question mark. Does he really care to defang NATO and stop threatening Russia? Would he bring the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria to some kind of closure, at least for the U.S. (and its client states)? If so, would other actions serve to disappoint and harm, so as to offset any progressive moves?

Any proposed action on the international stage that is not well thought out, such as moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, is seen as impetuous rather than a Neocon act of war. Whichever it is, Trump’s individual style is stamped on the move, raising questions as time goes on, as the novelty of a fresh face in the White House begins to wear.

Turn21 is a movement to encourage people to grow up as world citizens: to turn 21 years old, or reach maturity, and act accordingly. The 21st of each month, in this 21st century, presents another opportunity to discuss and take action for our home planet. It seems that Trump has given Turn21 a huge opportunity to take its message to millions of people, when they begin to see the election of Donald Trump as a farce that went too far. Really, fuck the environment?

If the nation and the world are stuck with Trump for at least four years, at least something can be learned, perhaps now. And each thoughtful man can rise above both the Trump in the White House and the inner Trump. To not honor women is unthinkable to a majority of people, but an aberration is sitting in the White House at this moment. One’s inner Trump will soon be seen as needing to be brought under responsible control, or tossed out, if one has sincere qualms about the new president. What Trump's ascendancy has shown us is that we need to exorcise outmoded, childish belligerence and selfishness, as a very troubled nation must move ahead to solve urgent global problems as a partner instead of always lurching for “full spectrum dominance.” As President John F. Kennedy consistently urged with his remarkable eloquence and effectiveness, it is time for the U.S. to in effect grow up and be part of the world as a positive member of the community of nations.

* * * * *

Further reading:

Grow up, America! - Sept. 11th analyzed in Jungian terms, by Cal Simone, September 2006, for Culture Change

Good hair is where the resemblance stops for the author and his subject!

Comments (4)Add Comment
It's been obvious for many decades that Mr. Trump is a product of overindulgent parenting ("Oh, honey, you are so much better than those other kids!") and so he never needed to develop much self-control or positive regard for anyone but himself. His orientation toward women as mere objects that are strictly for his pleasure or that deserve his public scorn when they don't fall all over him is not at all surprising. His childish defensive tweeting every time someone attacks him is typical of narcissists, who freak out and lash out whenever someone challenges them. He will not tolerate dissent among his advisers and cabinet, and so Groupthink will be this administration's style of decision-making. Groupthink brought us such stellar national successes as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Vietnam war, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and the invasion of Iraq, to name but a few. Narcissists wreak havoc when they are in positions of power, so let us anticipate bungled military adventures, a trashed environment, economic disaster for all but the 1%, and levels of authoritarianism that we have not seen since World War 2. Let us hope that when he violates the laws of the land the Republican-controlled Congress will do the right thing and impeach him and send him back to 5th Avenue.
Peter Crabb
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From Ron Landskroner, who had difficulty posting:
Oh, how I wish it were possible for me to be even as cautiously optimistic as the tone of this piece. Sorry, but don't see any kind of real, lasting wakeup call. What I saw and heard were throngs of people wearing silly red hats, carrying cliché-ridden placards, chanting, protesting, and screaming at an audience (other than each other) that is not listening. Speeches filled with the same, tired threats and promises of getting organized and getting even, taking back a country they never had, bereft of a shred of understanding about how their own country and the world beyond actually works and for whom. For the most part, it's back to selfies and burying one's head in the ubiquitous "smart" phone, texting, obsessively checking for messages, FB and Twitter posts. In other words, business, both literal and figurative, as usual. I now see the so-called progressive movement (which is not a movement at all) as equally to blame for many of our woes as those who hold the real power. Turn 21 is most timely and appropriate as most, especially in this privileged and myopic Bay Area echo chamber, surrounded by pseudo intellectuals who talk a good game at best. The masses have been infantilized, juvenile and naïve. I could go on and on but you get my drift. Perhaps I've just been around too long and seen too much just in my short seventy years, fed up with humanity, no matter their political leanings, race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, et al. If people were intelligent in a meaningful, sincere way we would not be continually facing a litany of problems. Why I am forever reminded of that oft-quoted line, attributed to Einstein, regarding the true definition of insanity. Sorry for my cynicism but that’s my two cents.
And for the best critique of the American way of life as well as capitalism money can buy (pun intended) I present the following brilliant speech from Frank Capra's Meet John Doe. How ironic that it is delivered by lifelong right winger Walter Brennan who either did not totally comprehend the meaning of the words or merely considered it lines for a movie role. This says it all but, paraphrasing Don McLean's song Vincent, who was listening then, who's really listening now. Most people, including all those ready to deride and derail Trump and his like still clamor for a larger piece of the pie, rather than an altogether different dish. And that is the problem, Trump or no Trump.
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What befuddles me about the Trump phenomenon is that people who are constantly plowed over and buried by the corporate world (insert "low-income white voters" here) fell for Trump's rhetoric hook, line and sinker. Here is a man who clearly has inoculated himself from the common citizen with his corporate upbringing and lifestyle, has made a living undercutting the working class, and demonstrates little to zero knowledge about the functions and machinations of government.

Is it really so simple to win an election as to use the same tired and tested race-baiting tactics ("the immigrants are coming to get us--it's us versus them! Our cultural identity is at, they're drug-dealers and rapists! We need to keep them out!")? This was Trump's only real talking point during much of his campaign. Am I wrong to think that there must be another reason to explain why so many voters were so naive to fall for this?...I'd like to think that there must be a reason for Trump's ascent to the Presidency that I'm just not grasping. I literally am starting to despise myself for thinking that the average voter must be so unwillingly stupid--can somebody please tell me than I am wrong?

And yes, I agree with the previous critiques. The "left" has mustered no resistance to corporate big-government politicians like Trump because the "left" has no unity. Resistors to Trump simply can't decide on a plan of action or even a desired outcome: it's the animal rights protestors not being able to get along with the disabled veterans. It's the small family farmers not being able to get along with the "Black Lives Matter" movement. It's academics not being able to get along with rank-and-file members of unions. Until the people who detest big-government corporatism can unify with a common cause and goal, I see no effective deviation from the current course...
Jay Harvey
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Jan Lundberg, you are so right. Donald Trump is a monster and the media helped create him and they still can’t take responsibility for what they have unleashed on our country . Trump didn’t go to the dinner because deep down like all bullies he’s a coward and that rally in Pennsylvania looked like an outtake from Triumph of the Will .
Elizabeth McGlone
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