The U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, caught some flack from the state of Hawaii when he dismissed it as “some island in the Pacific” when one of its judges put a hold on the President’s immigration plan. But, today he stood firm with his statement, not backing down an inch, not equivocating in the least. Sessions has long sipped of the poisonous kool-aid that so invigorated the Republican Party so that it could elect a man such as Trump who is just….well, hmm….again I won’t mince my words, “bat-shit crazy.” Trump cannot acknowledge making any mistake and everyone who is associated with him has that same character flaw to some degree, at least.
I must admit I often wonder why this bothers me, not just the Trump lunacy, but this flagrant dishonesty that he has brought to the table and is making permissible. It is very difficult to deal with reality and we all chafe under its daily grind. Most of us accept the pressure of shame and guilt and submit to common civil sensibilities and decorum including respect for agreed upon “truth.” Yes, the “social contract” that we signed early in our life has required us to deny a reptilian brain hunger for complete disregard for all rules. Oh yes, in return for our “dishonesty” we get the reward of sublimation which is a workable “social contract” in which we daily “make nice” to people who we would often like to choke…if our conscious mind would permit it. I’m made to think of Trump on the debate stage last year when he totally disregarded the decorum and dignity of the occasion and personally insulted his opponents while they responded…most of the time…with measured responses. Even Hillary Clinton participated in this social dishonesty when she declared Trump, “temperamentally unfit to be the President” when what she really meant was, “Hey, he is bat-shit crazy.”
The issue I’m addressing here is sublimation, the willingness to defer gratification, foregoing the animal satisfaction of giving expression to our baser instincts in return for having a coherent tribe based on submission to a social contract. But Trump is giving voice to what lies beneath the surface of our dutiful “making nice” and is brazenly saying and doing what he wishes without the filtering that the neo-cortex offers. His attitude gave rise to many conservative voters who admired his brazen attitude and behavior, claiming that, “He’s honest, he tells it like it is” not realizing that in their support they were voicing their desire to do the same and their frustration under the oppression of the powers that be who seek to grind their face in the dirt.
Sessions dismissive description of the state of Hawaii was echoing the sentiments of his boss who routinely invalidates the right of any individual or group who dares to disagree with him. Trump, Sessions, and the rest of the boys…and a token girl here and there…are revealing just how contemptuous they are to anyone other than themselves. Rather than “draining the swamp” Trump has filled the swamp with billionaires like himself and proceeded to “rig the system” in a way that will favor them. Meanwhile, his demonic prescience is being validated as those who will suffer the most under the oppression of these tyrants are mindlessly chanting some version of, “Making America Great Again” without any understanding that Trump’s policies are bad for them. Once again, Trump was right when he declared last year that he could shoot someone in the streets of Manhattan and not lose any support. The people who have drank the Trump flavor of kool-aid cannot and will not back down, they will not admit they made a mistake, even if it leads to devastation for the country.
This is the tyranny of ideas. When an idea is not connected to human experience, it is just a disembodied verbal image floating around in a skull and lacks connection with the body, i.e. “the heart.” Ideas of this sort are always violent in their impact, even though in our culture the full expression of this violence is muted with our sublimated culture so that the Isis level of violence is not immediately a threat. But the violence that Trump has evoked, and is being wielded upon many helpless souls, does stem from the same dark region of hell that gave rise to Isis.
Yet many of the Christian persuasion watch this tragedy unfold and doggedly stick to the illusion that “God hath raised him up” to “Make America Great Again.” This merely demonstrates the ideological nature of their faith, the ideological dimension totally disassociated from “the flesh” which would give it heart. As I say so often, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Just because our thoughts are often noble and pleasant does not mean that they are without intent. Something as noble as “Jesus Saves” can easily mean only a call to bondage and death. Just ask the followers of Jim Jones down in Guyana, South Africa in 1978.