While doing some early morning reading from the renowned expert on the human psyche, Carl Jung, from my tattered paperback entitled, Psychological Reflections, while in my office (the bathroom), I chanced upon a gem that he wrote around 1940, in his work entitled, “Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon,” that describes the Donald Trump phenomenon perfectly. “When one unconsciously works against oneself, the result is impatience, irritability, and impotent longing to get [mass approval by] whatever the means. Generally certain symptoms appear, among them a peculiar use of language; one wants to speak forcefully in order to impress one’s [audience], so one employs a special, ‘bombastic’ style full of [rantings] which might be described as [hate mongering]. This symptom is observable not only in the psychiatric clinic but also among [corporate media and political aspirants], and, above all, whenever anything unworthy of belief has to be insisted on in the teeth of [a moral conscience deficiency]; the language swells up, overreaches itself, sprouts grotesque words distinguished only by their needless complexity. The word is charged with the task of achieving what cannot be done by honest means. It is the old word magic, and sometimes it can degenerate into a [personality cult]”. Hitler was the embodiment of this above quote. History bears out what can happen when an individual, by shear force of personality, achieves “what cannot be done by honest means”. Donald Trump is no Hitler, but his money and his influence will reassure the financial elite that a much needed truth-out will never happen. “In a world of consumerism and bombardment from everywhere, Donald’s message, which he repeats with slight variation, is like the commercials we see 24/7. His is a rabid message that takes advantage of xenophobia”(Raouf Halaby)
In any public theatre, whether military or civilian, an officer or political candidate should command respect by taking responsibility for, or demonstrating by his actions, that he will advocate for the whole group, will capably represent all the diversity within his unit/country. Yet, Donald does the opposite. He deliberately causes dissention and belittles, not only immigrants seeking refuge in our country, who are fleeing from “war zones” that we are continuing to perpetuate, but Muslim citizens who just want to live in peace, have nothing to do with the effects of Western interference in their ancestral homelands. A model leader demonstrates character and emotional stability, does not publicly humiliate fellow citizens or perspective citizens. He builds them up with constructive criticism if necessary.
When Donald professes faith, his bombastic remarks betray the opposite; when he was asked if he needed to repent, at the Family Leadership Summitt in Iowa, he responded, “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness if I am not making mistakes?’ and further stated, “I’m an honorable person”–echoes of Richard Nixon stating, “I’m not a crook”? According to my Aunt Mary, a Jesus follower never basks in his supposed “good works”–the glory goes to God for, “even our good is bad”. I sometimes engage “Christians” on matters of faith, and argue that public displays in worship, by both clergy and lay (Donald), are sentimental in nature and not of an actual personal experience of the archetypal God-image (Carl Jung). In the vast majority, the personal transcendent experience is missing—the pull of the material world is just too strong. From what I see, Donald only merits an attenance pin, maybe; his minister could best answer that.
Jesus was an insurrectionist and witnessed for his Father and challenged the status quo constantly. The Pope’s encyclical is a good modern example of this sort of challenge, a challenge to the world leaders to dialogue . A potential “Christian leader of the free world” needs to be awake to his life and times (“he that has eyes to see, let him see—he that has ears to hear, let him hear”). He needs to lead by showing that he is worthy of his country’s trust.
So much of modern technology only distracts and is superfluous: new apts, new graphics, never ending software upgrades, scientific and medical breakthroughs amidst the seemingly insurmountable disease and poverty creating policies; all serving power (those like Donald), not people. Our economy is misbegotten, redundant goods everywhere, we serve systems and play roles. Everywhere is over selling, over buying, over building, over eating (overselling diet programs), over killing, over appropriating (other people’s lands and resources). I’m sorry, I think I may be getting too “bombastic” with all of this.
Maybe Donald is on to something. Maybe today effective communication between people needs to be “bombastic”. Growing up, bullies understood this—those who pushed and yelled the loudest on the playground got most of the attention and power. Speech 101 teaches us the power of persuasive speaking—if the “bombast” is within “political etiquette”; after all, you can reach your target audience more effectively that way. My Fundamentalist family here in Texas think Donald speaks the truth about our society, forgetting what Jesus said about “conforming to the patterns of the world”; I had to remind a family member that he shouldn’t fanticize about picking up the financial crumbs that fall from Donald’s table of pomposity, but rather focus on the “crumbs that fall from the Master’s table”. Jesus “knew the hearts of men”; little children are actually deserving of “the kingdom of heaven”. But, we (in America) become adults after all, and isolate ourselves in our “exceptionalism” without concern for “the other”, both “the other” as concerns our “psyches” (we have met the enemy and he is us) and with those “others” that we share the world with, right Donald?
We are vulnerable here at home, also, to the “conquer and divide” principle—divide and isolate us with corporate media– non stop assaults on our abilities to grow spiritually in space and time with barrages of commodification and talk shows dealing with how we should look, act, and think– superficial feel good stuff, barring anything substantial to feed our souls; conquer us by the bombast of corporate power, not allowing us the freedom to think for ourselves and dissent against “the popular narrative”.
So, we’re not allowed the pressure release valve of organized public dissent, but our individual spontaneous, unsanctioned, insanity-is-a-sane-reaction-to-an-insane-world behavior that could endanger ourselves and others might become “dirty laundry” on the nightly news and be the entertainment for millions? Now that’s real “bombast” at work, Donald.
Maybe I’ll just seek out a quiet place and reflect, capture a mood better expressed by Carl Jung, “Everyone who becomes conscious of even a fraction of his unconscious gets outside his own time and social stratum into a kind of solitude” (Mysterium Coniunctionis, 1955-56).