In the Shadow of Your President

I'm struggling to come to terms with the reality of the 45th POTUS as 'leader of the free world'. It's scarier than I wish to admit. Is Western democracy really only half a step away from dictatorship?

I'm beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland about it all. I have stepped into a room with the kind of distorted glass you find in fairgrounds that shows how you might become: horribly grotesque. 

As a community of Nation States are we not already there? 

How is Forty-five not the looking glass that magnifies who we have become? And suppose he was impeached what then? What are we left with afterwards?

Would we not continue to allow children all over the world to die from malnutrition and lack of clean drinking water; abandon them in petrifying war zones and even blow them up when they try to escape. Deny them adequate medicine at an affordable price because the bottom line matters more. 

Would we cease raping and murdering women and children with impunity; caring little about and ignoring the basic needs of those we consider 'other' or 'undeserving' whether it is someone on some far distant shore or the homeless on our own doorstep.

Would a vast swathe of humanity still struggle to subsist on what cannot be called by any stretch of the imagination a 'living wage ' covering not even bare necessities; whilst eight men own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world's population.[1] Just stop and think about that for a moment.

Would we not continue to ravage and plunder the Earth, whilst choosing to ignore the effect on health and livelihood, especially if we are not particularly affected, yet, by the menace of a changing climate? 

The list of terrifyingly grotesque stretches into eternity.

I know that the issues raised above sound like major geo-political concerns that the ordinary citizen does not have a hope of affecting, but is that really true?  If we break any one thing down to a local level, you will see the piece of the mosaic that is easily within the individual's ability to impact, even in one's own home or workplace. 

As I write that it brings to mind my involvement, over 30 years ago, with a project that sprang out of inner city disturbances. It created access for young people described at the time as 'disadvantaged' because of their background and ethnic origin. Today many of these, now successful young adults, are doing the very same thing by working with or supporting local community programmes as leaders, enablers, facilitators and mentors. They too can provide 'access' and their efforts make a dent in what might otherwise become a seething mass of resentment and anger.

The great British Brexit was a shock defeat for the Establishment and elites by a 'seething mass of resentment and anger' that was ignored for too long. Trump's triumph is in large measure due to this as well. That outcome hold some quite dire consequences for the society as a whole and specific individuals within it.

The thing that has rocked the well-to-do, taken-for-granted cosiness of our Western existence, well for some of us at least, is that Vlad the Impaler has popped up in our world and he rules.

Shadow Vampires prey on the weak and vulnerable; they breed fear and dependency; they feed on the life force of anyone unlucky enough to catch their attention.

An article in yesterday's New York Times - Why '1984' Is a 2017 Must-Read[2] recalled George Orwell's dystopian state Oceana, where the government is called Big Brother, and is always watching you. 

In Oceana citizens live in a post-truth world where whatever the ruling party holds to be true is true. As Orwell himself famously said, "The best books ... are those that tell you what you know already."!

What we already know, or at least ought to consider is that Trump is us! He seems to embody the worst of humanity’s traits visited on itself.

Jungian or archetypal psychology use the term ‘archetype’ to describe specific and universal patterns of behaviour. 

The tendency to behave in certain specific ways that we can all identify - bully, victim, princess, addict, coward etc - have little to do with the influences that shape and mould our consciousness such as family, education, culture, tradition and so on.
"High Chair Tyrant" apt description of current POTUS

Indeed our cultural forms and norms are derived from these innate blueprints of behaviour already ingrained from within the womb. I like to think of them as the DNA of personality.

These modes of behaviour have two distinct aspects – light and shadow. One is an optimistic side seeking always the highest form of self expression possible. Whilst the other is dark and murky, channelling negativity.

Apart from the Vampire, if I were asked to identify another three of Forty-five’s behavioural traits operating in the shadow (the direct opposite of light attributes) I would go for Destroyer – ‘intoxication with destructive power; destroying the dreams or potential of others’. Trickster – manipulating others through duplicity. Liberator – imposing his own tyranny over those he claims to liberate; ignoring legitimate constraints.[3]

We can all see Trump's Destroyer tendencies; I am more interested in the possibility of a Trickster and Liberator persona. They would make me hopeful. 

Did I say hopeful?


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