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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 29 October 2016

#DONALD TRUMP: WHY WE LOVE OR LOATHE HIM

You have to agree: there's no middle ground with #DonaldTrump. Either you love him or you loathe him. What's that about? How can we as humans have such extreme likes and dislikes on the same set of facts? What if I suggested that the reasons are fundamentally the same?

Before starting on the love / loathe analysis, let me say that one of his biggest strengths behind his ability to reach people is that he appears to be incapable of distinguishing truth from fiction, or indeed good from evil, so he is able to say stuff with complete conviction as if it is both true and good and everything he says and does is therefore well received by the believers.

Now, let's start with the Trump fans. They love him, not because he's going to build a wall or ban Moslems from America. They love him because he represents the voice for their own bigotry, racism, misogyny, sexism and conservatism. He's the school-ground bully they never were (or perhaps were), the tycoon they'd like to be, the establishment-challenger they don't have the balls to be. He's the people's champion, and in that guise there's not much he can say or do that will have them see him any other way. He offers hope for jobs by coming up with suicidal plans for the economy which the man in the street doesn't understand (or doesn't want to) because there's a perception that Trump is the greatest businessman around, so he must know what he's doing with money. He offers a more secure America by shamelessly exploiting fears and disingenuously sharing stats and facts which for the most part aren't true. 

The latest sexploits which have seen senior conservative Republicans scattering in all directions don't seem to have changed the man in the street's mind, because I daresay there are plenty of unsolicited boob-squeezing, pussy-grabbing Trump supporters who can't understand what the fuss is all about. "It's just locker room talk", they say, somehow justifying the unjustifiable, except in their minds it's all OK.

Now for those who loathe him. Ostensibly it's for all of the above reasons. People can't stand a lying, racist, sexist, misogynistic, bigoted bully and can stand tall and sanctimonious in their condemnation. 

But what if their loathing is of their own shadow sides manifesting in the anti-hero Trump? What if there is a part of each of us which has had racist, sexist and bigoted thoughts, but then pushed them down into the shadow recesses of our minds? What if somewhere along the line we bullied a sibling, class mate or homeless person, and then hated ourselves for having done it? What if everything that Trump does and stands for is lurking within us, repressed and ostensibly under control, but we absolutely hate that part of us which lies there, ready to slither out of its lair and flare up somehow? It's called our shadow, and it's real. Do yourself a favour and read The Shadow Effect (Chopra, Ford and Williamson) if you really want to empower yourself.

For the meantime, simply ask yourself which part of Trump's manifestation do you dislike about yourself? The answer will be clear.

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