Why do people follow Donald Trump? He makes outrageous statements, he insults and hurts others with his words and people flock to him. The more outrageous the statement, the more he seems to draw followers. It doesn’t matter if he’s even wrong. The strength of his draw isn’t in his accuracy – it’s something altogether different.
Some will say that his followers are people who are frustrated with regular politics, they want something refreshing. They want something more “real.” I don’t buy that.
Other’s have said (myself included) that what Donald Trump has done is simply resonated with the lowest nature in humanity (anger and hatred.) By being a magnetic personality of anger and hatred (whether it’s a show or for real) he draws similar people – or perhaps best said, he births those same feelings in others. He “turns on” people to their darker nature. This is very disturbing if true, as it means he leads people to ruin. Not the ruin of a physical world mentality, but a deeper ethical ruin – where a person turns against their better judgement and understanding, to follow an ego filled path (the path of “Me First.”)
Consider the followers. Most of them claim the mantle of “Christian,” yet the body of Trump’s ideals is that of an inverted Christianity… instead of loving our enemies, he wishes to kill them (and their families evidently); instead of “letting the stranger in”, he wishes to build a wall to keep them out; instead of turning the other cheek, he wishes to double down on the pain of retaliation. I’ve talked about this quandary at length. There’s a sacrifice one must make to be a spiritual follower of Donald Trump… one must sacrifice the spiritual path, in order to accept this mundane (and profane) icon.
This does seem to fit his appeal. It seems that the theme behind “Make America Great Again,” is similar to that of Germany’s old “Deutschland über alles” (Germany Above All.)
Yet there have been others who inspired hatred and these other candidates never took the nation by storm. Consider the past leader of the KKK, David Duke, who has run for president several times. The nation didn’t accept him, as they have Donald Trump. Perhaps David Duke was too extreme… or perhaps the hatred in this nation was cultivated to our current age, where now it was ready to take on a leader who espoused anger and hatred as a campaign…. Or, perhaps there’s another dynamic….
Donald Trump and the Dynamic of Power & the Powerless
Here is the missing component: Power and Powerlessness
Those who are powerless will be drawn to the ones who seem to wield power. When people feel powerless in their finances, when they are afraid of enemies at their doorstep, they are letting go of their inner power. They become victims – they have a loss of power.
Instinctively they will be drawn to power. They want someone to confer faith and authority.
Past presidents such as George Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama ruled a powerful nation – but they didn’t display the use of power did they? They may have declared war on a nation, or assassinated an enemy leader – but they did this from a black box. None of them gleefully came on TV with a magnetic personality screaming, “Look, I’ve just murdered this bastard – now we’re safer!” Our past presidents (whether you like them or not) had a sense of decorum. They didn’t wield power like a child with a gun. Perhaps they made mistakes, but it was tempered a certain degree of political correctness.
What Donald Trump exudes is a raw power. He exudes a certain feeling of rage. He has no filter on his words. He speaks his mind. In on moment he seems to even have more power than the American Government investigating Hilary Clinton, when he asks Russian hackers to expose her:
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” – Donald Trump
Within a few days the DNC hack occurs, and the signature of the attack seems to point to Russia.
To many, this is power. It’s the power to “make something happen.” This inspires and draws the powerless. They see examples of his power (his wealth, his lack of respect for opponents, his calculated demeanor) and it fills the void within their own lives. They feel a comfort with Trump, that the won’t feel with Hilary.
To one who feels powerless, an icon of power is closer to them than their own God.
Tao Teh Ching
At one time in my life, I was on a track to memorize the Tao Teh Ching. As I was synthesizing this article, the words from chapter 3 surfaced in my memory banks:
If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.
The Master leads
by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.
and everything will fall into place.
— Tao Teh Ching Chapter 3
The opening stanza reads, “If you overesteem great men, people become powerless.” That statement works inverse as well… when people are powerless they overesteem great men.
Real Power vs. False Power
But what is power? Is having money power? Is controlling Geo Political events power? Is the ability to inspire Russian hackers power?
In the Star Wars franchise, the Sith lord explained that the nature of the Master and Student was that one wielded power and they other desired it. This relationship however didn’t bode well in the storyline. Yet what about reality?
Real power is not in the management and control of the physical universe. Real power is in the management and control of your internal universe. It is in one’s self authority.
When we loose that self authority – we loose our power base. We become afraid and scared.
If you’re a Christian, consider the words of Jesus, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Mathew 10:28
While I don’t believe in a Hell, nor an angry God, I think the important takeaway here is “don’t be afraid of the physical universe.” This is very hard to do. Yet it is the cornerstone of many faiths (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Daoism.)
Find Real Power
Physical power isn’t constant. It doesn’t last. Everything in the physical universe is decaying. The only way out is to attach to something beyond the scope of this decay. This could be the Dao, God, your Higher Self… what ever your belief system is – it is something beyond the management and control of the material universe.
Once you find that, you won’t be afraid… death has no more sting… financial problems are simply temporary glitches. When one has a real sense of power, there is no need for a false idol like Donald Trump.