Paris Letters #62
Someone wrote something of interest this morning on the news-feed: ‘Trump is in ascendancy because those who oppose him have not yet sufficiently moved into their power.’1 Considering the truth of this insight, one wonders why? — Why do those people, with a more or less positive view of humanity, have such a hard time inhabiting positions of ‘power’ without seeming weak or ineffectual?
Trump may seem laughable or psychotic to us; however, one has to acknowledge what John Oliver said: ‘There is a part of me who likes this guy. It’s a part of me I hate, but … ‘. I think the crux of the matter is here. Those people with entitled lives are actually terrified of their ‘inner gorilla’: they actually feel hatred for that part of their nature, and, because of this — no matter how much irony or cleverness they use to subvert the beast or laugh at him — he doesn't go away. The gorilla is repressed and despised, secretly envied, and as a result, the gorilla rises to ascendency.
The gorilla is interested in one thing: the highest position in the jungle. He makes a fearful display of noises, he pounds his chest; he has to, above all, protect and raise up his kin. He is terribly xenophobic because he can’t allow other animals to invade his corner of the jungle. He attacks without discrimination, because everyone who is a threat to his brood, is an enemy.
Of course, if a gorilla takes over a man, then there is not much of the man left — as in the case of ‘The Donald’. I suspect that in his youth, the boy with the golden spoon, was terrorized out of his humanity. What we are dealing with here, is a very dangerous and gold plated gorilla.
And yet, if one can taste the animality — even the joy — of being a gorilla, then one can understand Trumps magnetism. Forget the sensitive mind and consciousness, forget the bleeding heart, this one lives entirely in the solar plexus, in those dark primal places. One doesn't play trivial little games like politics there except as expediency — all of that is a pretence. It’s power that one lives for, pure naked and raw power. One answers threat with power, one crushes one’s enemies. And isn't there a part of every person that secretly covets such power, who wouldn't feel, on a very primal level, the desire to rip off the head of one’s enemies.
Of course, one doesn't want to insult gorillas here, who are deep and sensitive creatures. Maybe the ape-man in planet of the apes is a better analogy. In that ape society, there is a primitive ideology, there are some technological means, there is the pretence of civilization. No matter that this civilization is based on a lie: one will do anything to protect one’s tribe. This is the conservative instinct, and conservatives are much stronger in this area than democrats — as much as they are mocked.
One cannot defeat such a gorilla in any other way than to find that ape man in ourselves. Until we get in touch with our inner red-neck, our inner gorilla, our inner republican or whatever — we will be constantly asking ‘Why Trump?’. That is until he becomes the master of the house and starts to rip it apart with his gold plated paws.
1 Jason Hine: https://www.facebook.com/jason.hine1?fref=nf&pnref=story