The Two Faces of Trump

Tony Schwartz, author of “The Art of the Deal” (which he wrote 30 years ago about our now infamous president), states in a recent article in The Guardian, that Trump is “angrier and more self-absorbed than when I first knew him” — and is “still a scared child.”

Schwartz goes on to say …”Fear is the hidden through-line in Trump’s life – fear of weakness, of inadequacy, of failure, of criticism and of insignificance.” As a result, he has made “fear the dominant emotion of our times.”

The fearful divide Trump has exacerbated is not simply between his supporters and his detractors, the rich and the poor, or Democrats and Republicans, but between the best and the worst in each of us.

When Trump made the claim “I alone can do it” during his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination, Schwartz says it struck him as a “delusional expression” of Trump’s grandiosity … like the plaintive wail of a desperate child who believes he is alone in the world with no one to care for him.

Schwartz also tells us there are two Trumps …

The one he presents to the world is all bluster, bullying and certainty. The other, which I have long felt haunts his inner world, is the frightened child of a relentlessly critical and bullying father and a distant and disengaged mother who couldn’t or wouldn’t protect him.

………….
Overall, the article presents a very revealing perspective of our “Leader” from someone who came to know him more intimately than most. He closes with this observation …

The Trumpian worldview is narrow, dark and deficit-driven. Each of us shares some of those instincts: the fear of inadequacy is uniquely and universally human. But we are also capable of so much more.  (emphasis mine)

And finally …

Whatever happens, may the worst of Trump inspire the best in us.

I encourage you to read the full article.

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Is Satan Real?

Off and on in my wanderings through the blogosphere, I’ve come across comments related to SATAN and his role in Christianity.  Based on the extensive research I did for my book, I’ve discovered many (if not most) people have incorrect perceptions about this “evil entity.” So, as a “public service” 🙂 , I decided to clear the air and share what I learned.

But before I do, I would like input from everyone who reads this post — especially Christians (whether active or lapsed) — to give me your view of SATAN.

  • Is he a rebellious, fallen angel?
  • Was he originally created by Yahweh?
  • Is he presently at war with God?
  • Was he embodied in the serpent?
  • How much power does he have?
  • Does he have demons to assist him in his “work?”
  • Is he able to “possess” people and make them do crazy and weird things?

Please don’t limit yourself to just these examples. If you see SATAN in some other way, don’t hesitate to share your viewpoint.

Then, I’d like you to go a step further …

WHY do you believe what you do? Can you back it up with scripture? Or are your beliefs simply a result of Sunday School teachings? Or perhaps your ideas are based on things you heard growing up? Even if you don’t believe he exists, what have you heard/read/been taught about him?

After I get input from as many people as possible, I’ll write a post and share what I learned in my research.

P.S. Please do not include anything you may have read in my book about SATAN as this information will be shared in a follow-up post. What I’m seeking is how you saw him before you read the book. Thanks!

Just for Trekkies

Courtesy of wallpapercave.com/star-trek-ships-wallpaper

One thing about visiting other blogs is that every so often someone either writes an “I just have to share this!” post … or an individual leaves a comment that literally jumps off the page at you.

Today, I came across the latter and couldn’t resist the urge to share. With the person’s permission, here is the comment left in response to Danica’s most recent post, What Is Humanism.

Humanists are equatable to Star Fleet and the Federation. Humans working together for the betterment of mankind, striving to attain personal greatness while at the same time working towards the goals of a peaceful and just society.

Religionists are equatable to the Borg. Working together around a small set of rules, conforming to the same theology and attempting to either destroy or assimilate anything that does not fit their dogmatic mold.

If you’re not a “Trekkie,” it’s doubtful you got the point of this comment.  But if you are one (as I am), then you immediately saw the (“spot-on”) comparison. 😀

Never A Trumper

The following are excerpts from a column written by Bret Stephens — described as “the quintessential ‘conservative’ columnist” at the New York Times. In the first part of the column, he makes his “conservative” position clear as he lists some of the actions under the current administration and indicates his approval, Even so, it’s apparent he has some misgivings about the administration leader.

The entire column is worth a full reading … I just picked out the points that resonated with me. The column is titled, “Why I’m Still a Never Trumper.”

Conservatives used to believe in their truth. Want to “solve” poverty? All the welfare dollars in the world won’t help if two-parent families aren’t intact. Want to foster democracy abroad? It’s going to be rough going if too many voters reject the foundational concept of minority rights.

And want to preserve your own republican institutions? Then pay attention to the character of your leaders, the culture of governance and the political health of the public. It matters a lot more than lowering the top marginal income tax rate by a couple of percentage points.

This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name-calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness — is to pretend it doesn’t matter. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto GOP motto. “Virtue Doesn’t Matter” might be another.

But character does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily.

[…]

Trump is empowering a conservative political culture that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the Fourth Estate, hostility toward high culture and other types of “elitism,” a penchant for conspiracy theories and most dangerously, white-identity politics.

For those of us who are discouraged, angry, fed-up, even fearful of the current political climate, it’s somewhat encouraging that even those within the Republican culture are beginning to see things as they really are.

Of course the core question is … are they going to do anything about it?

What If …

To start the new year, I have a rather provocative question that I’d love for my readers and followers to think about (really think about)  and give me an answer. I feel quite certain some of you (i.e., Christians) will have an immediate knee-jerk response. However,  I’m requesting that you restrain yourself and provide a thoughtful and reasoned reply. That means no scripture .. no preaching … no “faith-based” answers.

Here’s the question:

What would the world be like if there were no religion?

I would like each person to imagine being born into a world in which the conduct of humans was regulated entirely by other humans. NOT by any supernatural power or powers. NOT by any spiritual guru. NOT by any superstitious beliefs of any kind.

In other words … what if our only code of conduct was based entirely on being an inhabitant of this planet?