The last pathway we examined was terrifying. It was no less than a repeat of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Take your pick. That had to be the first path examined because it is the one scenario that is preying on the public conscious. Think of it as lancing a boil, best get it done and let the pus drain. So now, with that terror out of the way, let’s look at the next unappetizing prospect.
It could be that Trump is in this purely for his own ego. We’ve all, well all the liberals at least, have thought it. “He’s in this for the publicity. The lights, the renown.” “It’s an ego salve because his Viagra isn’t working.” And many other forms of speculation have been bandied about. All of them placing Trump very much where he likes to be, in the center of everything.
So perhaps his ambitions don’t extend to world domination? What if, instead, he’s just looking at being “President”. It is the ultimate position of power and respect for any person in the United States. And there, we hit upon what all of this might just be about – respect.
You see, rumor has it that there is a social ring that Mr. Trump cannot buy himself into no matter what. The doors to that elite, subdued and quiet clique were silently and permanently closed to him years ago. It isn’t the A-List, these folks are beyond lists. Trump claims to have the money, but that doesn’t mean he has the restraint or elan to mingle in their rarefied atmosphere. They aren’t the ones that feel a need to put their names on a building, or a casino, or a plane. To them that is just, gauche. Instead, these folks raise money for museums, they help children in Africa, they put their names on university buildings. They have no need to self-promote, instead they invest in others.
So, what could he be that they couldn’t ignore?
The whole scenario reminds me of the snubbing of Eva Peron by the Argentine (nee’ British) elite.
Among the first actions of Trump’s presidency will be to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court. So even if a conservative justice is appointed it’s not a signal of anything, other than filling an empty seat. All of Trump’s choices, already vetted by the GOP, lean to the right, but that is no surprise.
This is where the pathway marked “King” diverges from the pathway marked “Dictator”. If Trump’s motivation is this internal need for validation or acceptance from this so-far-unachieved social rung then he will follow the path of “King.” The frantic power grasping of the “Dictator” won’t be a priority.
What will be a priority to Trump, will be to feed his ego and to be shown respect. That creates some very difficult scenarios, too. In this situation I expect the legal system to take the hardest beating.
The pathological need for respect of the “King” is what would drive Trump to follow through on his boast to prosecute Hillary Clinton. He would do it not on a belief that she is dishonest, but instead for the most grievous sin – that she ignored him, challenged him, stood up to him, and many times caused him to reveal the very poisonous nature of his personality. She bested him, and for that he has a nearly palpable need to see her bowed.
The need for respect and adoration also involves the scapegoating of populations seen as ‘the Other.’ Unlike the “Dictator” who persecutes ‘the Other’ as a distraction for the populace. The “King” needs a group of people who look to him with nearly god-like adoration. And so what the “King” does is he creates a bogey-man that he can then draw on at will to ‘defeat’ any time he feels like he needs a round of applause from his following.
In the US in the 2000s the likely scapegoat would be the Muslim community. Unfortunately, with this framing, it is possible that external terrorist forces who identify with the Muslim religion would increase both recruitment and activity. Thereby providing additional fodder for the paranoia that Trump would exploit. And that series of events leads spiraling down into increased violence inside and outside the nation, increases in terrorist activity, military entrenchment and other things too horrible for me to imagine.
Minorities of the inner city, would also be framed as “the Other”, the danger, the unknown. They would be slapped with another coat of being a “drain on society.” This group would include the welfare mother, the immigrant, the unemployed. This is the mantra on subliminal repeat that the Trump campaign has already started in America.
Under the “King” scenario, while our children are learning and repeating the rhetoric of hate, the fringe of society will have their day. The Alt-Right, that conglomeration of everything society flushes, will become first the unofficial, and then the official arm of ‘keeping us safe.’ What was once dismissed with a nod and a wink as ‘free speech’ or ‘harmless pranks’ will start receiving a paycheck. The forces of the Alt-Right will become pervasive.
And when the unemployed white males are given a mandate and a billy club to root out ‘danger’ be assured the general population would not be immune. Under, the “King” who is paranoid and insecure, there would be increased surveillance, not only in reality, but on-line. However, The main interest for Trump, as “King”, would not be in the talk around the kitchen table or over a beer.
The focus would be the media. Newspapers and media that stood up or dared to report on the administrations misdeeds would be silenced. But, at the moment I don’t think the media has anything to worry about. They have already proved themselves amenable to Trump’s agenda. Individual bloggers on the other hand might need to go silent, or underground.
One of the strongest tools that we will see if Trump is following the path of the ego driven ”King” is the implementation of new libel laws. The threat of economic ruin will follow every word that is written or printed about the “King”. There might even be “grandfather” clauses to catch previously printed non-complimentary essays and articles. It’s not so far a stretch. Trump is proved as litigious, thin-skinned and petty. He uses the terror suit flagrantly to stifle opponents and people with legitimate grievances.
If this is indeed what we have for a future president, a person motivated by petty thoughts and the need for adoration then what we will likely see is some form of the “King.” The “King” would likely only be with us for one term, because having attained that position and the respect that goes along with being “President Trump” for the rest of his life, I suspect he would tire of the job.
The reality of it is, it still won’t get him into that circle.