The Trump Train Phenomenon
Voters hungry for change chose a man who may send democrats over a cliff
“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” ― Mark Twain
Politics have never really attracted me. I’m not sure why, it just didn’t feel right to be involved. However, I always paid attention in a detached sort of way. Even before I knew it consciously.
Remember the black light phase? The blue light that made everything glow and mesmerized us back in the 60’s and 70’s. I had a poster with Nixon holding leashes behind a pack of dogs all hooked up. The canine faces were replaced by humans, politicians mixed up in the Watergate scandal.
I would turn off all the lights creating complete darkness, then flip on the black light then watch the posters glow. I loved it.
Today, I went out into the network and what do you know? I found one.
Looking at it now, I wonder what it was back then inspiring me to buy it. I love graphics, art, and drawing, but I was just a kid who understood nothing about the historical significance.
I sidetracked from the walk home after school to scour grocery store loading docks looking for discarded advertising art.
Once, I found a full man size stand up cardboard rendering of the Jolly Green Giant. Of course I dragged it home and placed it prominently in my room at the foot of the bed.
Late into that same night, I awoke partially, looking up squinty eyed at the shadowy unwelcome figure standing there towering over me. You know those times where you can’t fully wake up? I was horrified finally realizing all that drama was self-created.
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” ― Mark Twain
The Jolly Green Giant had to go, but I didn’t stop collecting editorial style posters.
My Big Chief Tablet was filled with cartoon strips I created of Mafia related shootings. One had a character shot up in a saloon, he rolled up onto the bar, bullets breaking glass, shards and blood flying everywhere.
Thankfully, my Mother would buy me Mad magazine editions, I loved Spy vs Spy. Two identical characters one drawn in black, the other, in white. Looking back now I see a thread emerging relating to political strife.
“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” ― Mark Twain
The culture and it’s art was shaping my growing 10 year old mind towards ideas that involved violence and conflict. I wonder how often we take note of the ripple effect our choices and actions create?
It turns out this dichotomy frequently inspires the content I create.
It was tough to navigate bullies at school, angry educators wielding wooden paddles and interpersonal relations at home between parents. Conflict and killing playing out on the only three television channels at 5:00 PM daily.
How did all that inform the person I am today?
Do we choose our positions from an inner compass? Or, does the visual, audio, and other stimulus from interactions with others put us on a particular path?
Why does one man pick the black spy, going to the dark side possibly killing, but another dresses in white, like the hero, working to build character?
Think I started getting them at 9 or 10 years old. Mom wasn't a fan, lol. A lot of stuff in those that made you think!~ Steve Ferris
In the Yin and Yang symbol, could the Chinese have been trying to communicate something very simply that's really more complicated to the world? Offering up a simple mirrored and inverted design full of the opposites like black and white?
The concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite contrary forces may really be in-sync, one necessary for the other to survive.
Interdependent in the world of nature and biology. They may give rise to each other while interacting to one another. Without one, everything might collapse or decay.
Maybe the ancients knew the importance of simplicity to keep the complicated world from overwhelming us. Pointing to wisdom and practices dating back to at least as early as the 14th century B.C.E.
"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right." ― Martin Luther King Jr
Introduction to 21st Century Tribe Mentality
Early in the 21st century, I stumbled across a TV series called Survivor. The first winner Richard Hatch was a hoot. I got hooked on an inquiry into the politics of surviving.
It was interesting to me as interpersonal relationships had sometimes proven to be sadly perplexing. Why do we have to be dishonest and manipulating to survive?
Richard was outspoken and ran around nude to the dismay of his fellow survivors. Then went on to win the Million dollar prize no one thought he could.
Then along came another hit TV show produced by the same man as Survivor. Mark Burnett, it was called The Apprentice, I started watching.
The shows premise hooked me. My history included business and restaurant management and I was a sales manager at Levitz Furniture at that time.
The format of The Celebrity Apprentice follows that of the original The Apprentice, outside of living arrangements; there is no communal living space, and celebrities are not required to live in the city during filming, allowing them to maintain their own appearance schedule which may cause them to miss out on tasks at times. The two teams are given separate suites near the boardroom which they can use for planning and other activities related to the tasks.
Additionally, the celebrities as contestants are not vying for a job, but instead each has selected a charity that they are playing for. The winner of each season gets a large donation made to that charity by the host, but in addition, winning project managers may also receive additional charity money by winning a task, either as a fixed amount set by the host and/or a participating business, or by the total charitable take they made on the task. The host also has discretion to provide charity funds to eliminated celebrities as a consolation prize.
"The major problem - one of the major problems, for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." ― Douglas Adams
Right away I loved the way he talked to the participants during each episodes introduction. I noticed his smooth cadence and clear concise communication. It seemed to be assertive, yet calm.
The next thing that influenced me was the nature of the challenge, the show premise. Teams are chosen, usually three. Then, a leader or manager is determined, each team is then assigned a similar or the same task.
One example, create a new start up business, a cookie shop. Or, as in series six, an advertising task aimed at creating a campaign for a brand of kitchen cleaner.
Another tasked them to create a corporate "away day" for regional managers at Barclays Bank. It included events aimed at improving "motivational and communication skills".
After the briefing, teams are asked to name a charity for their winnings, if any. Then sending them out to get started. Each has a film crew following.
The episodes middle is filled with all the breakdowns and challenges of each teams quest to fulfill the goal and win.
Could you stop building everyone else's empire and start your own?
When Trump's Apprentice launched in 2004, George W. Bush was 3 years into an 8 year run. The series would span the rest of his term and all of Barrack Obama's 8 years. An amazing 15 run, including a staggering 192 episodes. Later, bringing on Arnold Schwarzenegger before ratings fell and production ended.
“I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.” ― Karl Lagerfeld
As the show went on, my managerial referenced brain made decisions about who was winning the assignment. Well before the show focuses on the boardroom where Donald Trump speaks to all the participants. Having a dialogue about their challenges, performances and experience.
I remember noticing how calm he was, so empathetic. He was impressive, still is, even more so. How many times would any of us say something foolish with cameras and microphones pointed at us all day long?
After some discussion, cross examination and some comments from his assistants, including the manager or employee under scrutiny, Mr. Trump would point at one person stating, your fired!
After 15 seasons and 194 episodes Donald Trump would seek a different vocation.
“Any thing or behavior too complex to understand becomes a phenomenon that could be termed spiritual or magical.” ― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
Sometime around the middle of 2015, I posted a statement to my Facebook page. It said, Donald Trump would be the next United States president.
Nearly everyone laughed and some of those that didn’t got angry.
As you may know, since then we elected him to the highest office on the planet. President of these United States.
In the aftermath, much has happened. My eyes have been opened to the realities of who we are as human beings. I’ve lost friends over my choices on who to support or not.
Along with enduring name calling and more hatred than I thought possible. Watching the impeachment proceedings was eye opening to say the least. It does not really feel like there is any winning going on for anyone.
How can that be?
“The uneducated person perceives only the individual phenomenon, the partly educated person the rule, and the educated person the exception.”
― Franz Grillparzer
The Takeaway? Is There a Lesson to be Learned?
For me, challenges that seem to come with interpersonal relationships have been called out front, amplified.
Natural selection working to cull out acquaintances that would bring breakdown anyway, some where down the road. Might as well make it sooner than later. Donald Trump gave me that gift.
Why would I want to interact with someone who will drop me like a rock and cut ties over my faith in one person, or not in another.
A real benefit lies in the 20 people who came along newly attracted. Tribe-mates that are more well aligned and committed to friendship over personal likes or dislikes.
Have you noticed how some of your friends have never even asked about your political beliefs. What's that all about? Maybe it's you that matters to them, above all else.
That's the tribe I want to be in.
When Christopher isn't writing from home, he can be found traveling or capturing photographs somewhere in the United States. He loves to generate Graphic Design, process images or video, and flying his Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. More pastimes include wrangling dogs, backpacking and kayaking. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.
© Christopher Boswell 2019. All Rights Reserved.