Why American Cannot Re-elect Donald Trump, the Twisted King
Donald Trump is America’s Dark King. And the Nation no longer needs him.
A Radiant King or Queen would have be able to accept defeat with the tacit acknowledgement that the Republic is more important than the win. But Donald Trump cannot accept that he lost the 2020 Presidential race because circular reasoning proves He is the king, so he must have won…because kings don’t lose elections. So he won.
Unfortunately this is not the only argument we must question. We suspect Trump also feels his dethroner is more a bright prince than a king, and kings don’t lose to princes. Except when they get dethroned and the prince becomes the new King. Which feels unlikely to Trump because his usurper is clearly not another Royal, so is unworthy. Thus the election was unfair, and he won.
Clearly, in Trumpian emotional logic, because the victor is actually a professional (civil) servant, and servants can’t “win” over kings (but they can steal), the election was actually stolen. So he actually won. Thus the grasping at straws and panicky scheming and the deeply believed fantasy that the civil service somehow used some sort of secret chicanery to put one of their own in place of the Rightful King. Trump and party looked under all the cushions and everywhere else, all the way to his stacked Supreme Court, but has found not a shred relevant evidence. He’s still out.
Ironically one of the few ideas Donald Trump understands well is what the roll of nation leader requires. There is nothing wrong in America with holding office and being kingly in spirit, but what Donald Trump does not grasp in any capacity, logically or emotionally, left brained or right brained, is that he is the wrong kind of king for the American Republic.
Donald Trump is a Dark King, The Twisted King. The emotional antipode, in the realm of spirit and symbol, to the radiant Sun King whose energies and leadership the Republic feels to need so desperately.
And that is why, precisely, he lost. An enormous number of Americans realized the nation cannot afford him, cannot survive into the future led by a Dark King.
Perhaps Donald Trump the Twisted King was necessary. But that said, his role has been played. And instinctively America knows it.
We have seen it. Chaos in action, corrected at the ballot box. The system worked.
The position of American President is all about building great teams, finding non-partisan solutions if required, making astute judgements, impeccable timing and highly effective functionality. The role is perhaps the most demanding job in the world, in which there are not enough hours in the day and days in the year to do all that should be done. And clearly to which Donald Trump is most ill suited.
The man leads by image and symbolism, emotion and bombast, base needs and narcissism. In his role as President he has never served. Regardless of how busy he feels he has been, the man has never really worked in his life, never been someone’s employee. Even when hosting “The Apprentice” he was co-producer of the show, making him his own boss. He works only for himself, and is now too old and probably too emotionally damaged to change. There will be no growing of his small heart three sizes in one day.
True to being a Dark King, Trump cares for no other cause or group to which he gives his time and philanthropy. He has no charitable causes for which he attaches his name and is personally seen to raise money. The man is in a word uncharitable.
As evidence of Trump’s life experience, we refer to his niece Mary Trump, the clinical psychologist who has said on air that Donald Trump has never been held accountable for anything in his entire life. (That is until the 2020 election, when he was held accountable by the electorate and found insufficient.)
Since Trump has never been judged like this before, and never by common strangers, he cannot grasp the truth of what happened to him. Another reason his loss makes no emotional sense to him, so he probably won, although he does not understand why no one believes him.
How to measure the man? I turn to Robert Bly’s seminal work, “Iron John, a book about men,” 1990. In this Bly references Robert Moore, who postulates that for a society to function well men and women need leadership that inherits — from the ideals of the Sun King, the Radiant King and Queen — the permissions and authority to be civil, to act honestly, to be kind as well as ambitious, show generosity and gratitude to our fellows, to be creative but also respectful.
At the same time, to ground these lofty ideals, we must also acknowledge and make room in our psyches for the Dark King. To respect and understand the purpose and values contained in wild energy, in forces beyond our control, in what we do not or cannot understand, in the negative. We must make room for the Dark King in our hearts. And this is what many did with Donald Trump. And now, finally in touch with kingly energy, even if dark, many cannot let it go.
Does this explain why Donald Trump means so much to so many? In the absence of the Radiant King or Queen, the Dark King was at least some sort of king?
This embrace of darkness, however, does not make the Dark King a good choice to lead a democratic republic into our precipitously dangerous future. Our collective future appears quite dark already at this moment, and we need more light, not more dark.
From Iron John a prediction of sorts: “a second, darker side of the [symbolic] King…will curse young men, discourage creativity, establish — by his presence alone — disorder.”
Is this not Donald Trump in the White House?
Reactionary, disrespectful, anti-creative and a continuous agent of disorder?
With the election America told the Dark King, “We cannot invent a viable new future when there is constant chaos in our highest office.”
Read any book about his term as President for evidence. His demands for constant and unwavering personal loyalty from civil servants who have already sworn duties to the Constitution. His fragile ego quashing any creativity in those who served him or tried to serve beside him. The near constant demand that his needs supersede the nation’s laws, and even his own oath of office. (Thus his impeachments.)
What more evidence of disorder than for years failing to organize a cohesive White House team, with talented, even creative leadership and properly delegated authority? Such failure to distribute power continued with unmade appointments the throughout the civil services. Dozens of important positions in the Government went unfilled for years because Trump, the Dark King, could not bear to delegate power to his betters, or relinquish monetary rewards (salaries) — even though these were not his rewards to keep.
And true to the motto of “chaos by his presence alone”, the Dark King tried to neuter the civil service. When forced to appoint people into positions to keep the Government working, promoted not the best qualified, most educated or experienced but the ill suited, inappropriate and outright incompetent. Positions remained unfilled while interim or temporary appointees, denied of proper authority, did the work. Trump did not “drain the swamp” by carefully reducing unnecessary civil service positions and then replacing the ‘dead wood’, the under performers and partisan grifters, with better talent, he made it worse.
What more chaos could he generate than causing a government shutdown by refusing to sign the finance bill that paid American government workers and welfare recipients their salaries and benefits. All because he failed to get Mexico to pay for his boarder wall (a ridiculous ego driven promise) and was also refused by Congress, which “holds the purse strings of the nation”. So he tried to force the American people to pay for his promise instead by starving them. This is not good governance.
And remember, this is normal for the Dark King, who operates not logically with left brained functions, but emotionally and symbolically with right brained functions. And normal for a malignant narcissist who has no feeling for others.
This is how Donald Trump thinks: in vast, undefined, sometimes contradictory or illogical, right brained, personally emotional, symbolic ways that most of us are not, in our practical lives, in our mechanistic corporate world, allowed to think.
So as a King and as an unusual thinker, Donald Trump feels his is a genius. And in the sense of being ‘original’, he may be a genius. But his is not the genius suited to service.
How then, with this evidence, can so many Americans cling to his Dark leadership?
As Bly writes: “If these whirlwind or hurricane beings are a part of nature, then we can assure ourselves that day will be accompanied by night, and that plants will produce poisonous as well as healing substances.”
“[When] the Sacred King sends his radiance down through the atmosphere…the Poisoned King sends his radiance down as well. That means that in the political world there will be a Herod as well as an Arthur. We know that if Herod sees even a tiny bit of male creativity in his kingdom, he will move to kill all the young men to get rid of it. The Twisted King and the Whole King exist…”
This means that, for some at least, Donald Trump enables their dark natures and fills an emptiness inside that he similarly knows.
And Trump sees creativity everywhere. Creativity he has never possessed except perhaps in desperate service of his narcissism. If he was creative in business he would not be the “King of Debt” (his own admission), but the King of Lending, using other’s debt to make true fortunes for himself and family. But lending means sharing, trusting and risk taking, and the Twisted King does not share and cannot trust.
Donald Trump might still be suitable to lead if he had true talent in managing and generating wealth. But again, his dark nature fails him.
If he were as knowledgeable as he brags he would not have squandered the huge fortunes he inherited and borrowed, but made them grow. But in this he has repeatedly failed. Public documents show Trump is only an average real estate investor at best (although his scale is large). In reality, after subtracting all the debt owed, Trump and Co.’s net worth is just a small fraction of the total value of his holdings.
What happened? At one time Donald Trump built real estate, a trade he learned from his father. And building is where the real money lies. It made his father enormously wealthy. Building is cheaper and more profitable (in almost all cases) than buying existing commercial real estate, but Trump does not build anymore. His company hasn’t built anything ‘from the ground up’ in decades. At best he has refurbished a couple of buildings in New York that currently make small profits. And all but two of his golf courses and resorts make little profit or lose money.
Yet he made grandiose promises that he would be The Building President: roads and bridges and buildings. A great wall. A trillion dollars of new infrastructure. And delivered nothing. A few miles of new boarder wall and an infrastructure program so mismanaged and corrupt it never started. More abstractly Trump would not even sign the COVID-19 relief bill that would allow America to survive and rebuild itself.
But of course Trump could no longer ramp up his pledge to build after being elected, his heart was never in it. The expressed purpose of MAGA, after all, is to go backwards, not forwards. And that is perhaps the most fundamental reason America cannot reelect the Dark King: for America to survive it must go forwards, it must evolve.
Making America Great Again is not making America great in a new, difficult, tech driven and interconnected world of rapidly diminishing resources, but a return to “Simple America”, the time when Trump himself was younger and his life was simple, when electronics consisted of rotary telephones, transistor radios and CRT televisions, when current changes never happened, and thus no new creativity will be needed in the kingdom. Just as when he was a boy, America (substituting for his father) will almost magically make all astonishingly wealthy, just as his father had done for he and his siblings.
The Dark King’s America is not only simpler but feels much much smaller, less dire, less populated and filled with vast, still abundant resources. Such an age is simply not possible, yet The Dark King promised.
We can see that he tried.
International trade and politics are much too complicated and require a huge and talented civil service to manage. Let’s pull back, get out of treaties, the WHO, accords, trade deals, and just use my charisma to handle the other leaders and make deals. Sadly these efforts were ineffective.
Too many people? Yes, there are twice as many people in the USA today than in 1950. So what is the answer? First, at least stop America getting any bigger. Send back all those who don’t legally belong, and close the boarders. As a disincentive to southern boarder interlopers, separate and cage the children from their parents. Horrific.
White people no longer have enough simple well paying work? Trump said he’d bring jobs back from China and else where, bring back more car making with a new NAFTA, and convince multinational corporations to move back the U.S.A. Well, he got NAFTA rewritten but that didn’t change much, and China said Go sex yourself, and the multinationals laughed and not one relocated. He’d put coal miners back to work; he didn’t, and the demand for coal is shrinking. He’d fix farming by opening markets, but other countries would not be bullied and he does not grasp the principles of international trade.
His detachment from reality showed when he fixated on Canada’s closed markets for diary, where America and the rest of the world has a small share already. Canada is only one tenth the size of the U.S.A. and while they drink almost as much milk per person, overall they consume only about 200 pounds per person a year in dairy, compared to American’s 640 pounds. So, one tenth of the market, one third of the consumption. Even if America put all Canadian dairy out of business the whole country of Canada could not consume the surplus dairy the U.S.A. produces.
But not an issue for Donald Trump The Twisted King, who hated Canada’s successfully regulated diary industry. Dairy farmers make profits, prices are affordable and stable. For a small country, success!
But since America does not regulate dairy farming there is today so much milk produced farmers can no longer make a profit without government subsidies. For example, the U.S. government has purchased and stored 1.4 billion pounds of cheese, to keep up the charade the ‘system’ still works!
So Trump wanted to force Canadians to buy more American dairy, as if this would solve everything. Small concessions were made through NAFTA but with virtually no real change for American dairy farmers.
Overall farm income has dropped steadily in the last ten years, so Trump pumped subsidy money into the farm economy, not just dairy. Today half an American farm’s income is some sort of government payout. That is not growth or stability. And critical problems that affect agriculture, like water shortages, climate change and production regulation remain unaddressed.
In the rest of the world Trump could not grasp the nuances of American hegemony, and unwilling or unable to negotiate trade deals he resorted to punitive tariffs, essentially the biggest tax increase to Americans in decades. The few trade deals that were made saw almost no improvement in America’s economy.
And then the COVID-19 crisis. If anything could prove MAGA was really a fantasy, it was the viral pandemic. Nothing like this in Trump’s childhood, so it couldn’t be real. Two and a half years later, COVID is proving that The Dark King was incapable of leadership in a crisis. Leadership that is the most important part of the American President’s job.
In New Zealand there is no pandemic. Not much larger than a big U.S. State, the island nation proved how to stop the virus. Had early, quick and decisive national action started from the White House each State could have potentially contained the virus.
But The Dark King cared not, told America the pandemic was not real, and before Christmas would just disappear. It was a hoax perpetrated by his political opponents. Any excuse but facing reality. Yes, Trump eventually put in place a travel ban, but only from China, not from Europe, where an equal source of new cases flooded into the East Coast. Today hundreds of thousands of Americans have died needlessly, a horrible proof of his Dark Leadership.
Trump’s way backward and severely limited leadership made his term as President an abject failure. Regardless of any positive achievements, the man’s Dark Leadership has directly cost lives.
After experiencing The Twisted King America realized there is only one successful path for the Republic: to lead into a radically different world.
The reality is that we cannot continue to live as we have since World War II. The world must use less fossil fuels, the world’s population must decline (to help divert mass hunger and environmental collapse), and we must live with radically less wasteful consumerism.
Such a vision is simply not within The Dark King’s ability to imagine. He feels the victim for his limitations, as would any mortal. And he is correct, that is who he is.
And that is why American cannot reelect the Dark King.
Sean Arthur, September 2021.