What Does Donald Trump Want?

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

When our team began to explore this strange possibility that the Donald is a Chosen One, we embraced Robert McKee’s insight and began to explore the Quest question…


To understand the Quest form of your story you need only identify your protagonist’s Object of Desire. Penetrate his psychology and find an honest answer to the question: “What does he want?” …. [B]y looking into the heart of the protagonist and discovering his desire, you begin to see the arc of your story, the Quest on which the Inciting Incident sends him.

Robert McKee, Story

And you Christians are open to considering that Quest question, right?


For nearly everything else in life, whether it’s technology, health care or even the Super Bowl record of your favorite football team, we demand seriousness, detail, and accuracy. Yet we as a culture are ignoring a basic yet obvious truth: If there really is a God, then who He is and what He might want from us are more important than anything else in the universe.

….

The nature of Truth is that it is true no matter what anyone says about it. In the face of Truth, there is no opinion. Most people already believe that deep down, but they may not apply it to the question that matters most, namely, “Who is God and what does He want from me?”

Andrew Stephen Damick, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

And Donald does want something…


“Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred,” Trump said about himself one time.

18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women, by Nina Bahadur, Huffington Post, August 19, 2015

Soooo… What does Donald Trump really want?

And how does it fit with what your God wants him to want? 

Because, remember what my team member, Paula Wong, discovered…


Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40


Is that what Donald really wants, or does he want something else?

As you know, the public expression of Donald Trump’s Quest is to “Make America Great Again!”

It’s just like our China Dream.

In fact, it looks like even as America is coming apart, we are on a similar quest…


Late one afternoon in November, I went to see a professor in Beijing who has studied the U.S. for a long time. America’s recent political turmoil has disoriented him. “I’m struggling with this a lot,” he said, and poured me a cup of tea. “I love the United States. I used to think that the multiculturalism of the U.S. might work here. But, if it doesn’t work there, then it won’t work here.” In his view, the original American bond is dissolving. “In the past, you kept together because of common values that you call freedom,” he said. Emerging in its place is a cynical, zero-sum politics, a return to blood and soil, which privileges interests above inspiration.

In that sense, he observed, the biggest surprise in the relationship between China and the United States is their similarity. In both countries, people who are infuriated by profound gaps in wealth and opportunity have pinned their hopes on nationalist, nostalgic leaders, who encourage them to visualize threats from the outside world. “China, Russia, and the U.S. are moving in the same direction,” he said. “They’re all trying to be great again.” 

Making China Great Again, By Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, January 8, 2018 Issue

But that’s not all. Donald Trump wants something else too.

You see, the Donald is a very self-centered, proud man. 


In fact, one of my loyal team members came across a rather stunning comment on the enormity of Trump’s pride from a prominent American Christian named Pat Robertson, who once ran for president himself. Check out the video below, at about the 3:22 mark…


“He’s a very fascinating guy. I’ve known him for a long time, I got to know Marla Maples and she said she read the Bible and one of his directors of security is one of our 1000 club members, so Donald is quite a man, an amazing person, and he’s done remarkable things, but he is full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history.“


Wow! … “full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history. “

And a lot of people share that opinion about the Donald. Consider how the following observations about Trump’s unusual desire for self-glorification fit with Pat Robertson’s stunning comment about Trump’s ego…


Donald Trump’s psychiatric status is an overarching question that writers and filmmakers and even psychologists have long tried to answer. Trump was offered as a journalist’s paragon of narcissism at least as far back as 1988. Trump makes an appearance in texts for the profession, including Abnormal Behavior in the 21st Century and Personality Disorders and Older Adults: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment. He also appears in books for laypeople such as The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement; Help! I’m in Love with a Narcissist; and When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.

Many recent books about narcissism echo Christopher Lasch’s landmark Culture of Narcissism (1979), a lament that would have us place Trump in “an age of diminishing expectations.” Lasch saw an epidemic of self-involvement emerging as young adults with a weak sense of identity sought continual affirmation in attention, material comforts and exciting experiences. What Lasch feared, Donald Trump lived with more verve than anyone else on the planet. Others may have matched him in one category, such as fame. But no one equaled him on all three levels of narcissistic achievement.

What I Learned Writing Trump’s Biography, by Michael D’Antonio, Politico, September 25, 2015

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!, by Henry Alford, Vanity Fair, November 11, 2015

To my mind, Trump is the most perfect example I have ever come across of a malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist. Of course, he cannot be fully and assuredly diagnosed this way. Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But the overwhelming preponderance of presenting symptoms and visual and textual evidence for tentative profiling is definitely there.

Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin, By Arlen Williams, The American Thinker, March 6, 2016


The portrait of Mr. Trump that emerges from these books, old or new, serious or satirical, is remarkably consistent: a high-decibel narcissist, almost comically self-obsessed; a “hyperbole addict who prevaricates for fun and profit,” as Mr. Singer wrote in The New Yorker in 1997.

Mr. Singer also describes Mr. Trump as an “insatiable publicity hound who courts the press on a daily basis and, when he doesn’t like what he reads, attacks the messengers as ‘human garbage,’” “a fellow both slippery and naïve, artfully calculating and recklessly heedless of consequences.”

At the same time, Mr. Singer and other writers discern an emptiness underneath the gold-plated armor. In “Trump and Me,” Mr. Singer describes his subject as a man “who had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

In Books on Donald Trump, Consistent Portraits of a High-Decibel Narcissist, By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times, August 25, 2016

So, the question we had to ask then, is there a way to think about Donald Trump and his Quest? 

A way to help us see it more clearly?

And then Paula saw this from Robert McKee…


Super-Intention


The super-intention motivates a character to pursue the object of desire.

This phrase restates the protagonist’s conscious desire in terms of his deepest need. …. In other words, the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.

Robert McKee, Dialogue

So, we began to wonder, was Donald Trump’s Object of Desire to “Make America Great Again”, while his Super-Intention was a desire for self-glorification?

And if so, is the Super-Intention the one which is dominant?

Some people in America clearly think this is the case. Here’s what the son of the now deceased Playboy legend Hugh Hefner wrote about Donald Trump…


First and foremost, Trump doesn’t care about the office of the President. He doesn’t care about the American public. He doesn’t care about anything other than Trump. Many already know this, but it’s important to point out that Trump loves Trump over all else. He loves what the presidential race can do for his brand. It’s as simple as that. I know this because Trump is a family friend, but regardless of his home visits, one can understand this after three minutes of watching him.

DONALD IS A FAMILY FRIEND AND HE’S FULL OF S***, by Cooper Hefner, HOP, March 1, 2016

And that is not an exception. There are plenty of illustrations and observations our team has come across which illuminate how Donald’s underlying super-intention for self-glorification is very powerful.


Trump treats parties and policy positions like toys to be used and discarded at his pleasure. He’s been a Democrat, an independent, a Republican, and briefly sought the Reform-party nomination for president in 2000. He’s been pro-choice and pro-life, pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton, pro–single payer and anti-Obamacare. There’s neither rhyme nor reason for his shifts: The only thing that explains them is his constant pursuit of the one thing that really matters, the glory of Donald Trump.

All of these facts add up to one big problem for America. Most of Trump’s backers believe that the biggest thing wrong about America is that no one in government is working for them. But Trump isn’t the elite guy who’s switched sides, he’s the elite guy par excellence whose pursuit of his own wealth and fame leaves everyone else in the dust. He’s not only not the solution to America’s problems, he’s the biggest embodiment of those problems.

Four Easy Steps for Beating Donald Trump, By Henry Olsen, National Review, September 25, 2015

And consider, for instance, on June 16, 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, he spoke about himself being great enough to make America great again…


Our country needs, our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal.

….

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It’s not great.

We need, we need, we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.

….

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.

….

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that.

….

Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.


See how the two tie together? 

His greatness can make America great again.

And look at what else one of my team members found from one of Trump’s biographers, Michael D’Antonio, which we imagine you Christians would be interested in…


Donald tried to smooth things over with Ivanna, but the weeks that followed the incident in Aspen were strained. It didn’t help that when he appeared in an article in the March issue of Playboy magazine–which was published in early February– he refused to answer when interviewer Glenn Plaskin asked, “What is marriage to you? Is it monogamous?” In the same question-and-answer session Trump observed that every successful person, including Mother Teresa and Jesus Christ, was driven by ego. “Far greater egos than you will ever understand.” He also acknowledged his publicity seeking: “The show is Trump, and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

Michael D’Antonio, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success


You can see Trump’s reasoning, right? 

If Jesus was so driven by ego, why not the Donald?

Do you Christians agree with that?

Is your God a narcissist, like Donald Trump?

Anyway, we agree with what the Donald wrote about himself in the year 2000…


Well, I’ve lived my life as an open book and I don’t claim to be something I am not. What you see is what you would get.

Donald Trump, The America We Deserve

And now you Americans get to experience what he wants. 

So, it looks like you Christians might want to face the reality which the Benedict Option guy lays out…


Though Donald Trump won the presidency in part with the strong support of Catholics and Evangelicals, the idea that someone as robustly vulgar, fiercely combative, and morally compromised as Trump will be an avatar for the restoration of Christian morality and social unity is beyond delusional. He is not a solution to the problem of America’s cultural decline, but a symptom of it.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

And perhaps this quote is very relevant…


Now, people my age always say things have changed, and they always seem to think change is bad, but I’m not saying that. I think we’ve experienced an unusual shift, similar to a tectonic shift in the plates of the earth. For instance, we’ve gone from a community-centered culture in the West to being so self-absorbed that we can best be described as narcissistic. Christopher Lasch’s book on the culture of narcissism was dead-on, and that was nearly forty years ago. How much worse this problem is today.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

It looks like Charles Colson would have recognized what Donald Trump wants.

So then, it looks like Donald Trump is pursuing two desires…


An external one to make America Great again…

… and an internal one to fuel his desire for self-glorification.


We suspect Robert McKee might call Donald Trump’s external pursuit his “object of desire”, and his internal pursuit his “super-intention.” 

As McKee writes in his book, Dialogue, “the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.”

After we began to look through this lens, our team began to believe we could find our way forward with the Donald Trump assignment. And part of the reason why is because it began to shine a light on different aspects of your love crisis.

So, think of Donald Trump said about his way forward in life…


“I’ve come this far in life. I’ve had great success. I’ve done it my way.”

Trump Does It His Way, by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, April 2, 2016

… and what your noted Christian philosopher, Peter Kreeft wrote…


The national anthem of Hell is “I Did It My Way”.

Peter Kreeft


And look how that fits with this…


As it happens, the differences are clear between the major answers to the search for purpose in life, and they lead in entirely different directions.

….

The second is the secularist answer, which includes atheists, most agnostics, naturalists in science, and a large number of humanists. If the final reality is chance and there is no God (or gods or the supernatural) to consider, then purpose is up to each of us to decide and achieve for ourselves by ourselves. We don’t discover it – we decide it. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s words, our challenge is “to turn every ‘it was’ into a ‘thus I willed it.” In Bertrand Russell’s view, we are each to be “a weary but unyielding Atlas,” carrying on our own shoulders the world of our own making. Like Frank Sinatra, we must each do it “my way.”

Os Guinness, The Call

And your Drollinger dude laid it out for us…


The acceptance of pride in our culture is so prevalent that some will argue with what I’ve said. Allow me to illustrate its prevalence.

Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way” and Whitney Houston popularized “the greatest love of all…is learning to love yourself.” Both made millions from the sale of such albums. “Taking pride in one’s work” is a common­ly held axiom, and who hasn’t witnessed the myriad of “proud parent” bumper stickers or monotonous, arrogant “I did this” political speeches? Even some Christian ministries believe that engendering pride (often under the guise of infusing “self esteem”) in a child is a good thing. But, no matter what you be­lieve about the need for “self esteem” or “the adult quest for meaning,” all hold in com­mon a subtle or not-so-subtle focus on one’s self. Oh, and did I mention the “selfie” craze — look at me, here I am! These are the seed­beds of an increasingly self-absorbed culture where in conversational skills (among many other things) the subject always revolves back to me.

Dealing with Pride: in Life and in D.C., BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2018

Drollie knows the Donald.

So, look at this famous passage from your prophet Isaiah, which Paula showed us…


All we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have turned — every one — to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6


And now, think of this…


But one thing is certain. It doesn’t matter that Trump once appeared in a Playboy video. It doesn’t matter that Trump ran casinos. It doesn’t matter that Trump was a philanderer. It doesn’t even matter that he won’t answer a direct question as to whether he ever had a relationship with a woman that resulted in an aborted pregnancy. What Christian conservatives want from Trump, Christian conservatives will likely get, and that suits them just fine.

Trump Caters More to Evangelicals Than the Working Class, By Bill Scher, Real Clear Politics, May 21, 2018

So, are you sure you really want what the Donald wants?…


The greatest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way….

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary

And, well, have you considered this?


The sacking of Rome prompted Augustine to reconsider the prevailing idea of citizenship. The results of his thinking shaped not just the Christian idea of citizenship but the secular as well, for Augustine proposed the idea of “two-cities” that define the ultimate allegiance of human beings. The city of God and the City of Man are built on opposing loves. A citizen of the City of God loves God; a subject of the City of Man loves himself first and in the selfishness loses himself in pride. The City of God is the city of the humble. The City of Man is the city of the proud. In the City of God, divine love is the shared goodness that increases rather than decreases with additional sharers. In the City of Man at its worst, it is confusion — not goodness — that is shared in common. Within the City of Man, the best that can be hoped for is that a concern for property, a limited material good, can be shared.

David J. Bobb, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue

So, what if your God chose Donald Trump in order to open your eyes to some things you don’t want to consider?


How, when, and why has the United States now arrived at the brink of a veritable civil war?

….

Donald Trump’s election was not so much a catalyst for the divide as a manifestation and amplification of the existing schism.

We are now nearing a point comparable to 1860, and perhaps past 1968. Left–Right factionalism is increasingly fueled by geography — always history’s force multiplier of civil strife.

The Origins of Our Second Civil War, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, July 31, 2018

Are those some things you want to push away?

What is it you really want?

When our team began to explore this strange possibility that the Donald is a Chosen One, we embraced Robert McKee’s insight and began to explore the Quest question…


To understand the Quest form of your story you need only identify your protagonist’s Object of Desire. Penetrate his psychology and find an honest answer to the question: “What does he want?” …. [B]y looking into the heart of the protagonist and discovering his desire, you begin to see the arc of your story, the Quest on which the Inciting Incident sends him.

Robert McKee, Story

And you Christians are open to considering that Quest question, right?


For nearly everything else in life, whether it’s technology, health care or even the Super Bowl record of your favorite football team, we demand seriousness, detail, and accuracy. Yet we as a culture are ignoring a basic yet obvious truth: If there really is a God, then who He is and what He might want from us are more important than anything else in the universe.

….

The nature of Truth is that it is true no matter what anyone says about it. In the face of Truth, there is no opinion. Most people already believe that deep down, but they may not apply it to the question that matters most, namely, “Who is God and what does He want from me?”

Andrew Stephen Damick, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

And Donald does want something…


“Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred,” Trump said about himself one time.

18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women, by Nina Bahadur, Huffington Post, August 19, 2015

Soooo… What does Donald Trump really want?

And how does it fit with what your God wants him to want? 

Because, remember what my team member, Paula Wong, discovered…


Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40


Is that what Donald really wants, or does he want something else?

As you know, the public expression of Donald Trump’s Quest is to “Make America Great Again!”

It’s just like our China Dream.

In fact, it looks like even as America is coming apart, we are on a similar quest…


Late one afternoon in November, I went to see a professor in Beijing who has studied the U.S. for a long time. America’s recent political turmoil has disoriented him. “I’m struggling with this a lot,” he said, and poured me a cup of tea. “I love the United States. I used to think that the multiculturalism of the U.S. might work here. But, if it doesn’t work there, then it won’t work here.” In his view, the original American bond is dissolving. “In the past, you kept together because of common values that you call freedom,” he said. Emerging in its place is a cynical, zero-sum politics, a return to blood and soil, which privileges interests above inspiration.

In that sense, he observed, the biggest surprise in the relationship between China and the United States is their similarity. In both countries, people who are infuriated by profound gaps in wealth and opportunity have pinned their hopes on nationalist, nostalgic leaders, who encourage them to visualize threats from the outside world. “China, Russia, and the U.S. are moving in the same direction,” he said. “They’re all trying to be great again.” 

Making China Great Again, By Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, January 8, 2018 Issue

But that’s not all. Donald Trump wants something else too.

You see, the Donald is a very self-centered, proud man. 


In fact, one of my loyal team members came across a rather stunning comment on the enormity of Trump’s pride from a prominent American Christian named Pat Robertson, who once ran for president himself. Check out the video below, at about the 3:22 mark…


“He’s a very fascinating guy. I’ve known him for a long time, I got to know Marla Maples and she said she read the Bible and one of his directors of security is one of our 1000 club members, so Donald is quite a man, an amazing person, and he’s done remarkable things, but he is full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history.“


Wow! … “full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history. “

And a lot of people share that opinion about the Donald. Consider how the following observations about Trump’s unusual desire for self-glorification fit with Pat Robertson’s stunning comment about Trump’s ego…


Donald Trump’s psychiatric status is an overarching question that writers and filmmakers and even psychologists have long tried to answer. Trump was offered as a journalist’s paragon of narcissism at least as far back as 1988. Trump makes an appearance in texts for the profession, including Abnormal Behavior in the 21st Century and Personality Disorders and Older Adults: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment. He also appears in books for laypeople such as The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement; Help! I’m in Love with a Narcissist; and When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.

Many recent books about narcissism echo Christopher Lasch’s landmark Culture of Narcissism (1979), a lament that would have us place Trump in “an age of diminishing expectations.” Lasch saw an epidemic of self-involvement emerging as young adults with a weak sense of identity sought continual affirmation in attention, material comforts and exciting experiences. What Lasch feared, Donald Trump lived with more verve than anyone else on the planet. Others may have matched him in one category, such as fame. But no one equaled him on all three levels of narcissistic achievement.

What I Learned Writing Trump’s Biography, by Michael D’Antonio, Politico, September 25, 2015

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!, by Henry Alford, Vanity Fair, November 11, 2015

To my mind, Trump is the most perfect example I have ever come across of a malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist. Of course, he cannot be fully and assuredly diagnosed this way. Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But the overwhelming preponderance of presenting symptoms and visual and textual evidence for tentative profiling is definitely there.

Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin, By Arlen Williams, The American Thinker, March 6, 2016


The portrait of Mr. Trump that emerges from these books, old or new, serious or satirical, is remarkably consistent: a high-decibel narcissist, almost comically self-obsessed; a “hyperbole addict who prevaricates for fun and profit,” as Mr. Singer wrote in The New Yorker in 1997.

Mr. Singer also describes Mr. Trump as an “insatiable publicity hound who courts the press on a daily basis and, when he doesn’t like what he reads, attacks the messengers as ‘human garbage,’” “a fellow both slippery and naïve, artfully calculating and recklessly heedless of consequences.”

At the same time, Mr. Singer and other writers discern an emptiness underneath the gold-plated armor. In “Trump and Me,” Mr. Singer describes his subject as a man “who had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

In Books on Donald Trump, Consistent Portraits of a High-Decibel Narcissist, By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times, August 25, 2016

So, the question we had to ask then, is there a way to think about Donald Trump and his Quest? 

A way to help us see it more clearly?

And then Paula saw this from Robert McKee…


Super-Intention


The super-intention motivates a character to pursue the object of desire.

This phrase restates the protagonist’s conscious desire in terms of his deepest need. …. In other words, the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.

Robert McKee, Dialogue

So, we began to wonder, was Donald Trump’s Object of Desire to “Make America Great Again”, while his Super-Intention was a desire for self-glorification?

And if so, is the Super-Intention the one which is dominant?

Some people in America clearly think this is the case. Here’s what the son of the now deceased Playboy legend Hugh Hefner wrote about Donald Trump…


First and foremost, Trump doesn’t care about the office of the President. He doesn’t care about the American public. He doesn’t care about anything other than Trump. Many already know this, but it’s important to point out that Trump loves Trump over all else. He loves what the presidential race can do for his brand. It’s as simple as that. I know this because Trump is a family friend, but regardless of his home visits, one can understand this after three minutes of watching him.

DONALD IS A FAMILY FRIEND AND HE’S FULL OF S***, by Cooper Hefner, HOP, March 1, 2016

And that is not an exception. There are plenty of illustrations and observations our team has come across which illuminate how Donald’s underlying super-intention for self-glorification is very powerful.


Trump treats parties and policy positions like toys to be used and discarded at his pleasure. He’s been a Democrat, an independent, a Republican, and briefly sought the Reform-party nomination for president in 2000. He’s been pro-choice and pro-life, pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton, pro–single payer and anti-Obamacare. There’s neither rhyme nor reason for his shifts: The only thing that explains them is his constant pursuit of the one thing that really matters, the glory of Donald Trump.

All of these facts add up to one big problem for America. Most of Trump’s backers believe that the biggest thing wrong about America is that no one in government is working for them. But Trump isn’t the elite guy who’s switched sides, he’s the elite guy par excellence whose pursuit of his own wealth and fame leaves everyone else in the dust. He’s not only not the solution to America’s problems, he’s the biggest embodiment of those problems.

Four Easy Steps for Beating Donald Trump, By Henry Olsen, National Review, September 25, 2015

And consider, for instance, on June 16, 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, he spoke about himself being great enough to make America great again…


Our country needs, our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal.

….

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It’s not great.

We need, we need, we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.

….

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.

….

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that.

….

Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.


See how the two tie together? 

His greatness can make America great again.

And look at what else one of my team members found from one of Trump’s biographers, Michael D’Antonio, which we imagine you Christians would be interested in…


Donald tried to smooth things over with Ivanna, but the weeks that followed the incident in Aspen were strained. It didn’t help that when he appeared in an article in the March issue of Playboy magazine–which was published in early February– he refused to answer when interviewer Glenn Plaskin asked, “What is marriage to you? Is it monogamous?” In the same question-and-answer session Trump observed that every successful person, including Mother Teresa and Jesus Christ, was driven by ego. “Far greater egos than you will ever understand.” He also acknowledged his publicity seeking: “The show is Trump, and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

Michael D’Antonio, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success


You can see Trump’s reasoning, right? 

If Jesus was so driven by ego, why not the Donald?

Do you Christians agree with that?

Is your God a narcissist, like Donald Trump?

Anyway, we agree with what the Donald wrote about himself in the year 2000…


Well, I’ve lived my life as an open book and I don’t claim to be something I am not. What you see is what you would get.

Donald Trump, The America We Deserve

And now you Americans get to experience what he wants. 

So, it looks like you Christians might want to face the reality which the Benedict Option guy lays out…


Though Donald Trump won the presidency in part with the strong support of Catholics and Evangelicals, the idea that someone as robustly vulgar, fiercely combative, and morally compromised as Trump will be an avatar for the restoration of Christian morality and social unity is beyond delusional. He is not a solution to the problem of America’s cultural decline, but a symptom of it.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

And perhaps this quote is very relevant…


Now, people my age always say things have changed, and they always seem to think change is bad, but I’m not saying that. I think we’ve experienced an unusual shift, similar to a tectonic shift in the plates of the earth. For instance, we’ve gone from a community-centered culture in the West to being so self-absorbed that we can best be described as narcissistic. Christopher Lasch’s book on the culture of narcissism was dead-on, and that was nearly forty years ago. How much worse this problem is today.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

It looks like Charles Colson would have recognized what Donald Trump wants.

So then, it looks like Donald Trump is pursuing two desires…


An external one to make America Great again…

… and an internal one to fuel his desire for self-glorification.


We suspect Robert McKee might call Donald Trump’s external pursuit his “object of desire”, and his internal pursuit his “super-intention.” 

As McKee writes in his book, Dialogue, “the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.”

After we began to look through this lens, our team began to believe we could find our way forward with the Donald Trump assignment. And part of the reason why is because it began to shine a light on different aspects of your love crisis.

So, think of Donald Trump said about his way forward in life…


“I’ve come this far in life. I’ve had great success. I’ve done it my way.”

Trump Does It His Way, by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, April 2, 2016

… and what your noted Christian philosopher, Peter Kreeft wrote…


The national anthem of Hell is “I Did It My Way”.

Peter Kreeft


And look how that fits with this…


As it happens, the differences are clear between the major answers to the search for purpose in life, and they lead in entirely different directions.

….

The second is the secularist answer, which includes atheists, most agnostics, naturalists in science, and a large number of humanists. If the final reality is chance and there is no God (or gods or the supernatural) to consider, then purpose is up to each of us to decide and achieve for ourselves by ourselves. We don’t discover it – we decide it. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s words, our challenge is “to turn every ‘it was’ into a ‘thus I willed it.” In Bertrand Russell’s view, we are each to be “a weary but unyielding Atlas,” carrying on our own shoulders the world of our own making. Like Frank Sinatra, we must each do it “my way.”

Os Guinness, The Call

And your Drollinger dude laid it out for us…


The acceptance of pride in our culture is so prevalent that some will argue with what I’ve said. Allow me to illustrate its prevalence.

Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way” and Whitney Houston popularized “the greatest love of all…is learning to love yourself.” Both made millions from the sale of such albums. “Taking pride in one’s work” is a common­ly held axiom, and who hasn’t witnessed the myriad of “proud parent” bumper stickers or monotonous, arrogant “I did this” political speeches? Even some Christian ministries believe that engendering pride (often under the guise of infusing “self esteem”) in a child is a good thing. But, no matter what you be­lieve about the need for “self esteem” or “the adult quest for meaning,” all hold in com­mon a subtle or not-so-subtle focus on one’s self. Oh, and did I mention the “selfie” craze — look at me, here I am! These are the seed­beds of an increasingly self-absorbed culture where in conversational skills (among many other things) the subject always revolves back to me.

Dealing with Pride: in Life and in D.C., BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2018

Drollie knows the Donald.

So, look at this famous passage from your prophet Isaiah, which Paula showed us…


All we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have turned — every one — to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6


And now, think of this…


But one thing is certain. It doesn’t matter that Trump once appeared in a Playboy video. It doesn’t matter that Trump ran casinos. It doesn’t matter that Trump was a philanderer. It doesn’t even matter that he won’t answer a direct question as to whether he ever had a relationship with a woman that resulted in an aborted pregnancy. What Christian conservatives want from Trump, Christian conservatives will likely get, and that suits them just fine.

Trump Caters More to Evangelicals Than the Working Class, By Bill Scher, Real Clear Politics, May 21, 2018

So, are you sure you really want what the Donald wants?…


The greatest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way….

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary

And, well, have you considered this?


The sacking of Rome prompted Augustine to reconsider the prevailing idea of citizenship. The results of his thinking shaped not just the Christian idea of citizenship but the secular as well, for Augustine proposed the idea of “two-cities” that define the ultimate allegiance of human beings. The city of God and the City of Man are built on opposing loves. A citizen of the City of God loves God; a subject of the City of Man loves himself first and in the selfishness loses himself in pride. The City of God is the city of the humble. The City of Man is the city of the proud. In the City of God, divine love is the shared goodness that increases rather than decreases with additional sharers. In the City of Man at its worst, it is confusion — not goodness — that is shared in common. Within the City of Man, the best that can be hoped for is that a concern for property, a limited material good, can be shared.

David J. Bobb, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue

So, what if your God chose Donald Trump in order to open your eyes to some things you don’t want to consider?


How, when, and why has the United States now arrived at the brink of a veritable civil war?

….

Donald Trump’s election was not so much a catalyst for the divide as a manifestation and amplification of the existing schism.

We are now nearing a point comparable to 1860, and perhaps past 1968. Left–Right factionalism is increasingly fueled by geography — always history’s force multiplier of civil strife.

The Origins of Our Second Civil War, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, July 31, 2018

Are those some things you want to push away?

What is it you really want?

When our team began to explore this strange possibility that the Donald is a Chosen One, we embraced Robert McKee’s insight and began to explore the Quest question…


To understand the Quest form of your story you need only identify your protagonist’s Object of Desire. Penetrate his psychology and find an honest answer to the question: “What does he want?” …. [B]y looking into the heart of the protagonist and discovering his desire, you begin to see the arc of your story, the Quest on which the Inciting Incident sends him.

Robert McKee, Story

And you Christians are open to considering that Quest question, right?


For nearly everything else in life, whether it’s technology, health care or even the Super Bowl record of your favorite football team, we demand seriousness, detail, and accuracy. Yet we as a culture are ignoring a basic yet obvious truth: If there really is a God, then who He is and what He might want from us are more important than anything else in the universe.

….

The nature of Truth is that it is true no matter what anyone says about it. In the face of Truth, there is no opinion. Most people already believe that deep down, but they may not apply it to the question that matters most, namely, “Who is God and what does He want from me?”

Andrew Stephen Damick, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

And Donald does want something…


“Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred,” Trump said about himself one time.

18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women, by Nina Bahadur, Huffington Post, August 19, 2015

Soooo… What does Donald Trump really want?

And how does it fit with what your God wants him to want? 

Because, remember what my team member, Paula Wong, discovered…


Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40


Is that what Donald really wants, or does he want something else?

As you know, the public expression of Donald Trump’s Quest is to “Make America Great Again!”

It’s just like our China Dream.

In fact, it looks like even as America is coming apart, we are on a similar quest…


Late one afternoon in November, I went to see a professor in Beijing who has studied the U.S. for a long time. America’s recent political turmoil has disoriented him. “I’m struggling with this a lot,” he said, and poured me a cup of tea. “I love the United States. I used to think that the multiculturalism of the U.S. might work here. But, if it doesn’t work there, then it won’t work here.” In his view, the original American bond is dissolving. “In the past, you kept together because of common values that you call freedom,” he said. Emerging in its place is a cynical, zero-sum politics, a return to blood and soil, which privileges interests above inspiration.

In that sense, he observed, the biggest surprise in the relationship between China and the United States is their similarity. In both countries, people who are infuriated by profound gaps in wealth and opportunity have pinned their hopes on nationalist, nostalgic leaders, who encourage them to visualize threats from the outside world. “China, Russia, and the U.S. are moving in the same direction,” he said. “They’re all trying to be great again.” 

Making China Great Again, By Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, January 8, 2018 Issue

But that’s not all. Donald Trump wants something else too.

You see, the Donald is a very self-centered, proud man. 


In fact, one of my loyal team members came across a rather stunning comment on the enormity of Trump’s pride from a prominent American Christian named Pat Robertson, who once ran for president himself. Check out the video below, at about the 3:22 mark…


“He’s a very fascinating guy. I’ve known him for a long time, I got to know Marla Maples and she said she read the Bible and one of his directors of security is one of our 1000 club members, so Donald is quite a man, an amazing person, and he’s done remarkable things, but he is full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history.“


Wow! … “full of ego like few people we’ve ever known in history. “

And a lot of people share that opinion about the Donald. Consider how the following observations about Trump’s unusual desire for self-glorification fit with Pat Robertson’s stunning comment about Trump’s ego…


Donald Trump’s psychiatric status is an overarching question that writers and filmmakers and even psychologists have long tried to answer. Trump was offered as a journalist’s paragon of narcissism at least as far back as 1988. Trump makes an appearance in texts for the profession, including Abnormal Behavior in the 21st Century and Personality Disorders and Older Adults: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment. He also appears in books for laypeople such as The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement; Help! I’m in Love with a Narcissist; and When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.

Many recent books about narcissism echo Christopher Lasch’s landmark Culture of Narcissism (1979), a lament that would have us place Trump in “an age of diminishing expectations.” Lasch saw an epidemic of self-involvement emerging as young adults with a weak sense of identity sought continual affirmation in attention, material comforts and exciting experiences. What Lasch feared, Donald Trump lived with more verve than anyone else on the planet. Others may have matched him in one category, such as fame. But no one equaled him on all three levels of narcissistic achievement.

What I Learned Writing Trump’s Biography, by Michael D’Antonio, Politico, September 25, 2015

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!, by Henry Alford, Vanity Fair, November 11, 2015

To my mind, Trump is the most perfect example I have ever come across of a malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist. Of course, he cannot be fully and assuredly diagnosed this way. Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But the overwhelming preponderance of presenting symptoms and visual and textual evidence for tentative profiling is definitely there.

Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin, By Arlen Williams, The American Thinker, March 6, 2016


The portrait of Mr. Trump that emerges from these books, old or new, serious or satirical, is remarkably consistent: a high-decibel narcissist, almost comically self-obsessed; a “hyperbole addict who prevaricates for fun and profit,” as Mr. Singer wrote in The New Yorker in 1997.

Mr. Singer also describes Mr. Trump as an “insatiable publicity hound who courts the press on a daily basis and, when he doesn’t like what he reads, attacks the messengers as ‘human garbage,’” “a fellow both slippery and naïve, artfully calculating and recklessly heedless of consequences.”

At the same time, Mr. Singer and other writers discern an emptiness underneath the gold-plated armor. In “Trump and Me,” Mr. Singer describes his subject as a man “who had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

In Books on Donald Trump, Consistent Portraits of a High-Decibel Narcissist, By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times, August 25, 2016

So, the question we had to ask then, is there a way to think about Donald Trump and his Quest? 

A way to help us see it more clearly?

And then Paula saw this from Robert McKee…


Super-Intention


The super-intention motivates a character to pursue the object of desire.

This phrase restates the protagonist’s conscious desire in terms of his deepest need. …. In other words, the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.

Robert McKee, Dialogue

So, we began to wonder, was Donald Trump’s Object of Desire to “Make America Great Again”, while his Super-Intention was a desire for self-glorification?

And if so, is the Super-Intention the one which is dominant?

Some people in America clearly think this is the case. Here’s what the son of the now deceased Playboy legend Hugh Hefner wrote about Donald Trump…


First and foremost, Trump doesn’t care about the office of the President. He doesn’t care about the American public. He doesn’t care about anything other than Trump. Many already know this, but it’s important to point out that Trump loves Trump over all else. He loves what the presidential race can do for his brand. It’s as simple as that. I know this because Trump is a family friend, but regardless of his home visits, one can understand this after three minutes of watching him.

DONALD IS A FAMILY FRIEND AND HE’S FULL OF S***, by Cooper Hefner, HOP, March 1, 2016

And that is not an exception. There are plenty of illustrations and observations our team has come across which illuminate how Donald’s underlying super-intention for self-glorification is very powerful.


Trump treats parties and policy positions like toys to be used and discarded at his pleasure. He’s been a Democrat, an independent, a Republican, and briefly sought the Reform-party nomination for president in 2000. He’s been pro-choice and pro-life, pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton, pro–single payer and anti-Obamacare. There’s neither rhyme nor reason for his shifts: The only thing that explains them is his constant pursuit of the one thing that really matters, the glory of Donald Trump.

All of these facts add up to one big problem for America. Most of Trump’s backers believe that the biggest thing wrong about America is that no one in government is working for them. But Trump isn’t the elite guy who’s switched sides, he’s the elite guy par excellence whose pursuit of his own wealth and fame leaves everyone else in the dust. He’s not only not the solution to America’s problems, he’s the biggest embodiment of those problems.

Four Easy Steps for Beating Donald Trump, By Henry Olsen, National Review, September 25, 2015

And consider, for instance, on June 16, 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, he spoke about himself being great enough to make America great again…


Our country needs, our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal.

….

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It’s not great.

We need, we need, we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.

….

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.

….

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that.

….

Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.


See how the two tie together? 

His greatness can make America great again.

And look at what else one of my team members found from one of Trump’s biographers, Michael D’Antonio, which we imagine you Christians would be interested in…


Donald tried to smooth things over with Ivanna, but the weeks that followed the incident in Aspen were strained. It didn’t help that when he appeared in an article in the March issue of Playboy magazine–which was published in early February– he refused to answer when interviewer Glenn Plaskin asked, “What is marriage to you? Is it monogamous?” In the same question-and-answer session Trump observed that every successful person, including Mother Teresa and Jesus Christ, was driven by ego. “Far greater egos than you will ever understand.” He also acknowledged his publicity seeking: “The show is Trump, and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

Michael D’Antonio, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success


You can see Trump’s reasoning, right? 

If Jesus was so driven by ego, why not the Donald?

Do you Christians agree with that?

Is your God a narcissist, like Donald Trump?

Anyway, we agree with what the Donald wrote about himself in the year 2000…


Well, I’ve lived my life as an open book and I don’t claim to be something I am not. What you see is what you would get.

Donald Trump, The America We Deserve

And now you Americans get to experience what he wants. 

So, it looks like you Christians might want to face the reality which the Benedict Option guy lays out…


Though Donald Trump won the presidency in part with the strong support of Catholics and Evangelicals, the idea that someone as robustly vulgar, fiercely combative, and morally compromised as Trump will be an avatar for the restoration of Christian morality and social unity is beyond delusional. He is not a solution to the problem of America’s cultural decline, but a symptom of it.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

And perhaps this quote is very relevant…


Now, people my age always say things have changed, and they always seem to think change is bad, but I’m not saying that. I think we’ve experienced an unusual shift, similar to a tectonic shift in the plates of the earth. For instance, we’ve gone from a community-centered culture in the West to being so self-absorbed that we can best be described as narcissistic. Christopher Lasch’s book on the culture of narcissism was dead-on, and that was nearly forty years ago. How much worse this problem is today.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

It looks like Charles Colson would have recognized what Donald Trump wants.

So then, it looks like Donald Trump is pursuing two desires…


An external one to make America Great again…

… and an internal one to fuel his desire for self-glorification.


We suspect Robert McKee might call Donald Trump’s external pursuit his “object of desire”, and his internal pursuit his “super-intention.” 

As McKee writes in his book, Dialogue, “the object of desire is objective, whereas the super-intention is subjective: what the protagonist wants versus the emotional hunger that drives him.”

After we began to look through this lens, our team began to believe we could find our way forward with the Donald Trump assignment. And part of the reason why is because it began to shine a light on different aspects of your love crisis.

So, think of Donald Trump said about his way forward in life…


“I’ve come this far in life. I’ve had great success. I’ve done it my way.”

Trump Does It His Way, by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, April 2, 2016

… and what your noted Christian philosopher, Peter Kreeft wrote…


The national anthem of Hell is “I Did It My Way”.

Peter Kreeft


And look how that fits with this…


As it happens, the differences are clear between the major answers to the search for purpose in life, and they lead in entirely different directions.

….

The second is the secularist answer, which includes atheists, most agnostics, naturalists in science, and a large number of humanists. If the final reality is chance and there is no God (or gods or the supernatural) to consider, then purpose is up to each of us to decide and achieve for ourselves by ourselves. We don’t discover it – we decide it. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s words, our challenge is “to turn every ‘it was’ into a ‘thus I willed it.” In Bertrand Russell’s view, we are each to be “a weary but unyielding Atlas,” carrying on our own shoulders the world of our own making. Like Frank Sinatra, we must each do it “my way.”

Os Guinness, The Call

And your Drollinger dude laid it out for us…


The acceptance of pride in our culture is so prevalent that some will argue with what I’ve said. Allow me to illustrate its prevalence.

Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way” and Whitney Houston popularized “the greatest love of all…is learning to love yourself.” Both made millions from the sale of such albums. “Taking pride in one’s work” is a common­ly held axiom, and who hasn’t witnessed the myriad of “proud parent” bumper stickers or monotonous, arrogant “I did this” political speeches? Even some Christian ministries believe that engendering pride (often under the guise of infusing “self esteem”) in a child is a good thing. But, no matter what you be­lieve about the need for “self esteem” or “the adult quest for meaning,” all hold in com­mon a subtle or not-so-subtle focus on one’s self. Oh, and did I mention the “selfie” craze — look at me, here I am! These are the seed­beds of an increasingly self-absorbed culture where in conversational skills (among many other things) the subject always revolves back to me.

Dealing with Pride: in Life and in D.C., BY RALPH DROLLINGER, Capitol Ministries, MAY 1, 2018

Drollie knows the Donald.

So, look at this famous passage from your prophet Isaiah, which Paula showed us…


All we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have turned — every one — to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6


And now, think of this…


But one thing is certain. It doesn’t matter that Trump once appeared in a Playboy video. It doesn’t matter that Trump ran casinos. It doesn’t matter that Trump was a philanderer. It doesn’t even matter that he won’t answer a direct question as to whether he ever had a relationship with a woman that resulted in an aborted pregnancy. What Christian conservatives want from Trump, Christian conservatives will likely get, and that suits them just fine.

Trump Caters More to Evangelicals Than the Working Class, By Bill Scher, Real Clear Politics, May 21, 2018

So, are you sure you really want what the Donald wants?…


The greatest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way….

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary

And, well, have you considered this?


The sacking of Rome prompted Augustine to reconsider the prevailing idea of citizenship. The results of his thinking shaped not just the Christian idea of citizenship but the secular as well, for Augustine proposed the idea of “two-cities” that define the ultimate allegiance of human beings. The city of God and the City of Man are built on opposing loves. A citizen of the City of God loves God; a subject of the City of Man loves himself first and in the selfishness loses himself in pride. The City of God is the city of the humble. The City of Man is the city of the proud. In the City of God, divine love is the shared goodness that increases rather than decreases with additional sharers. In the City of Man at its worst, it is confusion — not goodness — that is shared in common. Within the City of Man, the best that can be hoped for is that a concern for property, a limited material good, can be shared.

David J. Bobb, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue

So, what if your God chose Donald Trump in order to open your eyes to some things you don’t want to consider?


How, when, and why has the United States now arrived at the brink of a veritable civil war?

….

Donald Trump’s election was not so much a catalyst for the divide as a manifestation and amplification of the existing schism.

We are now nearing a point comparable to 1860, and perhaps past 1968. Left–Right factionalism is increasingly fueled by geography — always history’s force multiplier of civil strife.

The Origins of Our Second Civil War, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, July 31, 2018

Are those some things you want to push away?

What is it you really want?