We all have facades of one sort or another, adopted when it’s borne in upon us that we’re not the centre of everyone’s universe and we need to adapt our behaviour to be acceptable (and hide our tender spots from those who enjoy poking other people’s bruises).
That’s what makes Donald Trump so interesting (from afar). His facade is flimsy to non-existent. What you see is what you get in all its bigoted, intolerant, loud-mouthed glory. Depending on your point of view, this is either ‘refreshingly honest’, or an innate psychological flaw that insists he’s above the normal civilities that oil the wheels of a functioning society.
What’s even more interesting (from a-very-far) is that increasing numbers of his followers seem to be dropping their facades as well. I’ve come across numerous accounts of friendships damaged beyond repair when Trump supporters ‘come out’, you might say, in a flurry of abusive intolerance that leaves their erstwhile friends breathless and gobsmacked.
So what happens when the election’s over? It’s a worry. If Donny wins, will thousands of Americans embrace the opportunity to follow their leader down the slippery slope to white male supremacy and rampant xenophobia? And if so, will female followers be struck down with viral disenchantment? And if Hillary wins, what then? Can all that ugliness be stuffed back in its box, or is it an evil genie that once released, will snigger and cackle at all attempts to recapture it?
But then again, I could be entirely wrong. Perhaps the Trump we’re seeing now is a indeed a facade to protect a man of deep sensitivity, broad understanding and the highest moral and ethical standards.
Why can’t I quite believe that?