The Sociopath, the Void, the Canvas
As I puzzle over the question of how, out of 209 million adult Americans, Donald Trump became the one elevated to the status of visionary leader and vanquishing hero for tens of millions of his followers, it strikes me that it is his very vacuity, his very emptiness that permits the adulation. He presents as an empty screen upon which his adherents may project their fears, longings, disappointments, hopes and frustrations. Because behind all the superficial dazzle and bluster, there really is nothing there. He exists purely as a reactionary being, having long ago abandoned the pursuit of a unique self with depth. It is the curse of every sociopath: They struggle with a cold, amorphous void within them that they likely will never learn how to fill. The sociopath instead focuses his energy on external power manipulation. Internally, it remains a wasteland. The documentaries many of us watched in recent years on sociopathic cult leaders, from Jim Jones to Keith Rainier, the political demagogue machinations we have observed in recent years, from Bolsonaro to Duterte, all present scheming, conniving, and, ultimately, flailing husks of men straining for for power and control. And, quite dangerously, it is the very emptiness within that can present yet another trap for the public. The void presents as a blank canvas upon which we may paint what we dream.