Stroking the Beast

Posted by Fe Bongolan


Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants and Sen. John McCain show him to be this presidential race’s early demagogue. Fe Bongolan knows that stroking the beast of intolerance, bigotry, unabashed thoughtless greed and militarism is not likely to build a long-term campaign, but his pollution may remain.

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Merriam Webster defines demagogue as “a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason.”

In our recent history, the last fifteen years or so, every presidential election season has had at least one demagogue. Republican Presidential candidate and former House Leader Newt Gingrich was one in 2012.

In 2008, it was John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin. In 2000 and 2004 George W. Bush’s “aw shucks” charm exuded a plain-and-deadly charm of willful ignorance coupled with entitlement and power that thrilled his Republican base.

This year, for the 2016 presidential campaign, we have billionaire Donald Trump. While declaring his candidacy he hit press gold by vilifying Mexican immigrants as killers and rapists. This was followed by an onslaught of corporate abandonment: the Miss Universe Pageant that he sponsored; Univision — the Hispanic American network with domestic and international viewership in the millions — especially for soccer; NBC; the Pro Golfers Association; NASCAR and Macy’s.

Macy’s dropped Trump’s clothing line, which is made in Mexico. With Trump a traditional sponsor of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving parade — a gaudy national display of colorful plastic cartoon character gasbags — their firing of Trump, a human gasbag, is a beautiful irony.

The best political art coming fresh out the gate early in the silly season has to come from Mexico — the Donald Trump piñata. I understand there is also a Donald Trump butt plug, but that could be urban legend. Yet, even by demonizing Mexico and Mexicans, he acts as a form of stimulus for Mexico’s domestic economy. He is a perfect corporate product.

Donald Trump has no equal in branding himself. It seems as though he can do this in a matter of minutes. Having already made a name in real estate, entertainment and tabloid-worthy divorces, he really is a man who doesn’t give a shit. He doesn’t have to. He has done what every American craving entitlement wants to do. He wants to make you and me (well maybe not ME) a success story, the good old-fashioned capitalist way. He does that by bringing down others. They’re losers. They must be fired. They are not worthy in the eyes of His Corporate Lordship: immigrants, poor people and even other Republicans.

Trump’s bombast is honey to the feverish press, breathlessly waiting for the next stupid thing to come out of his mouth. He has accomplished in three short weeks what the other Republican candidates are dying for — relentlessly focused attention. And that’s exactly what he wants. It’s this that makes him quite dangerous.

His recent attack on Senator John McCain, who called him out for “riling up the crazies” in the base, incited Trump to double down on his initial insult. He not only said McCain — a POW in Hanoi for five years — was “no hero in Vietnam,” he continued by saying McCain has made America less safe. Agree with him or not — because if John McCain was president, he WOULD make America less safe — Trump is laying the traditional leadership of the Republican Party on an ironing board and flattening it.

Trump uses ‘winner’ words, which is more than red meat to Tea Party lizard brains. It’s filet mignon. Racist, classist, ruthless and greedy. He doesn’t care. He is Sarah Palin with bigger hair. He is the Republican id — the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.

Whatever we think about Donald Trump, he knows Americans as consumers of products, and he is marketing himself as the ultimate product: a corporate leader who dreams of becoming President of the United States. He has abandoned campaign methods of ‘civil discourse’ by career politicians like Governors Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and he’s eclipsing his fellow Republicans in the process. It’s working with the most cherished Republican demographic — the Tea Party base. Early polling shows Trump with the lead amongst his other Republican challengers.

He has sucked the air out of his competition’s campaign bandwagon tires. Who are these other guys again? He is doing exactly what Sarah Palin did in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. He makes it acceptable — exciting even — to stroke the beast of intolerance, bigotry, unabashed thoughtless greed and militarism.

Hopefully, Trump’s bubble of political prominence will not last. Early risers in the primaries rarely last, at least according to conventional wisdom. So we hope that danger will pass soon enough.

Yet the greasy slick of Trump’s campaign rhetoric will remain a form of sanctioning that it is okay to talk like that and to think like that. Immigrants, career politicians, and everyone else be damned. Trump, as our latest iteration of demagoguery, is a human gasbag stroking the beast. Even if (and when) he loses, that slick will remain long after the gasbag has gone, and all it takes is one fool with a match…

Posted in Fe-911, Welcome on | 10 comments
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

10 thoughts on “Stroking the Beast

  1. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Fe: Spot on as always. It’s good to have you there with your grounded perspective and unerring sense of what and where the core issues really are. The “gas” you refer to is indeed not only noxious, but (just as you infer) potentially explosive. The Don has indeed proven himself dangerous by providing a foundation on which future (and more frightening) demagogues might build. Halloween is months away, but one might fairly say it’s palpable now. Let’s hope we can someday look back on The Hair From Out There and blithely laugh.

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author

      Hope so too, Len. Watching Trump take down everybody on TV is like tuning in to a mad serial soap opera. What more havoc can he create for us to absorb? Our outrage tolerance is being stretched to the limits!

      Forget political correctness. Forget decency. This is someone who loves taking a shit in your living room and won’t leave a few hundred to pay for the clean up.

  2. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Fe: i’m not sure if you have read the opinion piece linked below. Looks like those who blindly advocate for radical honesty (formerly known as “keeping it real”) without responsible discretion have discovered the downside of enabling verbal abuse – with Trump now having become their Frankenstein. i remember the “Dirty Harry” movies and how unconscionable they were. Now, it’s not a movie. It’s real.

  3. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Jude: Good point. Bernie Sanders, however, tells the “unvarnished truth” (as you put it) without stooping to bigotry. Bernie Sanders is NOT a serial abuser, Trump’s “brand”, on the other hand is clearly abusive and (much as with Dylan Roof) Trump has clearly been enabled by those who place frankness above common decency. There is a way to tell the truth without being abusive.

  4. Barbara Koehler

    “The Donald Trump piñata”, . . love it! You nailed him Fe, Trump, as all successful advertisers do, knows how to reach the lowest common denominator (thanks Jude) to get the quickest results. He plays on the fears of the naïve, and yes, his consort is the Main Stream Media, which plays the same game. His natal Mars in Leo opposes (reflects) the U.S. natal Moon in Aquarius, his natal Sun conjuncts the U.S. natal Mars in Gemini, and likewise, squares the U.S Neptune in Virgo. He’s a showman playing a fast-talkin’ tough guy, and he makes his point. Like you said he lays the Pub party on the ironing board and flattens it. The transiting North Node made a conjunction to Trump’s Neptune in June and July and it’s been showtime ever since.

    Consider that transiting Chiron at 20+ Pisces T-squares the Donald’s north node in Gemini and south node in Sagittarius (which conjuncts his Moon) and it becomes obvious that he is in pain. Trans. Chiron is in his 8th house of shared resources. Next year he will be 70 years old. He’s losing money. His Venus is conjunct his Saturn in his 12th house. He’s sunk as low as he can get; he’s a candidate for the Republican party’s nomination to be the next U.S. President.

    Sometimes I pity the poor guy, but he serves a purpose. He symbolizes much of what drove the Pluto in Leo generation for so long. Make lots of money and the world will grovel at your feet. It’s a concept that is losing followers. Right now transiting Jupiter conjuncts his natal Mars in his first house, but by the end of the month he will flame out. At least for a while. He’s turning away as many voters as he is attracting. But, August is when the Republican debates start, right?

    His purpose I believe is to bring to the surface (consciousness) what’s wrong (bad) about the American attitudes of the past, in a way that other flashes-in-the-pan have done; publically in the limelight. The glare of the media draws them like moths to the flame. Yes, think of Sarah Palin and others who have been the darlings of comedy routines for Jon Stewart, Saturday Night Live, etc.

    In November, when transiting Jupiter reaches 17+ Virgo it will quincunx transiting Uranus at 17+ Aries, and oppose transiting Chiron at 17+ Pisces. Jupiter and Chiron will both be square Donald’s natal Uranus at 17+ Gemini, while transiting Uranus will sextile it. His bombast will make headlines again but probably not in a way that will increase his popularity.

    A New Moon at 19+ Scorpio will sextile Jupiter in Virgo and then form a Yod (Finger of God) with Uranus in Aries. The New Moon will trine Chiron in Pisces who squares Trump’s Uranus in Gemini and I’m thinking something regarding a foreign country (transiting Uranus, the part of the yod that has to adjust, will be in his 9th house) or foreigners themselves, will put a different light on him publically and it will be shocking.

    Hey listen, transiting Neptune is conjunct the U.S. Nessus and you gotta expect this foul smelling stuff (not in MY living room!) but it will – in the long run – speed up the healing of those ancient wounds. It’s the price we pay for being Americans but I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else in the world. Thanks Fe for a great piece on the old gasbag, and thanks to Len ‘n Jude too for revealing what’s being said out there. Looking forward to more as the weeks go by.

  5. Sara Victoria

    Ronald McBillion may end up running as an Independent, assuming he doesn’t get the nomination. His progressed Sun exactly conjoins his Leo Ascendant /Mars next Summer… He’s not going to disappear any time soon, I don’t think.

    1. Barbara Koehler

      Well, thanks Sara. I was looking at a chart that gave Donald a birth time of 9:51 AM (Astrothemes), but I see his birth certificate says 10:54 AM (Astro Dienst), on June 14, 1946, in Queens, NY. Probably just a war-time difference (like daylight savings) This puts his Venus-Saturn conjunction in the 11th house not the 12th, and trans. Chiron in his 7th house not his 8th. Not as sad as I had thought after all.

      What I’ve not heard/read is what I found in the old Rosicrucian Ephemeris. Donald Trump was born as a total lunar eclipse was happening. Something to ponder; the moon going dark just minutes after he was born! Perhaps a cut-off from the lunar energy at birth has affected what would have been an equal balance between lunar and solar influences. A momentary dark moon, hmmm..

      Having a progressed Sun in Leo conjunct a natal ascendant (prog. Sun is already conjunct his natal Mars) would certainly suggest an even more self-assured Donald Trump than one with a progressed Leo Sun in the natal 12th house, where it is now. Which makes me wonder what the natal Uranus caught in the cross-fire between trans. Jupiter and Chiron will reveal in November. Like I said, I doubt the publicity will be the kind he wants.

      I wonder if he was rejected by his mother (His Mars is opposite the US Moon, maybe he needs nurturing). His natal Ceres at 13+ Aquarius is quincunx the U.S. Sun. Thanks again for getting my on the right path Sara.

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