For those readers who are familiar with Pulin Garg’s narrative on the Four Princes, and his fascinating and deep deconstruction of each of the four princes while looking at Identity and Role-taking, this blog may only strengthen his acute insights of the Second Prince archetype.
For those who are not familiar with the Gargian construct of Identity or with Raghu Ananthanarayanan’s latest work on ‘Leadership Dharma – Arjuna the timeless metaphor’ which builds on the former’s work, this blog like any other writing on Trump may be at least and hopefully entertaining.
Part 1: Profiling Donald Trump as the Second Prince (The Warrior Prince)
This part of the blog offers evidence of the second prince identity as far as Donald Trump’s profile is being offered by media.
FACT 1: Donald Trump was the fourth child amongst the five siblings.
However, if one were to look at just boys – he was the second child. His elder brother, Freddy Trump Junior, was considered a failure. Freddy could not live up to the expectations of a demanding and perfectionist father, and died at the age of 43 from alcoholism. His family was cut out of his father’s will – which Donald had helped draft (according to the Times)
2nd Prince Check Score (Order of Birth): High Relevance
FACT 2: Early Socialization:
Donald Trump as a child was considered “energetic” and “assertive” to say the least by all his biographers. In his book, ‘The Art of the Deal’, Trump speaks of three interesting anecdotes …
“In the second grade I actually gave a teacher a black eye – I punched my music teacher because I didn’t think he knew anything about music and I almost got expelled,” Trump says. “I’m not proud of that, but it’s clear evidence that even early on I had a tendency to stand up and make my opinions known in a very forceful way. The difference now is that I use my brain instead of my fists.”
Trump writes that his younger brother Robert often tells people a story of when they were kids that he thinks is indicative of his brother’s destiny for being a ruthless real estate developer. They were playing with toy blocks when Trump was inspired to create a tall building, which would require some of his brother’s blocks. Robert let him borrow them.
“I ended up using all of my blocks, and then all of his, and when I was done, I’d created a beautiful building,” Trump writes. “I liked it so much that I glued the whole thing together. And that was the end of Robert’s blocks.”
Trump says that he didn’t do this to upset his brother, but more because the opportunity presented itself. He says that as an adolescent, “For some reason I liked to stir things up, and I liked to test people.”
As per Wikipedia, due to behavioral problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA). In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald “was a pretty rough fellow when he was small.” Trump finished eighth grade and high school at NYMA. During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills and wore a uniform, attaining the rank of captain. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.
When Trump was six years old in 1953, he saw his mother, a Scottish immigrant housewife, enraptured by the pomp and circumstance of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. His father hated the royal family and was annoyed by the way his wife gushed over them, but Trump could identify with his mother’s feelings.
“Looking back, I realize now that I got some of my sense of showmanship from my mother,” he writes. “She always had a flair for the dramatic and the grand. She was a very traditional housewife, but she also had a sense of the world beyond her.”
Lets piece these narratives together and compare early and intense socialization of Trump with traits of the Warrior Prince / 2nd Prince.
2nd Prince / Warrior Prince: Early Traits and Behaviors:
- Aggressive: Check
- Counter-dependent and/or testing Authority: Check
- Competitive: Check
- Opportunistic: Check
- Opinionated: Check
- Expressive: Check
- Ruthless: Check
- Self Centered: Check
- Dramatic and Desire for Centrality Check
- Total Score 100%
FA CT 3:
Trump in the last few months has displayed very pertinent behaviors of the second prince on the following fronts:
Competitiveness and Managing Peers
One of the biggest battles the second prince has, in his or her need to compete and dominate is in collaborating and managing peers. So he competes on everything – the size of the hand, the size of the penis, and the fuck-ability quotient of spouses.
Trump like any other second prince stereotype, has been unable to unify the Republicans as of date, and is at best a man searching for loyal man-Fridays. Here is a second prince, who is unable to co-hold the opposing forces of competitiveness and collaboration, and emerges as a one-man show.
The anxiety of any American would be around how Trump manages to work with excellent leaders across the government and courts – unless he, like any potential dictator, recruits serfs, bootlickers, and opportunistic loyalists and becomes a veritable ‘giant amongst dwarfs’. Sadly this is also typical of most second prince leaders.
What you see is what you get!
One of the cornerstones of the Trump campaign is the second prince’s stance on integrity and transparency – I am in your face and take me as I am. This posturing (and I would explain why I think this is posturing) endeared Trump to many voters who were tired of the doublespeak of politicians – this posturing was initially seen as a refreshing earthiness of a man sure of himself and speaking out his mind. Most second princes would wish to claim a similar value of ‘being’ and of displaying integrity.
Why I fear that this so-called open stance is also manipulative for Trump never shows his inner inner fears, his ambivalence and his tentativeness on a host of issues, hiding it behind his aggressive – “I know what to do’ posturing. As stated in my earlier blog, this appeals to the authoritarians who wish to see a macho leader taking charge of their loves.
Like the case of any second prince – what one really sees and what one really gets is a macho bluster – an image that becomes difficult to reinforce without becoming narcissistic and insensitive.
Misogyny and Feminine Leadership
Most second princes that I know of, carry a certain quality of disdain and even blindness to their own femininity. It equally difficult for the Second Prince to value the same quality of femininity in both men and women. Donald Trump as of date, has put off women across USA with his language, mannerisms, stances, and content. Compare this to Obama’s appeal and his charisma. Trump is a misogynist and will never be able to value his own softness and femininity. He will find it difficult to construct requisite emotional infrastructure for others to join in, to dialogue, and to reflect.
Most significantly, he like any second Prince would stand out like a sore thumb in a world where men and women, femininity and masculinity are learning to dance together and create new meanings and new movements.
So lets do another check on 2nd Prince leadership behaviors and values:
2nd Prince / Warrior Prince: Leadership Behaviors
- Act first and Think Later Check
- Values – Courage, Self Reliance, and Entrepreneurship Check
- Giant amongst Dwarves or Dwarf amongst Giants Check
- Passion, Desire, Fears and Rage are energizers Check
- Paranoid – the world is a minefield – trust no one Check
- Value Loyalty more than Competency / Fairness Check
- Vengefulness – no mercy to the vanquished Check
- The world is a minefield (Don’t trust no one!) Check
- Strategy – More breadth than depth Check
- Total Score 100%
Profiling Donald Trump
This section of the blog merely confirms and reinforces Donald Trump as a 2nd prince or the Warlord prince – most second princes are fragile and fearful inside and bluster outside, unless they have worked on themselves, their notions and valuing of vulnerabilities.
I am sure Mr. Trump has his own swings from feeling omnipotent to sometimes feeling impotent. If he becomes the President of USA – one of the most powerful nations of this world, he impacts all of us whether we like it or not. His foreign policy as on April 5th smacks of a second prince’s war on the world – a mission of sorts to protect and to uphold.
Section 2: Where are the other aspect of Identity and Role-taking – Is there multiplicity and plurality within?
The more one hears and reads about Donald Trump – the more stereotypical and monolithic his persona seems. It seems to be an over-crystallized and mono-dimensional personality that we are engaging with. The notion of such a persona is scary – and multiple writers, actors, politicians and intellectuals are talking about this – and yet Mr. Trump is steadily accumulating his numbers.
Mythology and the 2nd Prince narratives: Insights, Cues, and Questions
The 2nd Prince or the Warlord prince identity / personae is common across the world. Our myths are the greatest resources for us to ponder on and take hope from.
Indian mythology is replete with 2nd Princes and offers many rich characters – Bheema, Duryodhana, Droupadi, and Balarama – each character symbolizing the aspects of the 2nd prince identity (the checklists referred to in Section 1) and yet being salient and unique.
The uniqueness and salience, and perhaps the humaneness of the 2nd prince is strengthened by a plurality within (the other 3 princes symbolizing other forces of the psyche, as per Pulin Garg) – and thus the warrior identity has its own complexity and its layering.
In the mythology of Mahabharata goes, each of the 2nd Princes present a human face on a canvass of death, destruction and war – carrying their own anguish, rage, and desire as well as expectations of the world. Ashok Malhotra in his book – Child Man delves deeper into the identity and role-taking of the 2nd Prince, and offers evocative profiles beyond l’enfant terrible, beyond a Mr. Trump. Raghu in his recent book on Arjuna presents his lens on the significance of the 2nd prince identity and its integrity and resources when one confronts duality and polarities inside and outside. Raghu presents a self-system duality that a second prince has to introspect and internalize to be a worthy warrior.
The occidental myths attempt to delineate and explicate the 2nd Prince but beyond the Greek mythology of with Zeus and Hercules as powerful symbols, the more recent narratives (as also depicted by Hollywood) are perhaps more uni-dimensional.
Conclusion – What do we do with the emerging Fragmentation
There is dismay and disappointment with how the GOP process within the Republicans is working out. Countries such as China, Mexico, Japan and Korea are publicly joined in an outcry of what a candidate such as Trump aspires to.
But it goes a bit deeper –
There is a wish of the western society to deny, to devalue or to let go of masculinity – holding the latter as a curse and a bane. Mickey Z in his latest and fascinating blog – “A pornified culture – even smashing patriarchy is a fetish”, refers to a deep ambivalence towards masculinity in general and a deep hate for the 2nd Prince’s desires and expression.
Between the two extremes of the wannabe omnipotent Rambos and the ones wanting to eradicate and deny Masculinity lies a fragmented modern society – which can neither wish away the likes of Mr. Trump who is leveraging rage within, nor can offer an alternative to the 2nd Prince Identity when it comes to assuming and taking charge of the most powerful role in the world.
One hopes and prays that Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton or Mr. Sanders are able to co-hold the plurality within, and co-hold the double-binds and dharamasankatas that present themselves to USA and the world.