Donald Trump in the Twilight Zone

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!

Wayne Barrett, a reporter for the Village Voice once upon a time — in 1992 — wrote an extensive biography of Donald Trump. Nestled among many other fascinating nuggets of reporting about Trump’s life is something, a rare unguarded moment, that might cast a ray of light on the inner workings of a complicated mind.

Consider if you will:

“What are your goals?” he [Trump] was once asked in a television interview when he was at the peak of his success. “Goals?” he repeated, apparently taken aback by this foreign concept, unable to imagine a sense of purpose grander than a scorecard. “You keep winning and you win and you win,” he said in the midst of the crisis, reflecting on his better days. “You keep hitting and hitting. And then somehow it doesn’t mean as much as it used to.” Donald liked to recall his favorite “Twilight Zone” episode, which featured a venal man who died in an accident, was offered any wish he wanted, and declared: “I want to win, win, win. Everything I want. I went to get. I want to get the most beautiful women. I want to get the beautiful this and that. I want to never lose again.” Then, as Donald recounted the story, the man was shown playing pool, winning every time. “Everything he did, he won,” said Donald, until the godlike figure who’d granted his wish came back to the man. “And the man said, ‘If this is Heaven, let me go to Hell.’ And the person said, ‘You are in Hell.'” (HarperCollins, pp. 31-32)

Whatever one’s stance toward Donald Trump — passionately oppose or passionately support him, there certainly are grounds for both — Trump is an epic, perhaps even a mythic, figure.

There is poignancy for Trump to have chosen as his favorite an episode from The Twilight Zone in which the protagonist won at everything … and discovered himself in Hell … bored by the lack of authentic challenge.

As if the agon, rather than the ecstasy, is what truly is most dear.

Consider if you will…

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.