For meaning to be present, there must be lack of meaning. To illustrate, if blue was the only color in the world we would never see blue for it would not exist without non-blue. This is relevant to my early belief about the Christian faith when I felt it was the ultimate truth for everyone and that the mission of the church should be converting the entire world to Jesus. But if this should occur, the phenomenon of “Christian” would cease to have any meaning whatsoever. This thought reminds me of a time in graduate school when I posed the question to a counseling professor during a relevant discussion, “What would counselors do if suddenly the world was free of all mental illness?” I’m proud to say, I rattled his cage!
Here is another example that Trumpism has put on our table with his slogan, “Make America Great Again.” What if America was Great, even the Greatest, even “bigly” greatest so that the issue was not even on the table but was a given throughout the planet. What would the innocents who have imbibed of the “Make America Great Again” nectar do for meaning in their life?
Trump’s malignant narcissism is closer to full blossom as he is now declaring that he can pardon anyone and everyone, including himself. He is fulfilling the position that many Christians put him in, acting like an all-powerful God who knows no limits whatsoever. But the Trumpian Christian’s view of God is not the view that I have, being a view only of the Old Testament God without any regard to the new dispensation that Jesus brought to the table.
The will-to-power is a fundamental human impulse and is so readily available to even our noble impulses such as spirituality. It appears to me that the millions of Christians who pledged their troth to Trump did so in the hope return to an historical “lost cause” which was only a wish to return our country to the idyllic days of Civil War America. Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again” spoke to those who are threatened by an egalitarian spirit that is seeking expression in our country and in our world which is perceived to be putting into jeopardy their desire for power and specialness.
Let me illustrate with the mere label “Christian.” One theme of some Christians is to lead to the world to Jesus so that we live in a Christian world of peace and harmony, often described as the millennium. But imagine for a minute the phenomenon of everybody in the world being “Christian”? Then the word would have no value as it can only have value when some people are not “Christian.” For example, imagine a world in which everything is colored blue. Then blue would have no meaning. For Christians who see the label “Christian” only in terms of their ego, the whole world being “Christian” would deny them the ego satisfaction that comes from being special or unique.