“The World is My Oyster” (Not)

I hardly know where to start.  This Donald Trump demon that has been unleashed on the American psyche has tripped all of my triggers too and “literarylew” has “more offenses at my beck than thoughts to put them in.”  So I’m reaching into my stuffed “beck” and pulling out, “The world is not my oyster.”

To Trump, the world is his oyster.  He is a two-year old boy who never had limits set when he went through the developmental stage of the “terrible two’s” and so remains a two year old boy, “breathing out threatenings and slaughterings” anytime he is faced with a limit.  All of us go through this developmental stage, very much related to what we clinicians describe as the Oedipal transition. Though this is a challenging moment in our young lives, most of us learn to control our rage and acclimate to the external world, accepting deferred gratification over immediate gratification.  Without this willingness, we fail to fully enter the human race.

I know it was challenging for myself and even remember a dream in my early thirties when I was beginning to address my early childhood repression.  In this dream I was a furious little tyke, red-faced, shaking my fist in defiance when denied what I wanted.  It took a girl friend at the time to point out, with a laugh, what that dream was about.  She knew me very well!  And I can tell you very clearly now, in my mid-sixties, I feel the frustration of dealing with the experience of the world not being my oyster.  I often declare, “I want it all” and add, “Why should I have to accept limits” as I deal with the frustrations of aging, especially the realization that the river Styx is fast approaching.  But mercifully, back in my terrible two’s, the gods (i.e. “God”) recognized he did not need to unleash a redneck Arkansas Trump on the world and tied me down with a fundamentalist Christian load of guilt and shame.  And, central Arkansas, you better be grateful to Him!

But Trump has used wealth to create a world for himself in which he could get by with the assumption that the world is his oyster.  And, now given to the severe pathology of the American psyche, the Republican Party finds itself willing to cater to his narcissism to the point that he is their nominee for the Presidency.  Furthermore, and gravely troubling to me, evangelical Christians are lining up behind him in over whelming numbers displaying a profound lack of critical thinking skills.

Accepting the fact that the world is not our oyster is merely accepting limits.  Watching Trump allows us to see an impulse that we all have, if we could only come unleashed for a few minutes.  I think Trump’s fanatical following by the Republican extremists represents their unconscious desire to become unleashed, to give vent to their darkest, most violent impulses which are a very “human” response to the “thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.”  But this is a dimension of the “human” experience that must be kept in check and certainly does not need to be encouraged by demogogues.


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