As I listened to the ongoing fallout from the Fox News Presidential debate that set historic records with more viewers than watched the World Series the volatility surrounding Donald Trump continues to erupt. I find it personally fascinating because what Trump is doing is something I have been pushing for a long period of time. Ross Perot didn’t have quite enough in the emotional tank to pull it off in 1992, or in 1996. Ron Paul never did much more than come away from his presidential campaigns than represent a near retirement old man with more warning than bite. Other than that, there really hasn’t been anybody to shake things up the way Trump has, except for classic Clint Eastwood films. To do the job, the person has to enjoy the fire, understand the value of the “Pronoun I” (click to review), and the candidate has to be the smartest guy in the room. It takes a lot of gusto to stand in front of the world and declare that nobody out-thinks you. Trump for all the smoke, fire, and explosions seems up to the task which gives me hope that he may be the one.
I’m not talking about a politician like the ones the world has become used to. Rather Trump is much more reminiscent of the type of office seeker that we would have had stepping purely off the pages of Ayn Rand’s two great American novels, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged—both personal favorites of mine. As I read carefully the statements about the exit of Donald Trump’s campaign adviser Roger Stone in the wake of the Megan Kelly feud, I noticed something distinctly different about this round of controversy. Trump is moving into uncharted political waters which Stone was clearly not comfortable with—and Trump recognizing it, is pressing to move on with the methods that have given him success.
The system is set up to protect itself from individual merit. Stone, Kelly, Bill O’Reilly even Roger Ailes of Fox News are members of the system. Glenn Beck years ago tried to press against that system, and he is currently doing a good job with his own little network, The Blaze, which I listen to every day. But Beck never really survived his run-ins with George Soros or his expulsion from Fox News. When individuals push back against the system, they tend to be destroyed in the process. Along comes Donald Trump who has made his living by underlining the pronoun I. His 1987 book The Art of the Deal is a great book about a very passionate man who comes across larger than life because as he says, if you’re going to think, you might as well think big. But before you can do that you have to truly know who you are as an individual, not as a member of the collective and Donald Trump clearly knows who he is.
I have never seen or read anything from Trump that points to Ayn Rand as a source of inspiration—which doesn’t surprise me. The characters from her novels—people like Howard Roark and John Galt were just who they were. They didn’t point to a philosopher on the horizon as the origin of their thoughts; they just were who they were. Yet Trump clearly is a hero from those pages whether by default, or through inspiration. He reminds me of the kind of man Howard Roark was in The Fountainhead. I have a lot of favorite books. One is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Another is The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musahi. Another is The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell. Way of the Fighter is another treasure of mine written by General Claire Lee Chennault. Most of my favorite books have something to do with combat and fighting—strategy. Like Trump nobody out thinks me. It would likely be a stalemate if he and I would ever come into contact with each other because I wouldn’t yield an inch to him, and neither would he. He would likely chose to fight with verbal insults to shake me off my position whereas I tend to use many more subtle means built off many years of reading voluminous books providing me with a robust vocabulary and strategic options. That is why out of all my books one of my favorites is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand because it is about these types of people, those who clearly understand themselves and know that they are the source of all material from which all things pour forth.
The Fountainhead is a uniquely American concept and was inspired by the bright-eyed young woman Ayn Rand who escaped communist Russia to work as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Her first impressions of America were the New York skyline and the buildings which made it up erected because of capitalism. Nowhere else in the world had such sights, and she built her philosophy of Objectivism off that vision. One of her strongest and most explosive characters was the architect Howard Roark from that first big hit by her written in 1943. He built buildings for that skyline and was directly inspired by the real life Frank Lloyd Wright. Throughout the novel Roark refuses to collaborate with others on projects so to maintain his individuality, even when it costs him dearly. Donald Trump is the closest personification of Roark that I’ve ever seen which most adequately allows for the philosophy of individuality to finally see the light of day which it deserves—which seemed to be at the center of Roger Stone’s issues. The American presidency has been accepted by default to be a sacrifice to the collective, and Donald Trump is changing that perception rapidly much to the anxiety of those who have molded their lives to the system and are unsure of how to conduct themselves in that vacancy.
My favorite scene in The Fountainhead is not the ending where Roark becomes his own lawyer to defend himself in court for blowing up his own building. He conducted the act of vandalism to maintain his ownership of his property. The best part for me came when he was invited to be a part of a panel of the country’s greatest architects to commission a project for the World’s Fair. Roark declared upon the invitation that he would work alone or not at all, that committees do not work. CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW. I was reading the book silently in public and when I ran across that passage I shouted at the book with over 40 years of pent-up energy. FINALLY SOMEONE HAD SAID IT! I had to read a book from 1943 to get it, but finally someone understood something I had been trying to explain for a very long time. Of course that type of thinking runs counter to everything we have built our political lives around—so it’s a gross violation of any form of collectivism—which human beings have just accepted without question. Roark as a fictional character challenged those thousands of years of human thinking. Now Trump is the living embodiment of Roark—and if he can stay with his campaign, he has a chance to do something that has needed to be done since the start of America as a country—invoke a full philosophy started by Adam Smith and Thomas Paine into a fully realized explosion of thought and action inspired by an intellectual emphasis on the pronoun I.
I don’t want the system of politics that we inherited by default from Europe. I want something uniquely American. I want a real life Howard Roark as president—which is precisely what Donald Trump is. Now that I’ve gotten to know Trump better through all these media escapades and watched his behavior more accurately, I think I would get along well with him. Even after all the years that he did The Apprentice, I had never watched a single show until recently, because I don’t waste time on network television. I’m just too busy. So outside of his book The Art of the Deal, I didn’t know much about Trump or his empire. I don’t like casinos, so I lumped Trump into that parasitic category of human being—a crony capitalist who was part of the problem. But I see now something else, a long-held strategy centered on evoking pride in the pronoun I to the extent of saving America from the collectivist parasites which have embedded themselves in our political culture. They are scared of Trump, and he is relishing in aggravating their anxiety. Because he truly wants to save America, not just to provide an ego boost to himself. For all of the reasons that Howard Roark refused the World’s Fair commission, to maintain his integrity and love for a country that has made him extremely wealthy, Trump is trying to save America not through more rules and regulations, or even executive order. He’s trying to save it by invoking in the people of the nation, the spirit and power of the pronoun I. Because he knows that through individuality and values invoked from within, America can only survive the systems which currently encumber it. Committees never have worked, Howard Roark said so in a 1943 novel about individualism and the power of a philosophy built from it. Now Donald Trump is in forbidden territory, and he appears ready to thrive in that task. And for that he has my full support!