From Barbie to Bernstein to Trump: The High Cost of Worshipping a Narcissist

The megalomaniacs of Oscar season and the man who would be king.

Jeremy Helligar

--

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro (Photo: Netflix) and Donald Trump (Photo: flickr/Gage Skidmore).

There’s an early episode of the TV sitcom Will & Grace where one of the characters (it had to be Grace, but it was actually Will) makes an interesting analogy between relationships and gardening. The gist of it: In any successful relationship, he suggests, there’s the flower and there’s the gardener. The former — the above-the-title star of the romance — must be nurtured, tended to, and catered to by the latter, aka, the costar.

Two gardeners may have a solid shot at “happily ever after the end.” For them, love is a peaceful, easy, low-impact activity where they can feed off each other. However, when two flowers like Will and Grace cross-pollinate, love — and life — becomes a series of stalemates. It will almost always end in dehydration.

Love in the garden isn’t as simple, though, as Will & Grace made it sound. Look how it turned out for Adam and Eve. You can only stay on your knees for so long. Even if you apply the flower-gardener analogy to friendships and working relationships as well as to romance, a flower and a gardener might co-exist for decades (or for six seasons and two movies of Sex and the City), but love, like, tolerance, and devotion don’t necessarily bloom forever and for always.

But then, sometimes it does. How many people have gone down in service of Donald Trump? I don’t know what it is about our 45th president that turns his followers into totally submissive sheep, willing to suspend their common sense indefinitely and lose their freedom for him.

We’ve seen the videos of the January 5 attack on the U.S. Capitol. We’ve watched his gardeners go to prison. Domino dancing/watch them all fall down. Meanwhile, the twice-impeached, four-times-indicted Trump continues to run free, still standing, still blooming, and, inexplicably, still inspiring an insane level of devotion among his flock.

--

--

Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj