What does the Fable of the Frog and the Scorpion have to do with US Politics?

A few days ago, during another one of my heated discussions regarding Donald Trump, I stopped. I became very quiet, very introspective and asked myself the probing question, “Why are you so upset about this!? Why are you so angry and so frustrated with those who support him?”

The question is a good one, an important one. Why do the things that upset us, upset us? Why are some hysterical about cruelty, and some about the abuse of elderly? Why are some prone to have to right injustice, while others are obsessed with the adoption of kittens?

In other words, what makes us tick and why, in particular, am I so upset about this Trump phenomena and those who want to vote for him?

To be completely self disclose, it is in part because I, too, have been taken in by a narcissist. And, I found myself making all the justifications, rationalizations and excuses that I now hear from so many. Like a reformed smoker or drug addict, I want to save others from making the mistake I did, and thus help them (us!) avoid a boatload of pain.

I justified behavior that was unacceptable. I was looking, so I thought, at the bigger picture and felt as though through my influence, perhaps this person could change.

I was wrong, as I learned the hard way.

This is the scenario with narcissists. You can google it.

Narcissists are self serving.

Narcissists are completely ego centric

Narcissists lack empathy.

Narcissists mimic socially acceptable behavior.

Narcissists are thin skinned and easily angered.

Narcissists lack a conscious.

Does this sound familiar?

Many believers are, rightfully, uncomfortable with Donald Trump. His crassness, his lack of empathy, his reactions give pause. But they don’t set off alarms to some because they think that this is “God’s man!” They forgive and even glory in his “shoot from the hip” attitude. This embodies  the dark parts of these people, the parts that they, perhaps, have kept hidden, and they relish that they can finally “let it all hang out.” What a relief!

However, is this godly behavior? Are we called to “let it all hang out” or are we called to walk circumspectly, and humbly? How are we to conduct ourselves and to discern for whom to vote, or support? How are we to choose our friends, our spiritual leaders, or, our political leaders?

I believe that the United States of America is strong enough to withstand even bad presidents. We, the people, have a wonderful Union. Despite our differences and maybe even because of them, we are a hybrid of some fantastic and innovative endeavors. I believe that, fundamentally, many Americans are generous, open hearted, courageous and caring. I have lived in many different States in The United States, and I have found people in all the states in which I have lived to be friendly and helpful. The people of the United States are great.

What then, is this xenophobic and paranoid response? What is the justification for the disparaging of immigrants? Our country was founded by immigrants. All of our grandparents or great grand parents came from somewhere!

I, too, am terrified by the threat from crazy Islamic fundamentalists. But what about normal, God fearing people of the Moslem faith? Are they to be banished and marginalized? Are we to be guilty as we were during World War II of placing loyal Americans in interment camps? Do we not learn?

I was shocked and horrified by Donald Trump’s reaction to the parents of the young Moslem soldier who lost his life overseas. Even assuming that Mr. Kahn’s presence at the Democratic National Convention was deliberate and that this remarks were staged, Donald Trump stepped right into a trap with his disparaging remarks.

All a normal person needed to say in response to the speech made by the young man’s father is,

“I am so sorry for your loss. And though I have sacrified, I have never made the ultimate sacrifice. I am sorry for your pain, and wish you well. You are certainly not the kind of people I am worried about.”

Instead, he used his platform to indicate that perhaps the young man’s mother was not allowed to talk, thus disparaging all Moslems. In addition, he didn’t draw a difference between law abiding Moslem citizens, and terrorists. He lacks a nuanced response.

Frankenstein’s monster turned on his creator. If my conservative friends think that they can use this monster to get conservative judges in the Supreme Court, I am afraid they will be sadly and grievously disappointed.

This election is no longer just about policy. It is normal verses abnormal. It is basic human decency verses something a great deal more sinister. Perhaps you don’t like Hillary Clinton. That is certainly your prerogative. Then write in Donald Duck! But, for heaven’s sake don’t vote for Donald Trump!

It has been said that a smart person learns from their own mistakes and a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

Let us be wise. Let us recognize a fundamental character flaw when we see one. And let us not give such a person the honor of being commander in chief of our armed forces, or a person who has access to our nuclear codes!

There is a story that has been circulating for a while. A frog and a scorpion were both standing at the edge of the river and wanted to cross. The scorpion asked the frog if he could ride on his back. The frog was, justifiably, reluctant and told the scorpion that he was afraid he would sting him.

The scorpion said, “Of course I won’t sting you! If I do, we’ll both die!”

This seemed logical to the frog and off they went, across the river.

Midway, the scorpion stung the frog and as they were both sinking to their death, the frog croaked out, “Why!? Why!?”

The scorpion answered, “It is my nature!”

Character is not only destiny, but the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Do we really want a thin skinned, easily angered school yard bully running our country?

Let us be wise and discerning as we choose our future leaders, who will also be role models for our children.

May God bless us, give us discernment and lead us into truth. And let us thank God for “negative experiences” which make us wiser, more humble and give us the ability to discern and to sound an alarm for others.