Intoxicated with Success

“[People] are undoubtedly more in danger from prosperity than from adversity, for when matters go smoothly, they flatter themselves, and are intoxicated by their success.”

This bit of wisdom from what many will consider an unlikely source invites reflection in these days when one of America’s most successful has met adversity from his peers at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.

421DA3B800000578-4674150-image-a-95_1499432704494He sits by himself at the table while others mingle. The chairs of China and the United Kingdom, whose leaders he has scorned, stay empty until they will be filled, begrudgingly, at the very last minute. One may hope it is a sobering moment of adversity.

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back . . . ” – Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis.

As an infant, Donald Trump was baptized by a Presbyterian church in Queens, New York in the tradition of the controversial 16th century theologian John Calvin. Perhaps all these years later, after all the success, but suddenly regarded as a cockroach, feeling like Gregor Samsa, he’s reading the passage from John Calvin and remembering who he really is.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, July 9, 2017.


7 thoughts on “Intoxicated with Success

  1. I think, if he were not so vengeful and destructive, I might begin to be sorry for him. His father developed some form of age-related dementia, and I would not be one bit surprised if the same were happening to him. (There are many on the posts I read who are thinking the same thing.) His speech is one clue. When he was a younger man he had a perfectly good vocabulary and was capable of speaking complete sentences and organizing them into paragraphs. (Not that I liked what he was saying, but….). Also, twice now he has wandered off looking somewhat lost. The more obvious time was the occasion of his descending the ramp from Air Force 1, and walking right around the Presidential limo, toward the Secret Service limos in front. Someone had to sort of guide him back to his limo. If you have seen this video, I think you would agree that there is something really wrong there. This is really a frightening thing for the country and the world. I think it probably means that to an increasing extent Bannon, Kushner, Ryan and McConnell are running the country.
    Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.


  2. We are re-watching (fourth time) “The West Wing.” I am pretending that this is reality and reality is fiction. I tried denial. I tried delusion, but was insufficiently delusional to block reality. Now, I’m trying to turn fiction and real inside out. Anything to stay sane.


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