Could Trump Be the U.S. Cyclops?


As Trump has been gathering more and more voters to his fold, like a shepherd expanding his flocks, and more and more opponents attack, Trump seems much like the Cyclops encountered by Odysseus in his journey to Ithaca after the Trojan War. And since monsters in myths and legends can assume multiple forms, he might similarly be compared to the dragon St. George fights or to a Chimera . Likewise, Trump can be compared to many other monsters, since he changes himself and his positions to suit the situation, from Trump the lamb trying to placate and unify the Republican Party to Trump the raging lion, threatening the potential for violence if the Party doesn't select him as nominee. Meanwhile, all kinds of opponents, like Odysseus, are trying to escape his wrath and defeat him.

In this case, as the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops goes, after a nine-year conflict in which the Greeks fought the city of Troy, Odysseus and his shipments were blown far off course and arrived at a large island, where shepherds tended their flocks. They found a huge goat pen outside a cave, and after finding all kinds of cheeses and meats inside, they stopped to have a feast. Later, as they were relaxing contentedly, the shepherd, Polyphemus, came home. He was one of the giant blacksmiths, called Cyclops, who had built Olympus for the gods, and he was huge, the size of a barn, with a single eye in the center of his forehead. Upon seeing the men, Polyphemus was delighted, since he could eat them up, and he promptly rolled a boulder into the mouth of the cave to keep them from leaving. Then, he snatched up two of Odysseus's men and ate them. The following day, after letting his goats out to pasture, he closed up the entrance again, and ate some more of Odysseus' men.

Immediately, some modern day parallels come to mind. You might think of all the real estate that Trump owns as like Olympus built for the gods. These properties are all sufficiently lavish and elegant that modern day wealthy gods buy them or they stay in Trump's hotels or spend the day on his golf courses playing golf. As for the flocks of goats, you might think of the mostly blue collar workers who have flocked to Trump's banner and eagerly follow him. As for the cheeses and meats, well, there are Trumps steaks, wines, and restaurants. Trump certainly keeps his eye on everything. And you might say he has eaten up most of the other candidates.

As the story continues, Odysseus creates a plan to escape. He gives the Cyclops wine, so he drifts off to sleep, whereupon Odysseus and his men fashion a pole with a point and ram it into the Cyclops' eye, blinding him, so he can't capture and eat any more of Odysseus' men. Then, when Polyphemus lets the goats out in the morning, Odysseus and his men escape by clinging to their bellies. After that, the blinded Cyclops throws another boulder at the ship, but Odysseus and his men escape and the leave Cyclops ranging impotently on the shore of the island.

Again, a modern-day comparison is apt, as the Republican Party and remaining candidates, Cruz and Kasich, plot various ways to get out of Trump's hold on his delegates, who are like Odysseus' goats. One strategy might be keeping Trump from getting enough win the nomination, and if so, many or all of his delegates might run off, so the opponents can choose their own nominee.

Meanwhile, Trump has been blindly raging at the Republican Party and hurling attacks at Cruz and Kasich, much like the blinded Cyclops impotently raged at Odysseus and his men as they sailed away on their journey. Meanwhile, still other forces have gathered to keep the blindly raging Trump Cyclops from succeeding, from the media to various ethnic groups, including many Jewish leaders and their supporters who have formed a Come Together Against Hate group to block Trump's nomination.

So will the modern day Odysseus, such as Cruz, Kasich, and the Republican Party, finally prevail in escaping from the Trump Cyclops who is raging blindly at them? Can they successfully sail now on their route to a contested Republican Convention? Will they be able to continue to outwit the Trump Cyclops? Can the Republican sailors prevail against Trump and his electoral goats? Stay tuned, though in the end of the story, Odysseus does successfully maneuver past all sorts of monsters and gets to Ithaca, just as a growing number of opponents of Trump hope that happens now.

Gini Graham Scott, PhD, writes frequently about social trends and everyday life. She is the author of over 50 books with major publishers and has published 30 books through her company Changemakers Publishing and Writing. She writes books and proposals for clients and has written and produced over 50 short videos through Changemakers Productions and is a partner in a service that connects writers to publishers, agents, and the film industry. Her latest books are Scammed, Lies and Liars: How and Why Sociopaths Lie and How to Detect and Deal With Them, and The New Middle Ages: How the Growing Inequalities Between Rich and Poor Threaten Our Way of Life.