Can Trump and the circus of a political campaign surrounding him be described as a chimera? Today the word "chimera" refers to a creation of the imagination or an impossible and foolish fancy, while someone or something that is "chimerical" is given to unrealistic fantasies. But the words come from the Chimera monster in Greek mythology, which has the body and head of a lion with a snake for its tail and a fire-breathing goat head coming from its back. In some versions of the myth, the creature has wings on its back. The word is also used in scientific research to explain an animal with more than one set of genetic codings, since the Greek monster is a combination of three different normal animals.
Now, after I have been following the latest uproar from the violence at Trump's rallies, it would seem that this description fits Trump to a T for Trump. For example, there has always been something fantastic about Trump's campaign, which some believed he started as a kind of entertainment to build his brand. As a result, for several months, other politicians and the media didn't take him seriously, so he got all kinds of free press coverage, as if he was involved in a political reality show. But in a "show" with one final winner, after others are booted off the island - akin to ending their political campaign, Trump is really in it to win. Or maybe the campaign started off as a political lark; then as Trump started attracting supporters at his rallies, he began to take it seriously. In either case, part of Trump's appeal is his promise that he will "Make America Great Again," but so many of his proposals may turn out to be very unrealistic, such as his plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants or his plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and get Mexico to pay for it. Numerous political scientists, pundits, and economists have already pointed out how his plans won't work in reality. But people still seem to follow him because they want to believe.
As for the Chimera having the head of a lion, a tail of a snake, and a fire-breathing goat, one can imagine that Trump has those qualities. For one thing, he is all about power and control, and he has the fury of the lion, too, such as when he directs his security personnel to eject anyone from his rallies who dares to confront him with unfriendly questions or anti-Trump posters or T-shirts. His remarks that people might deserve to be roughed up and his call to bring back waterboarding and other forms of torture for enemies are another example of how the lion might treat his hapless victim, who gets torn apart by his massive teeth and jaws.
As for the snake, that's a perfect comparison, too, since snakes are crafty and wily. They slither through the grass, hidden away, until ready to strike, and the term "snake" is often used today to refer to someone who lies. And that's what Trump does. Again and again, he has misstated facts and later claimed he didn't misstate them. He has said he would do one thing, but has then done another. He has made promises and then denied them, such as recently stating he would pay the legal bills for anyone at his rallies who roughed up a protester, but later he denied he said it. In fact, numerous videos on the Internet illustrate the discrepancies between what Trump said one time and what he said at another. So definitely, the snake fits.
Finally, the fire-breathing goat might be a fit analogy because this fire might help to burn anyone who gets in the way of the lion, much as Trump has burned through numerous other candidates, like a fire brigade setting fires to get rid of excess foliage to create a clear area. Likewise, one by one, other candidates have withered away, unable to stand up to Trump's raging attacks on them, much like a schoolyard bully can beat down any other children with their insults and physical attacks.
So what is one to do when confronting such a beast? Well, the Greek myth might provide an answer. According to this story, the Chimera came from a family of other monster gods, Typhon and Echidna, so its siblings included other famous monsters such as The Sphinx and Cerebus, the multi-headed dog who guarded Hades, the underworld. Likewise, Trump has drawn around him a family that comes to his support on the campaign trail, as well as an army of security guards to protect him. Traditionally, even seeing the Chimera was a bad omen, since he regularly appeared before disasters such as shipwrecks, violent storms, and volcanic eruptions, which might be comparable to Trump's rage at other countries, such as China, which is now experiencing a serious economic upheaval.
Yet, in the end, a Greek hero is finally able to defeat this fearsome monster. This happens when Bellerophon, riding on his trusty winged steed, Pegasus, flies by and kills the Chimera with his bow and arrow. So the Chimera is at last defeated, and the people rejoice. Now who is the modern hero who can do this? Some possibilities include John Kasich, after his win against the Trump Chimera in Ohio; Ted Cruz, who is approaching Trump in votes; or even Hillary or Bernie Sanders in the event the Trump Chimera is able to overpower and devour still other heroes who take him on. But ultimately, as the Chimera myth goes, a hero will prevail by shooting an arrow from the sky - which today might take the form a sharp argument, revelation, or vote at a brokered Republican convention -- to take the Chimera Trump down.
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.