By: Leo Schroeder, Staff Writer

For most of the world, ego is an attribute that plays a central role in our lives. Many of us would define ego as something along the lines of “the narcissistic part of our character.” The dictionary at Cambridge.org defines ego as “the idea or opinion that you have of yourself, especially the level of your ability and intelligence, and your importance as a person.” So how does this apply in our lives? Most of us are just trying to get by from day to day and make ourselves better people. We aren’t all trying to be a Gandhi or Mandela-like figure. Well, ever wanted to be more appealing to others, felt that you were useless, or felt that the world couldn’t survive without you? All of that is controlled by your ego. The best decision for the world or a nation, or even a family is usually not the decision that benefits the individual making this choice.  

Now take this to a political platform. On a fundamental level, the populous of a country elects an individual to make decisions that will best benefit the nation as a whole. Is that really the case? Sadly not. Given the vast complexity of the whole process, somewhere along the lines, this idea is lost. It often starts with the irrefutable fact that not everybody wants the same thing. On the higher level of politics however, we have corruption in the form of ulterior motives. We have leaders who want to earn more money. We have leaders who come to power for the recognition and fame, the celebrity status. As for our current presidential gambit, we have a president who openly claims his superiority to others, has a fogged vision of America’s priorities, and denies common facts. All seemingly for the infamy or for another ulterior motive buried deep within his vault of secrets. Since all of this is mere speculation, none of his motives can be confirmed. However, regardless of who the subject is, the yearning for fame, infamy, or financial gain is all attributed to ego. Simply put, if a person wants fame, they want recognition from a vast number of people for something that they did. Wanting to continue to earn riches after achieving everything that money can buy is also an obvious act of publicity. To the common person, that person’s rich expenditures become an outcry for publicity that is justified by their net worth.

It may also be noted that Mr. Trump has made many seemingly outrageous promises to both his supporters and to his opposers. A few of his most notable are his recent closing of the government for his wall and his travel bans which restricted the travel from seven nations to our “free” country. It can be speculated that he had done these things because of an underlying fear of being branded a coward if he had backed out of these promises. He may feel a sense of obligation to go through with the wall because his ego may not be able to handle the overbearing pressure of defeat. It may also be that he had run for president to build profit for his business. His intentions in the White House may be mostly or even completely directed towards gain for his business. If so, his corrupt intentions to mix his government and business affairs, can be seen as egotistic. Not only is he making a scene by raising tumult in the highest office of power in the United States, but he is also maintaining an act of publicity by shrouding his multibillion dollar business in mystery and scrutiny.

Ego big and small has played into many decisive moments in the history of the United States and around the world. As simple as confidence, ego was present in wars all across the world. It required audacity for the confederates to secede from the colonies, for the Nazis to alienate close to nine million Jews, for the Bolsheviks to start a communist revolution. All of these took great amounts of confidence in an individual’s capability. It may have even been an ego boost. On the contrary, exactly the same can be said about missed opportunities and low confidence. Interestingly, Donald Trump also exhibits signs of cowardice. He has a reputation for showing up ill prepared to conventions or speakings and blatantly scrambles to cover it up with accusations of fake news, alternate facts, and the usual gimmicks. Anybody may deduce from this that his incompetence fuels his insecurities and heightens his false sense of confidence and ego.

Many factors play into corruption in politics. Ego contributes in the form of audacity and swagger. Trump, along with many of his predecessors have sanctioned acts of immorality to beseech upon the government. As the Common people of America, and the future generation, please remind yourself that we are the people responsible for electing competent and level headed leaders who will work for our common good.