I don’t want Donald Trump’s money.

I know I’m supposed to want Donald Trump’s money. We’re all supposed to want Trump’s money. He’s the embodiment of the American dream we’re all supposed to aspire to. The fact that he’s got billions and billions of dollars–as he frequently likes to remind us–automatically makes him a human being of value. A human being worthy of our respect and emulation, and possibly our vote. He had the skill and the talent to make all that money. Or at least he had the cunning, and that’s good enough for us. If we don’t respect him, we’re likely to be sour grapes sore losers who envy his wealth.

But I don’t envy Trump’s wealth, especially if it comes with Trump’s fame and publicity. That seems like a heavy burden to carry. Perhaps I’m a weak person, I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with that, and if it meant getting Trump’s personality issues as well…oof.

That doesn’t mean I’m not guilty of jealousy…isn’t everyone? I’m jealous as hell of Jimmy Carter.

I envy Jimmy’s serenity, his calm faith. What is his secret? What causes him to accept a cancer diagnosis with a smile and a remark about how this is going to be a “new adventure”? I mean, hypothetically speaking I can think of death and the afterlife as a new adventure too, but if I were faced with a terminal illness diagnosis in reality, I’m not so sure I could keep my cool like this. I envy how he’s been able to focus his existence on a higher purpose, on what is really meaningful–without allowing himself to be distracted by a gazillion doubts, the way I usually do.

So don’t give me any of Trump’s billions. Can I steal just a little bit of Jimmy Carter’s peace of mind? Can I have just a smidge of his kindness and patience? He is so rich in them already, he won’t miss it, right?

Yeah, I’ll admit it–I’m a sore loser, green-eyed jealousy monster. Call it spiritual sour grapes.

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We all like to think we’re special, even if we don’t want to admit that we think we’re special.  And as much as I detest the ideas it stands for, this is part of the reason conservative talk radio has been so successful.  It makes Americans listening to it feel that the beliefs they hold make them special and set them apart from the rest of the country.

Glenn Beck is a master at this.  I’ve listened to him again recently, and it’s amazing how talented he is at what he does.  Human beings, especially in a world as fast-paced and confusing as ours, have a deep desire for meaningful existence, and Glenn plays that desire like a boss.  He tells his followers that they are soldiers in a war.  He tells them that God created them for a purpose.  No matter how small and insignificant they might feel, they have a job to do.  They were meant to be here to help the cause.  Now, “helping the cause” usually means sending money to Glenn and purchasing something he is selling, but that’s just how this higher cause works–it needs your cash.

So, slimy and manipulative in the worst way?  Yep, but I can’t completely knock that kind of evil genius.  If only I was as good at using my dark superpowers, and with the same financial results!