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By Arthur Piccolo

 News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. August 31, 2018: You might not think President Trump and Pope Francis have much in common. Think again. Or just sit back and I will tell you. It revolves around the most important word of right now.

IDENTITY. Everywhere you turn it is about identity!

Our IDENTITY; more precisely our IDENTIFIES define us. They always have and always will. What is different today is how much visible attention the word and the concept is getting right now.

I have chosen President Trump and Pope Frank as my proof of concept for this episode to shock and entertain you because they seem so very different, but they share a very real IDENTITY crisis for those who follow them, if you like, who worship them.

What exactly is their primary IDENTIFY and what does it mean for their followers and all the rest of us and the future?

OK, for those of you with an unnatural illogical aversion to capitalizing words generally, and me doing so specifically for the rest of this episode, I will stop capitalizing IDENITY now that I have made my point.

So, let me first turn to a very occasional media partner here in Trump’s America, The Economist. I doubt many of my readers subscribe to this rather pricey weekly magazine published in England with a large global audience to set the stage with some perspective on Identity. I will only capitalize the ‘I’ for the rest of this episode.

Last week’s edition of The Economist had a book, or more to the point, two book reviews which is very relevant – two new books about ‘Identity,’ which in itself identifies the importance of Identity. Parenthetically, guess who is on the cover of that issue? Yes, Donald J. Trump is for other reasons.

The two books in question are Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment by Francis Fukuyama, and The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah. To the review …

“Now come two more reflective takes. ‘Identity’ and ‘The Lies That Bind’ suggest that Western countries not only have deep economic and social problems, but philosophical ones too. People are looking at themselves and others in the wrong ways.”

“What has happened recently, Mr. Fukuyama argues, is that many people have concluded that society does not adequately value their inner worth. That is society’s fault, not their own. So the world must change and grant them more respect. Mr. Fukuyama spies this craving in many groups, from the working-class whites who are drawn to populism in Europe and America to the Arabs who rebelled against their rulers in 2010.”

“Kwame Anthony Appiah shares some things with Mr. Fukuyama. He lives in a liberal coastal city of America. He, too, dislikes both right-wing populist nationalism and identity politics at both ends of the spectrum. He also suspects that the present political turmoil in countries such as Britain and America is rooted in long-developing habits of mind.”

“The point of this entertaining, meandering journey is that identities are less solid than is frequently thought. Religions change constantly, rethinking old traditions and incorporating new doctrines.”

“Nobody has a single identity, Mr. Appiah adds, being only middle-class, only a woman, only British or only white. All of our identities are refracted through our other ones. Nor do people’s identities truly dictate their thoughts or behavior. “In general,” he writes, “there isn’t some inner essence that explains why people of a certain social identity are the way they are.”

“Identities are not inherited like genes. Rather, they are worn and styled, like hair.”

Enough of the review and these two books which I recommend you read. I am just using them and the review here to set the stage for my own views for you. And allowing me to find much in common that is useful in President Trump and Pope Francis you will not likely see yourself or find in the Main Stream Media or in the Fake News on both Fox News and CNN.

It is all about their IDENTITY and how it informs our IDENTITY. Sorry I had to capitalize again. I tried not to do so, but it is necessary!

President Trump and Pope Francis both have Identities which are retrograde and at odds with what kind of Identities we need in our age the 21st century. Of course, neither of them thinks so, nor do their supporters or followers.

President Trump identifies himself with America’s past, whether or not it is his conscious intent – who knows if he is even capable of conscious intent? He is such an imbecile. The point is “Make America Great Again” is an appeal to America’s past in which so called traditional values prevailed and that is why America prospered for some, not all for sure. Trump is bringing it back!

Those who fall into the trap of IDENTIFYING with Trump and his message are DOWN grading both America’s potential and their own future unless you are a member of the 1% who thrived in the Good Old Days and do today.

Whatever other identities Trump tries to cultivate, and his admirers try to find in him real or bogus, it is his CORE identity that tells his story.

So how in the world does pious gentle Pope Francis, who lives such a modest life and IDENTIFIES with the poor and downtrodden and so-called reforms, all qualities as far as imaginable removed from President Trump, share with Trump a core IDENTITY flaw that defines him?

Because whatever else Pope Francis may say or do, he just like President Trump is a RELIC of the past, NOT a messenger for a future better than the past. Both Trump and Francis are larger than life symbols of what we do not need.

How does Pope Francis fit this rotten mold? Because of Pope Francis’ CORE identity, which defines him, as does President Trump’s. Pope Francis represents a Roman Catholic Church that is not relevant at all in the 21st century, whether or not Francis is involved in a cover up of a sordid former Cardinal.

Pope Francis’ core identity is as a Pontiff but call him what he is – an absolute ruler within the RCC who believes in the INFERIORITY of women here in the 21st century, which is also key to understanding the culture of the priesthood which has resulted in centuries of widespread sexual abuse among the Ordained.

Pope Francis runs an Old Boys Club that has firmly institutionalized the inferiority of women as its key operating doctrine. There is NO other way of judging an institution in which women are FORBIDDEN entry into any and ALL of the meaningful positions with the Roman Catholic Church – from lowly Priest all the way to Pope – because they cannot be ordained as Priests, a position Francis holds as firmly as any of his predecessors.

It is a belief predicated on the absurdity that God in Heaven has proclaimed women inferior to men. It is hard to imagine anything more ridiculous except its “value” in maintaining a corrupt Status Quo. So much for Holy Francis.

My point in linking Both Trump and Pope Francis is they are two of the world’s most prominent “leaders” but wasteful voices of the past NOT the future. It is to illustrate the importance of IDENTITY, how it defines who we are and are not.

What we all should IDENTIFY with is not these two dinosaurs. We should IDENTIFY with a better future for America and each of us which is far more inclusive, fair and equal for all because that is the path worth taking.

Have no doubt that any God you believe in, or none at all, that any REAL God does not believe in or condone a world of blatant inequality in any form.

Pray for both President Trump and Pole Francis that they see The Light!

(This entire series is dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo)

Arthur-Piccolo-ObamasAmericaEDITOR’S NOTE: About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas. 

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