You’ve probably heard of Donald Trump and have likely read analyses, whether rueful or celebratory, of his uncanny persuasive powers. However, somewhat less discussed are his bonafide hypnotic abilities, which have been pointed out by a few commentators (including Dilbert cartoonist and Trump fellow traveler Scott Adams, who may have studied with the same master hypnotist as Trump). Ralph Benko tackles the slightly unsettling issue in a new article for Fortune, posing the question: is Trump’s skill at hypnosis actually a liability? In short, is he so good at it that he is actually hypnotizing himself, and so coming to believe his own extravagant claims and promises?
Using the classic Greek tragic schema, Benko traces Trump’s rise to wealth and fame (oblos), followed by pride (hubris), leading to nemesis — all of which has happened before, leading to Trump’s famous financial disaster in the 1990s. Benko notes: “Trump’s hypnotic superpower, turned on the world, generated spectacular successes for himself. When then he has succumbed to his own hypnotic power it has led to a spectacular fall. Trump uses his hypnotic superpower to dominate the imagination of us lesser mortals, propelling himself to monumental successes. Then he hypnotizes himself into ignoring Ovid’s cautionary: ‘Fear the vengeful gods … and Nemesis, her inexorable wrath!'”
Read the full article here.