Many religions and cultures have a belief in the devil, viewed as a being who personifies evil and is the most fearsome enemy of God and humankind. This devil or demon is known by many names – the Dybbuk in Jewish mythology; Beelzebub, Lucifer, or Satan for Christians, Iblis or Azazel for Muslims believers in Islam; and Mephistopheles, a demon in German folklore.
Today, for a growing legion of people, Donald Trump has become the modern devil, because of his association with racism, bigotry, xenophobia, inciting violence, lying about almost everything and otherwise having the attributes of someone who is a dangerous threat to humanity.
Among them are the dragon St. George fights, a Chimera, a Cyclops, Medusa, the Kelpie horse monster of Scotland, and the Kraken and Chrybdis, who are monsters of the sea. And most recently, I wrote about Trump being like the many headed monsters, the Hydra and Cerberus. Now all of these myths have been collected into a book: 2016 Election Monster Myths.
Given all of these parallels with other monsters, can one compare Trump to the most evil monster of all — the devil or demon in his many forms. Certainly, it would seem that one can.
First, take the Dybbuk,who is called the Jewish version of a demon and was first written about in the 16th century. The Dybbuk is a malicious spirit who takes possession of the souls of good, honest people and causes them to engage in destructive acts and mayhem. According to this tradition, the Dybbuk is the dislocated soul of a dead person who wreaks havoc on a living person and leaves the body once it has accomplished its goal. In effect, one becomes possessed by this evil spirit, leading one to do terrible things, as in “the devil made me do it.”
As for the devil in the Christian tradition, by whatever name he is called – Beelzebub, Lucifer, or Satan, the devil is sometimes considered one of the seven princes of Hell, according to the Catholic tradition. Commonly, he is believed to fight God over the souls of humans and command a force of evil spirits, commonly known as demons. As Satan, he is often identified as the serpent who convinced Eve to eat the forbidden apple, as described in the Book of Revelations, and he is sometimes called Lucifer who became a fallen angel, when thrown out of heaven, as described in Isaiah. While Beelzebub was once the name of a Philistine god, this name was used in the New Testament as a synonym for Satan.
Finally, Mephistopheles was originally a demon in German folklore. But in the 16th century, this name became associated with the Faust legend, that was based on a real historic figure, Johann Georg Faust, an alchemist, astrologer, and magician of the German Renaissance, who lived from about 1466 to 1541. After he died in an explosion of an alchemical experiment, a popular tale began circulating that the devil came to collect him, since he had engaged in various types of fraud and blasphemy, so the church denounced him as in league with the devil. Then, his name became part of a series of works of Faustian literature based on the story of a scholar who wagers his soul with the devil and loses.
Thus, given this historical backdrop, might Trump be considered the modern day devil — or at least a person who has sold his soul to the devil for fame, power, and glory? It seems a very apt comparison, because in many ways in which Trump has taken the souls of his followers like the Dybbuk. Moreover, he has been battling a great many people and even God, when he criticized the Pope for visiting the border between Mexico and the U.S., and the Pope suggested Trump was not Christian, because of the harshness of his campaign promise to deport more immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border. Then, too, the growing hordes of followers at his rallies, especially those who act violently against others or raise their hands in a Nazi-like salute of loyalty, might be compared to the force of evil spirits commanded by the devil. And the efforts of some countries, such as Britain, to ban him, might be compared to the actions of God in throwing Lucifer out of heaven, so he becomes a fallen angel. Finally, Trump might be compared to the serpent tempting Eve in the way he has spent lavishly to show off his luxury homes, hotels, and golf courses, which provide a great temptation for the wealthy. But then, employing the wiles of a serpent, he has used the power of eminent domain to push the poor people living in the way of his expanding domains out of the way, while he has used many poor workers from other countries to build these homes, hotels, and golf courses.
But if Trump is comparable to a modern-day devil, who will take him on? Who will throw him out of heaven for good? Perhaps it’s time for writers, politicians, government officials, and others working towards a better future to find a way to open the door and say, “Get him outta here,” as Trump would say to others.