Here are two conflicting views of President Donald J. Trump.

1. He is in a permanent state of arrested development and his actions are those of a child. His actions are those of one driven entirely by the emotion of the moment. If he is crossed he is enraged and everything he does is spontaneous and unplanned.

2. Though he is easily upset, Trump is buoyed at all times by a natural sense of politics seen as the art of the possible. He may appear irrational, but he is like a captain who knows his course and follows it unerringly. His dominant characteristic is a complete confidence in his own sense of what must be done at any moment.


The contrast is hard if not impossible to reconcile. President Trump is either a complete loose cannon or someone who does precisely what he must do to advance in the real world. But that is binary logic, dualistic thought, and it doesn't work. Is there an integral way to see Trump that accords him both freedom and consciousness, two things we all need to function? Can he make choices? Does he act with some consciousness of what he does?

Trump may be 140 characters

I have surmised that Trump is both a spectrum and a sponge. If this is so he is too slippery to grasp and probably is, as the tweet above suggests, quite sad.

But as time goes by, it is getting possible to arrive at a measure that enables one to speak of Trump as a unified person. That measure is an index of values that goes from the highest good to the most egregious evil. All of us without exception are measured by this.

To the extent that one acts unselfishly and on the basis of critical thinking, one can choose to be tolerant, helpful and democratic.

These are the foundations of personal formation and they are part of the spectrum of every human being. Trump seems inured to values on the lower part of the spectrum, not shown here. You can infer what they are by reversing each of the listed values. Being a good Presbyterian, Donald should have no problem cozying up to this article and perhaps nodding his head a time or two.