“Republican Party leaders are loath to tangle with the threat-flinging firebrand for whom there are no rules of engagement.”

— New York Times, July 9

With Donald Trump currently leading the Republican presidential field, the race is finally getting interesting. Few people think he will ultimately prevail, but Trump can absolutely affect the outcome — and not in the Republican’s favor. By alienating young and minority voters he exacerbates the party’s demographic decline, and if he mounts a third party candidacy it would virtually ensure a Democratic victory in November. (Which may be fine with him, as he has supported many liberal causes in the past including Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign.)

What makes this eccentric, egocentric billionaire so popular among Republicans, the very people whose interests he threatens? Simple: he’s strong, he’s capricious, he shows no fear and has little respect for the rules of the game that so many see as rigged against them. He’s vainglorious, thin-skinned, surrounded by beautiful women and apparently willing to offend anyone and say anything, whether he believes it or not.

In integral terms he’s “red meme”, operating from the warrior stage of development that still lives in the belly of our collective beast. As such Trump is a tonic for the poll-driven drivel that most professional politicians deal in.

In this short audio I share some thoughts on what integral theory can tell us about the cultural — and now political — phenomena of Donald Trump.