Opinion: Why do we worship arrogant egomaniacs?

Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill. The media salivates over what Donald Trump says and does. Five of Kanye West’s albums have gone platinum and we dedicate one day each year to Christopher Columbus.

We all appreciate the humble, but we idolize the arrogant. Our society practically worships the egotistical maniacs of today and of history no matter how immoral, corrupt or offensive they may be. Why, you may ask? Because we desire to be them.

Andrew Jackson

Courtesy of Thomas Sully/Wikimedia

Why we should despise him: He displaced thousands of Native Americans, causing the Trail of Tears and many of their deaths. Old Stonewall was notorious for his use of the spoils system and therefore placed incompetent officials in government. Jackson dissolved the National Bank, which brought the country into a deep economic depression. Not to mention he was a wealthy slave owner who killed many people in duels.

Why we worship him: Andrew Jackson’s aggressive attitude helped him to achieve military success and eventually to get elected into the Oval Office as the seventh president of the United States. Despite his many flaws and crimes against humanity, we see a strong and confident individual who we aspire to be like.

 

 

Donald Trump

Courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

Why we should despise him: Aside from the haircut and spray tan, The Donald has cemented his jerk status through his attempts for monetary gain. On various occasions he manipulated banks and investors, swindling them out of money. Mr. Trump filed for bankruptcy four times, and once accumulated nearly a billion dollars in personal debt. Insecure about his monetary worth, The Donald has sued various organizations because he believed he was worth more than they stated.

Why he is idolized: We want Trump’s success. There is a part in all of us that wonders what it would be like to have Donald Trump's wealth. His selfishness appears to be the secret to his vast monetary gains, and we are fascinated with him because most of us could never be that selfish. We give Trump so much media attention because we wish we were fascinating multimillionaires (or billionaires, no one is quite sure. Don’t sue us!).

 

Kanye West

Courtesy of David Shankbone/Wikimedia

Why he is a jerk: He says what he wants, when he wants. He thinks he is God’s musical gift to the world, producing some of  “the best songs of all time.” When he doesn’t win a Moon Man or a Grammy, you are bound to hear about it the next day. His comments regarding political figures and his utter disregard for others' feelings are also reprehensible.

Why we love him: Kanye has produced five platinum albums and through the development of GOOD Music and his work for Rock-A-Fella records he helped establish the careers of various artists such as Alicia Keys and Kid Cudi. He has received much critical acclaim and is one of the best-selling digital artists. Most importantly, he says what he wants, when he wants. Mr. West is not afraid to express what he believes in, no matter how outlandish it might be. Our politically correct society can sometimes encourage us to hold back our beliefs, even when they aren’t offensive. We yearn to have Kanye’s ego so that we can say what is really on our minds.

 

Christopher Columbus

Why he is arrogant: Columbus put the lives of the crews of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria in jeopardy with his extremely risky venture to the West. Once he got to the New World, he was responsible for the enslavement and deaths of mass numbers of natives. Worst of all, he never recognized that he was not in the Indies at all, but somewhere new altogether.

Why he has a holiday: He was a risk-taker sailing the ocean blue in 1492 and it paid off. He had the bravery and confidence in himself to go against the grain and take a different path. Many of us wish we didn’t take the popular route and instead went with what we believe in.

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