I start out being very warm, charming and generous, leading you to believe I’m a regular guy. You vote me in. I surround myself with sycophants who won’t challenge me: I pay their bills, I buy them nice things. I institute new rules which give me total control. Then I start doing what I want. Now I’m in power I can make up rules and break them when I feel like it. If you challenge me I can ignore you – heck, I can persecute you, hurt you as much as I want, until you learn your lesson.
I can force you to obey rules that I break, and punish you whenever I feel like it. I can meddle with your life or destroy your property and deny I did it. What are you going to do – sue me? I’ve got so much money and power that I can destroy you. Besides, you’re too scared of me to do that, and I can tell that you don’t know what your rights are.
I can do whatever I want with your money and your property. Of course I could buy my own property, and do what I want with it, but why should I? I like pushing people around. I like the power, it makes me feel big. Why spend my own money when I can spend yours instead? What are you going to do? Tell me I can’t? Write indignant letters? That really scares me.
I know how to intimidate you. I know how to kick up so much dust that the reality of my behaviour is obscured. I know how to make your life a nightmare. I can do whatever I want. Every once in a while I’ll be charming, and disarm you. You’ll be so confused that you’ll think there’s something wrong with you. I’ll capitalise on your innate decency. Because I can.
I don’t give a damn about the truth, I’ll lie when I feel like it. I’ll be charming and generous to people around you, and I’ll tell lies about you, so they think you’re the neurotic one. I know how to con people – hey, you fell for it, didn’t you? I’ll even break the law if I feel like it. What law? What are you going to do about it? I’m God. I can do what I want. I always have. You can’t stop me. I’m the one with the money and the power.
But in the dark hours before dawn, I live in terror. Terror that my enemies are growing in number, that my control is slipping away from me, that my money can’t keep my soul-consuming paranoia at bay. I begin to hate the sycophants who live like parasites off me. I know they are plotting against me, and only encourage me in my evil ways to increase my dependency on them. I long to turn away from them, to undo all the harm I’ve done to those around me, to beg them for forgiveness.
But I can’t because I am rotten to the core. I cannot help myself. Like Howard Hughes I withdraw further and further from the world, as my paranoia encroaches. I can’t keep my terrors at bay. Not in the dark hours before dawn. Because I know that I have hurt innocent people. I know that what goes around, comes around.
I am a hunted man.