Understanding Donald Trump

  • Joseph Isaac Abrahams


As a psychoanalyst increasingly apprehensive concerning national politics, despite the Goldwater Rule of abstention by our profession from political discourse (minus responsible professional relations with the subject), utilizing data gained as a citizen involved in the political process, I am compelled to state in public my presumptive analysis of Trump’s personality and the thrust of his career. In seven decades of work as a psychoanalyst, I spent much of it devoted to the analysis of the severest disorders.

His and the behavior of his followers in the concluding phase of the Republican Convention, also subsequent to his nomination and election, brings to mind the tone and attitudes present in prewar Germany and current day Turkey. In both the historic and current examples, the leader concocts an Armageddon-like situation and presumes to be a heaven-sent solution. In Turkey, they are locking up people like you and me, and Trump’s clique would in time want to do the same. Commentators exhibiting professionalism and a willingness to risk the wrath of the Trumpist throng, continuously see through Trump’s messianism to its dictatorial core. The apartheid regressive aspect of his character was next shown in history in the Know-Nothing Movement. It culminated in the secessionist Civil War. One can infer that what the Know-Nothing idealists envisioned was an ideal society that could be traced all the way back to Athenian democracy, replete with slave population. One can identify that same ideological configuration in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, along with his obsession with order and strength, two prominent features of Trump’s approach.