Through the real-time of the Internet, the American presidential election has, like wildfire, spread, leaving the world awaiting the outcome with baited breath. As a result, it has became a real-life “House of Cards” or “Nirvana in Fire”. Being a psychiatrist, I would like to undertake a psychoanalysis of the event.
As the Republican party candidate, Trump is known for shooting his mouth off. He is known for his extreme views; for being unstable; advocating nationalism, racism, sexism, and being a kind of contemporary Hitler. He has a strong ability to arouse and agitate support and has won the favour of many voters. In confrontation with the established political class, whether they themselves be hypocrites or more “proper” types, he truly has something fresh about him. He constitutes a challenge to the false politics voters have come to hate. At the same time, if elected, he will bring anxiety to the US, and to the world.
He is a real estate mogul, though I think he was not so in the past, because if he did his business in this way, he would have failed. His real performance is in electoral tactics, the mental clarity of his election team. The American voters need someone like this. His ideas echo those of many American voters. Indeed, it were simply as though his was the voice giving shape to them!
Freud’s influence on psychology was great, and of course，his psychoanalysis also had a great influence on artistic and social psychology. His theories of the id, ego and superego are important, his analyses of people – as groups, races, and states – very precise. What then of a psychoanalysis of the US through Trump?
America’s superego: the superego takes virtue as its principle, and has a degree of hypocrisy. America always flaunts its human rights, democracy, and belief in freedom, but this in fact is all an artifice. America’s human record is far from pretty, yet, ironically enough, identifies itself as a guardian of human rights. Its democracy is advertised across the globe, but is in fact simply a way for America to realise its own self-profit. America only wants to be a leader, not to foster equality between countries and races. America’s freedom, we can see from Snowden’s having revealed how the US government monitors the whole world, is just a freedom to intimidate. Obama’s hypocrisy leaves the American people disgusted.
America’s id: the id takes happiness as its principle, and is the human unconscious. Trump has already shown America’s id in great detail: nationalism, racism, sexism, warmongering. This is the true face of America, its primal side, the uncultured, uneducated face of America. And the unconscious of this America has a great energy for destruction. Only under the American superego’s system of values does it reveal itself from time to time. For this reason, Trump’s statements are felt by the American people as overwhelmingly real and honest.
America’s ego: the actual America is the process of interaction between ego and superego, a contradictory, conflicted, anxious and hypocritical country. One side seeks the economic benefit of a relationship with China, while another, because of America’s so-called “values”, is antagonistic to China. One side provides the American people with ample liberty and democracy, while another simply will not give democratic freedoms to the world’s countries and peoples. One side loudly calls to attack terrorism, while using a double-standard to determine who the “terrorists” are. The real ego of America take pragmatic benefits as its principle, the exchange of interests and self-profit, with no integrity or justice.
This, then, is America!