U.S. presidential elections in 2016 and 2020

Politics has an unknown dimension – it is also an unconscious process involving unconscious feelings of purity, strength and liberation.

It is about the defense against unendurable feelings, which originate from the prenatal life, birth and postnatal life until language acquisition. All these feelings are summarized in the trauma of birth.  At birth, the previously nourishing environment, placenta and umbilical cord were lost. The traumatic feelings resulting from this loss are fended off by acting it out on the level of national politics.

If the traumatic feelings are not acted out enough in politics, the administration, which does not protect us from our unconscious traumatic feelings, appears to us as evil, weak, poisoning. In Lloyd DeMause’s psychogenic theory of history, one speaks of “growth panic”. This leads to feelings of hatred towards the rational state and to voter support for policies that endanger our real nurturing environment, namely democracy, the rule of law and international cooperation.

In 2016, there was a situation of growth panic after the eight-year term of the first black and also reasonable president Barrack Obama and before the threatening first female president, Hillary Clinton. I think our social alters ran amok within of us at that time, without us being aware of it.  Only that hardly anyone could identify with the reasonable candidate and with democracy itself. That’s why Trump’s election was possible.

Meanwhile we now (hopefully) became wise through harm. There was so much destruction and mischief caused by the Trump government. This has relieved and purified us of our fears of growth. The evidence of the President’s malice and the real damage his policies have done to our nurturing environment, democracy, the rule of law and international cooperation, was growing, and as a result our rational personalities were increasingly urged to draw the rational conclusions and become aware of the differences between democracy and autocracy. And to distance themselves from the Social Alters. The water is at our throat.

Trump is now looking for a Comey moment, when a member of the establishment provided him with legitimacy through actual actions of an institution that is responsible for the well-being of our society in the deepest sense. As was the case when an investigation was opened against Hillary Clinton shortly before the official election day of 2016. This was an extraordinary triumph for our Social Alters. And a depressing experience for our reasonable personality parts who support the political mainstream. Abandoned by Comey, the head of the FBI! What a mysery!

Today I assess the situation differently. Now we have had 4 years of object lessons about the real effects of a Trump presidency.  Our reasonable personalities are strong and know enough and stand by their duty to prevent another Presidency of Trump and if possible another Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. Biden is playing his reasonable role well, and our reasonable personality-parts have seen enough damage that has purged them of traumatic feelings and made them also able to realize how dangerous Trump is to the very existence of democracy and thus to the foundations of our nurturing environment.

This makes us more resilient than we were in 2016, when our Social Alters angrily resisted the idea that a black and reasonable president could be followed by the first female president in U.S. . The worst traumatic feelings would have been poured out on you at that time if you had identified with democracy and the rule of law and stood up for Hillary Clinton. She too would probably have become a reasonable president.

I think a de facto coup d’état by the Trump Administration is possible with the help of the Supreme Court, if the Republicans lose the elections. After all, by the extreme gerrymandering and the de facto non-recognition of the voting rights of blacks and other pro-democracy constituencies, the Republicans show that they are not among the defenders of democracy and the rule of law. Already in the election of G.W. Bush, he only won through dubious decisions of the then, as now conservatively dominated Supreme Court.

Meanwhile Giuliani, former mayor of New York, now  ally of Trump, allegedly with the computer of Biden’s son and waiting for a favorable political moment is ready to direct avalanche-like increasing furious mass emotions via  our social alters to our reasonable personality parts, constantly keeping us under power with his crazy messages.

Florian Galler, Zurich, Oct. 28, 2020

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