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Here's How to Understand Trump and His Supporters: Part II (REVIEW ESSAY)

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) September 14, 2019: I don't like Donald Trump. From what I now know of his life, I don't think that I would have liked him at any time in his life, had I known him or even known of him. I didn't know of him until he espoused the birther conspiracy about President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Moreover, I am sure that Trump would not have liked me at any time in my life, had he known me. To him, I would have been just another loser supposedly unlike him. To him, he's a winner and always has been in his own eyes.

On the strength of Trump's projection of himself as a winner, he managed to win the votes of enough white losers to emerge victorious in the Electoral College in the 2016 presidential election. He now hopes to win re-election in the 2020 presidential election. Even though the Democratic Party has not yet selected a 2020 presidential candidate to oppose him, he will undoubtedly declare the eventual Democratic candidate to be a loser among other things. As everyone knows, he likes to use colorful expressions to denigrate others.

For further reading about how Trump could win the Electoral College again in 2020, see my OEN commentary "Trump Could Win in the Electoral College in 2020" (dated July 20, 2019):

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Trump-Could-Win-in-the-Ele-by-Thomas-Farrell-2020-Democratic-Primary_2020-Elections_2020-Presidential-Primary-Election_Anti-trump-190720-789.html

For further reading about how Trump's projections of himself work with his most ardent white supporters, see my OEN commentary "Here's How to Understand Trump and His Supporters" (dated September 4, 2019):

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Here-s-How-to-Understand-T-by-Thomas-Farrell-Charisma_Hitler_Mussolini_Stalin-190904-485.html

To recap briefly, I discussed Trump's charisma with his most ardent white supporters in terms of the four charisma styles that Olivia Fox Cabane operationally defines and explains in her 2012 book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism (Portfolio/ Penguin): (1) authority charisma, (2) focus charisma, (3) visionary charisma, and (4) kindness charisma. Trump characteristically projects what she terms authority charisma.

In addition, I aligned Cabane's four charisma styles with the four kinds of archetypes of maturity, masculine and feminine, that the late Jungian theorist and psychotherapist Robert L. Moore of the Chicago Theological Seminary operationally defines and explains in the 1990 book he co-authored with Douglas Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine (HarperSanFrancisco).

Trump's projecting authority charisma involves a "shadow" form (not the optimal form) of the masculine Warrior archetype. His most ardent white supporters then reciprocate his projection of the "shadow" form of the masculine Warrior archetype from his psyche by projecting the "shadow" form of the masculine Warrior archetype from their psyches onto him so that he, in a sense, carries their projection of it. See how that works?

According to Moore and Gillette, only the optimal forms of the archetypes of maturity are pro-social. The "shadow" forms are not pro-social.

For further reading about the "shadow" form of the masculine Warrior archetype of maturity that Moore and Gillette refer to as the Sadist, see their 1992 book The Warrior Within: Accessing the Knight in the Male Psyche (William Morrow, pages 132-142).

Disclosure: For the record, I tend to manifest the other "shadow" form of the masculine archetype of maturity that Moore and Gillette refer to as the Masochist (pages 121-131), as do many other American men. Consequently, I do not characteristically tend to project what Cabane refers to as authority charisma. To practice projecting authority charisma, she recommends what she refers to as the big gorilla exercise (pages 158, 159, 164, 193, and 242).

In their 1992 book about the masculine Warrior archetype of maturity, Moore and Gillette devote a subsection titled "The Alpha Male and His Warriors: Primate Prefigurations" (pages 38-41), which contains hints about primate and human body language that are somewhat similar to Cabane's hints about the big gorilla exercise.

For further reading about the fighting spirit of the masculine Warrior archetype of maturity, see Walter J. Ong's 1981 book Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness (Cornell University Press), the expanded version of his 1979 Messenger Lectures at Cornell University.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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