Clinical psychologist Avner Falk writes:
How can we square the magnanimous Dr. Donald with the mean and evil Mr. Trump? Well, the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality is familiar to psychological professionals. It is based upon what psychoanalysts call an unconscious “splitting of the self.” This kind of splitting develops early in one’s life, as a psychic defense, when the child cannot reconcile the “good” or pleasurable and “bad” or painful parts of himself. It usually goes along with an inner “object splitting,” when the child cannot reconcile the “good” and “bad” parts of its primary emotional “object,” usually the mother, upon which his very life depends.
The “splitting of the self” was given literary expression in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, while “object splitting” is given concrete expression in fairy tales, such as that of Snow White, whose protagonist has two mothers, one all good, but dead, the other all bad, cold, narcissistic, who keeps looking at her own image in the mirror. When this unconscious splitting persists into one’s adult life, the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality develops. Indeed, Donald Trump sees his world in split-up, black-and-white terms: to him, there are “very good people” and there are “very bad people” who must be denied entry, deported or killed. In reality, most people are both good and bad.
For the psychologically minded, this is a must read.
Falk begins his essay with the now frequently quoted paragraph introducing David Remnick’s (also a must read) New Yorker article, see right ».
My new online friend, psychoanalyst Howard Covitz (who also writes on Daily Kos) named his own website “Nazi/Schmatzi — As long as Donald Loves his mother.”
Covitz never explains his title since his readership, mostly psychotherapists, know very much what he means.
Dr. Falk has done research into Trump’s mother and psychologically analyzes the probable effect Trump’s relationship with her had on his developing and later personality.
It’s not good.
It’s bad. Very bad.
Donny idealized his “smart” mother and identified with her, but under this idealization lay his narcissistic rage at her and his hatred for her. In The Art of the Comeback, published in 1997, he praised his “smart” mother and criticized the other women in his life. “Part of the problem I’ve had with women has been in having to compare them to my incredible mother, Mary Trump. My mother is smart as hell.” Donald dropped his mother’s middle name, Anne, in this sentence; if her name was Mary rather than Mary Anne, then she was not his sister Maryanne’s namesake. In his first TV debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump boasted of how “smart” he was in not having paid any U.S. federal taxes.
Donald Trump’s unconscious identification with his mother goes deep. As Mary Pilon has pointed out, he named a room after his mother at Mar-a-Lago, a landmark estate in Palm Beach, Florida built in the 1920s as a writer retreat for U.S. presidents, which he now owns. Mary Anne and Donald shared a penchant for dramatic hair sculpting: “For years Mary Trump appeared in photos with a dramatic orange swirl. Slight in frame, she took to New York City’s streets draped in furs and jewelry, a far cry from the teen-age girl who set sail during the Great Depression” (see www.newyorker.com/...).
In personality development when this kind of good vs. evil splitting occurs it is because the evil half consists of a constellation of angry, hateful, even violent characteristics anathema to the core personality.
When Mr. Hyde takes control he can be unrestrained by the morals, the ethics, the basic goodness of his host, Dr. Jekyll.
- Corrections and comment welcome from my psychologist friends.