Donald Trump and the Jugian Shadow in the Wild West

Proceedings of The 11th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences

Year: 2023



Donald Trump and the Jugian Shadow in the Wild West

Rachel Quastel



This paper will use Carl Jung and Erich Neumann’s depth psychology to discover how Donald Trump, despised by the Establishment and ridiculed in the media, emerged to win the 2016 presidential elections, and why the responses to his election and personality were characterized by moral panic. Relying on the dialectic between the “shadow” archetype, which refers to the dark and repressed parts of the personality, and the “persona,” the illusory mask with which we go out into the world, I will argue in this article that the election of Trump and the extreme reactions to it are an expression of the violent social energy released in the dismantling of the clean and spotless “persona” represented by former President Barack Obama, and the erupting of the “shadowy”, politically incorrect emotions that were repressed during his tenure. Additionally, the article hypothesizes that the primal American archetype of the “Old Western hero” representing an adored character whose “shadow” is unrepressed, provided Trump with a strong tailwind; his rhetorical power is explained in that he offered his voters liberating identifications and open expression for their aggressive emotions, those that have no legitimacy within the liberal and politically correct discourse of the leading media, but that do have echoes of legitimacy in the myth of the “Old West”. Also, and as additional social expression of the split between the “shadow” and the “persona”, the article examines the #MeToo movement, which went viral after Trump’s election, and identifies within it a binary morality in the name of which it signifies evil and burns at the stake, in a brutal campaign of intimidation and shaming. This is a divisive morality with religious Puritan origins, revived in the secular politically correct movements, which also do not recognize the “shadow”.

keywords: Donald Trump, Carl Jung, The Shadow, Psychoanalysis