An Iranian-Canadian psychoanalytic view on the the ‘Trump Phenomenon’ by Gohar Homayounpour

Dr. Gohar Homayounpour is a psychoanalyst and author who belongs to the International and American Psychoanalytic Associations. She lives and works in Tehran.

As an Iranian-Canadian psychoanalyst who has been oscillating between rage and sadness since the beginning of the Trump administration, it is so seductive for me to get emotionally involved, especially after the Muslim ban. This temptation arises as Iranians are separated from their children, or when a friend tells me, “I have just gotten my visa approved to take my thirteen-year-old daughter to New York for cancer treatment. You know, this is how terrorists are made”, or with the thoughts of the shattered hopes of dispossessed refugees and so many others affected by Trump’s new policies.

But I must attempt to keep my analytic attitude, futile as that attempt may be.

The moment I get back to my analytic mind, well then, this is where I think things get interesting. These are my associations:

Wasn’t Trump democratically elected? Didn’t millions of people vote for him in the United States? Did he not say exactly what his plans were for America? Did he not specifically say he would have a Muslim ban, anti-immigration and refugee policies? Did he not say that he will build a wall? People kept saying it was just campaign rhetoric.

Is this not reminiscent of Hitler? For God’s sake, he wrote a book saying exactly what he was going to do, discussing his world view in detail. People still voted for him in large numbers.

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