When Donald Trump won the 2016 election, pundits said that ultimately he would have to show some gravitas, understanding that, given the demands of his office, he could no longer behave like a cartoon character. But as psychoanalysts know, dreams represent repressed wishes – and Trump, as president, remains a dream-like Peter Pan, refusing to grow up.
Why is that still Donald Trump’s chosen profile? And why, eighteen months into his reality TV presidency, does Trump remain the darling of his base, no matter how badly he behaves?
This panel brings together three sociologists with long-standing psychodynamic interests. Together we will reflect on this question from the double standpoint of critical theory and new empirical research.