Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

As if I didn’t already want to dunk my own head in a deep fryer, I have to read stuff like this from Alex Shephard’s review of the new book Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie?

Lewandowski and Bossie even suggest that Trump is a student of Jungian psychology:

“Although the mainstream media and other haters give him little credit for his intellect, Donald Trump has more than a fundamental grasp on a surprising number of fields, including Jungian psychology. One of his favorite books is Memory, Dreams, Reflections, Jung’s autobiography. Steve Bannon insists that Trump came up with the idea of the names Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Low-Energy Jeb, and, later, Crooked Hillary, from his knowledge of Jungian archetypes.”

I felt pretty confident that this made no sense, but it’s been thirty years since I studied Jungian archetypes, so I figured I’d do a quick refresher on Wikipedia to see if I’d forgotten something crucial. I can assure you that I didn’t.

I’m also having grave difficulties believing that Donald Trump has ever read Carl Jung’s autobiography. The latest paperback edition is 430 pages long, which is approximately 429 pages too long for Donald Trump. It was also published originally in 1961, while Trump was fifteen and enrolled in New York Military Academy because his parents could do nothing with him. The man studied real estate in college.

In any case, you’d probably want to read Carl Jung’s writings on Archetypes rather than his autobiography if you wanted to know to apply the concepts to winning a presidential campaign.

I don’t dispute that Trump tapped into some kind of rot in the collective unconscious. If I had to guess at a psychological book that Trump might have actually read and applied to his campaign it would be Wilhelm Reich’s Listen, Little Man!. It actually describes how people are attracted to demagogues, and it’s only 144 pages.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at