Psychohistory Forum Panel (continued):
The Threat to American and World Democracies in Light of the 2024 US Election
• Jeffrey Rubin: The ‘Killer’ and the ‘King’: A Psychobiographical Examination of Trump and His Threat to American Democracy (20 min)
• Karyne Messina: Donald Trump and the Fascism Question (40 min)

Jeffrey Rubin: The ‘Killer’ and the ‘King’: A Psychobiographical Examination of Trump and His Threat to American Democracy (20 min)

Abstract: In this psychobiographical study of Donald Trump, I draw on Trump’s family, Trump himself, and journalists and reporters, to attempt to link his indictments to his childhood and his parents’ treatment of him. I also briefly explore three other topics: 1) The Real Big Lie—the fact that Trump is terrified that he’s a “Loser”—not that Biden stole the 2020 presidential election; 2) what the available evidence suggests would happen if Trump eludes jail-time and wins the 2024 presidential election—Trump would operate like a dictatorial king; and 3) Trump-as-King would be the culmination of a ghastly trauma—the final hijacking of his soul in his blindly following his father’s injunction to be a killer and a king. At that moment, Trump would have given up his right to a life that should have been his own.

Bio: Jeffrey B. Rubin, PhD, practices psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy in New York City and North Salem, NY. The author of six books, he has taught at various psychoanalytic institutes and lectured around the country and abroad on psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis and meditation.

Karyne Messina: Donald Trump and the Fascism Question (40 min)

Abstract: This paper explores whether or not Donald Trump has become a fascist.  In this context, his brand of leadership will be examined to determine if it is reminiscent of fascism exhibited by strongmen of the past or if it fell short of that type of leadership until he incited citizens to rise against our democracy during the insurrection of 2021.  As the parallels between Trump and historical strongmen become more apparent, we must understand the implications of such a power shift, which we also need to consider within a larger conversation about the threat to global democracies within the framework of the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Bio: Karyne E. Messina, Ed.D. FABP, is the author of numerous books on projective identification, a podcast host, a licensed psychologist, and a certified psychoanalyst. She is also the Chair of the Scholarship and Writing section of the Department of Psychoanalytic Education (DPE) which is part of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

After completing her undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Messina earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from George Washington University. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Washington School of Psychiatry and the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Messina is currently on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital, which is part of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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