Donald Trump: Is He a Revolutionary Archetype?
Donald Trump is about to become the Republican candidate for President. Many Americans and even the Republican Party leadership are incredulous that someone with views as controversial as Mr. Trump’s has been successful earning the trust of a majority of primary voters. Some are watching his progress for sheer entertainment rather than to be informed. Of all the candidates running for US president in 2016, Trump has received the most controversial amount of publicity. We are stymied by his success and flummoxed by his personal brand. What archetypal behavior does he reveal?
Challenging the Status Quo
Let’s suppose he is a Revolutionary Archetype…who does things radically differently on purpose. He challenges the status quo and sometimes loses friends in the process. We’ve seen and heard Mr. Trump provoke and alienate women, antagonize people who disagree with him, and criticize all politicians (wait, isn’t he a politician too?):
- “The only card [Hillary Clinton] has is the woman’s card. She’s got nothing else to offer and frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”
- At campaign rallies, Trump has encouraged his supporters to rough up protesters. “Get ’em out of here!” he yells. “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
- “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”
Trump actually refers to his campaign as a battle of war:
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” He seems to love to fight and similar to a Harley Davison rider, he takes great delight in breaking with the conventional. We can visualize him en-route to one of his rallies with “Vote for Trump” handlebar flags waving and his fist in the air. Barbara Res, who worked in the 1980’s as vice president in charge of Manhattan’s Trump Tower construction, said: “As far as the anger is concerned, that’s real for sure. He’s not faking it,” she told The Daily Beast in February. “The fact that he gets mad, that’s his personality.”
One of the reasons for Mr. Trump’s popularity is that many citizens of the US are angry. A revolutionary Archetype personality is born to break things and make way for new, creative breakthroughs and innovations. The people who support Mr. Trump are inspired by his proposals for innovation and change. They are so energized by his thoughts that many have not stopped to consider whether any of his ideas will actually work. What could we expect of a Trump presidency?
High-Stakes Success and Failure
Donald Trump’s business experience tells an up-and-down story of high-stakes success and failure. The revolutionary risk-taker picks himself up quickly and goes on to the next challenge focusing on wins and minimizing losses. We’ve heard Mr. Trump talk of building walls, stopping trade and offshore manufacturing, and doing away with taxes. Understanding group dynamics and collective psychology is how politicians get elected. Mr. Trump is using short, simple messages that appeal to the broadest population and his proposals for change are making people happy regardless of the possibilities or the risks. He is appealing to an opinion that things are terribly wrong with the American culture or status quo and many are agreeing with him.
While there may be other Archetypes present in Mr. Trump – a Magician-like persuasiveness and a Hero-like self-image – the Revolutionary shouts the loudest in his plans for leading change and his angry appeals. Is it time for a revolutionary Archetype in the White House? Let us know which Archetype you would like to elect. Meanwhile, take our 10-question teaser quiz, and see if you are a Revolutionary Archetype too.