Many of my American friends and colleagues have fulminated as never before about the 2016 electoral process, using emotive words like ‘disgusting’ to describe (for example) the distortions that the power of money brings. From an international perspective, this has surprised me. Don’t they know there is a systemic problem always inherent in political life, and no reason to expect anything else? Such disillusionment heightens the usual dilemma for voters – psychological as much as political, and applying equally to ‘progressives’ and ‘conservatives.’ Should they vote for the ‘least worst’ candidate to keep out someone they consider truly dangerous? Should they stick to their ideals and either vote for a small third party whose policies are more to their personal taste, or not vote at all?
Andrew Samuels, is a Jungian analyst and professor who has worked internationally as a political consultant. He is the founder of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (UK), Consultant Editor of Psychotherapy and Politics International, and co-editor of Analysis and Activism: Social and Political Contributions of Jungian Psychology (2016). Amongst other books, he is the author of The Political Psyche (1993), Politics on the Couch (2001), Persons, Passions, Psychotherapy, Politics (2014), and A New Therapy for Politics? (2015).