The Trump Invasian: Donald in Our Dreams
Donald Trump Invades Our Dreams
Donald Trump has officially invaded our collective psyche, judging by the spike in dreams where he features as a main character. The Donald has long been a notable and notorious public figure and a character in dreams. But now that he is within walking distance of inhabiting the White House, people are dreaming about him a lot more—in hilarious, telling, and sometimes scary ways.
I first noticed the trend in December when Trump started being taken more seriously as a candidate who could win the Republican nomination, instead of a sideshow act. December is also when families get together for the holidays and talk politics, and of course those experiences and conversations can be fodder for dreams. I’m a moderator at Reddit Dreams and read about a lot of dreams, and around the holidays I noticed Trump’s name popping up more often. Here is a typical example [edited for brevity and clarity, as are other examples given later]:
In my dream, Donald Trump is coming over to visit. He arrives with a couple of bodyguards and some of his “people.” Before I know it he is drunk and getting into a heated argument with my uncle—who is a big Trump supporter—about politics and immigrants and wars in the Middle East. The three of us end up fist-fighting. Trump breaks a bunch of furniture, climbing up onto tables and jumping down to break them in half, smashing chairs, and ripping apart couch cushions. I am shocked but somehow not surprised. When I ask his bodyguard what his problem is, he tells me, “Oh don’t worry, he does this all the time.”
What a picture this description paints! Can you imagine Trump throwing haymakers and smashing furniture like Hulk Hogan?
The dream stems from an incident during the holidays when the dreamer’s uncle came over, got drunk, and mucked up a nice family outing by spouting angry “Trump-ian” rhetoric. The dream is a dramatization of the incident. Fist-fighting and trashing the house are exaggerated representations of the uncle’s actions. Emotionally and psychologically, the uncle trashed the dreamer’s home and disrespected the occasion. Trump and the uncle are shown as two characters but really they are one and the same.
And the bodyguard’s statement that “he does this all the time” rings true, too. The uncle makes a habit of getting drunk and angry and ruining holiday occasions.
World events affect dreams same as politics. Back when the situation in Syria looked to be headed toward Armageddon, Reddit Dreams experienced a spike in dreams about WWIII. When Putin ordered the annexation of Crimea and got lashed by Western media, a popular dream theme was Russia invading the US and Europe. And now that the American political season is in full swing, dreams featuring Trump and the cast of related characters such as “Uncle Bernie” and “Madame Hillary” are popping up all over.
(I don’t recall Rubio or Cruz featured in many dreams, perhaps because neither of them make a strong impression.)
Trump is a rich tapestry on which to paint a story—and dreams really do “paint” a story using imagery. Bombastic, greedy, cocky, heartless, arrogant—any of these impressions of the man can be used as colors on the dream easel.
Dreams weave together personal impressions with current events to create symbolism. Take a look at this example of how a dream processes impressions of Trump:
Had a dream last night that me and someone else break into a old, creepy-looking warehouse. Hearing screams and some other kind of sickening noises, we walk around to find the source. In a dimly lit area, standing alongside an animal pen, there he stands…Donald Trump. Inside the animal pen are Fallout 4-size mole rats in all their oversized, irradiated viciousness.
Next thing I know he motions some henchmen over and they throw two small Mexican children into the pen to be ripped apart. As the children are being eaten, Trump is yelling something about “anchor babies” and how if he can’t build a wall he will use these animals to hunt down and kill illegal immigrants along the Mexican border. Apparently it’s going to be ‘uge. About that time we knock something over and all eyes are on us. Epic mole rat chase ensues.
It’s easy to see how news about Trump’s call to build a wall between the US and Mexico worked into this dream. If you are a big fan of his, you probably object to this dream’s portrayal of him as a heartless bastard who feeds Mexican babies to mutant rats. But in dreamland, it’s fair game. If you really listen to the rhetoric about Trump, especially the comparisons to Nazis and Hitler, the dream’s portrayal accurately reflects some of what is being tossed about. Trump scares the shit out of some people. To them he’s a bogeyman. Talk about nightmare-fuel!
Another example of a dream dramatizing Trump’s rhetoric against Mexicans:
So two of my friends and I decide to go to Mexico for Spring Break, and just as we cross [the border back into the US], this group of Mexican dudes ask us for a ride. Of course we say yes. Just as we’re trying to fit everyone into the minivan, the cops spot us and start chasing us down and we speed off in GTA-like fashion. It gets intense and shit goes down like crazy. We do evasive maneuvers and watch cop cars crash into one another, bullets fly, and we somehow get away by pulling into a 7-11.
While we’re about to go inside to get Arizona Iced Teas, what do you know, Donald fuckin’ Trump comes out and asks us for a ride to his house. We can’t say no. So the Mexicans have to hide in the car somewhere. My two other friends are stuck trying to tuck them away somewhere in the car and I’m on diversion/stalling duty to keep Trump from getting in the car. Nonetheless, he manages to get by me. We’re terrified he’ll see [the Mexicans] but when he opens the door, they’re not there. And when he opens the trunk, they’re not there either. They had found a way to hang onto the underbelly of the minivan, luckily.
So we drive off and drop Trump off at his home. Just as he is about to open his front door, one of the Mexicans says “fuck you.” And immediately, Trump calls in a military raid against us and we (somehow) go apeshit on the entire US Border Patrol.
Hilarious! Can you guess what impressions and associations the person has that the dream uses to create this story? My guess is, in certain company—namely, around Trump supporters—the dreamer hides his true feeling about Mexicans. They’re cool in his book, but he knows better than to say that too loudly.
[I live in Tucson and have witnessed tirades and “speak fuckin’ English why don’t ya” comments. Never mind the fact that many of the people of Mexican descent around here have lived in the area for many generations and are fully American. And the ones who come over the border are mostly just looking for work and are a backbone of the local service economy.]
Other impressions of, and facts about, Trump are used to create dream symbolism, too. Such as in a dream a young female had about choosing him as her new gynecologist and going to his estate for her appointment. She gets lost along the way and scared he will be angry because she’s late. The sun is in her eyes, almost blinding her as she drives. When she finally arrives he agrees that they can skip the physical exam. He then anoints her with peppermint oil. The dream ends with her wondering how she is going to pay for the appointment, thinking that going to such a powerful man will have a high price.
The meaning of that dream is a mystery. We began analyzing it by considering the dreamer’s relationship with a powerful man she knows. I thought it was possible that Trump is used by the dream as a surrogate for the man, and the rest of the story can be understood as a metaphor for the relationship. Perhaps she wonders if it can remain platonic, or if the “price” of knowing him will mean at some point he will want sex (symbolized in the dream as a physical exam). Being anointed with oil might symbolize her inner preparation for that possibility. The sun can symbolize powerful masculinity, so the part about the sun almost blinding her could be a metaphor for being dazzled by the man’s power and persona.
However, after discussing these possibilities with her we came up with another way of looking at the symbolism of Trump as her gynecologist: It’s a metaphor for trusting her healthcare to corporate behemoths that are only in the business to make a buck. Considering her family history of disease, she could end up paying with her life if she doesn’t get the care she needs.
The dreamer also sees the possibility that the dream reflects her opinion of Trump not giving a rat’s ass about people, and his followers being scary as hell. She is dazzled by Trump’s power and craves having her own power to influence people and society in good ways. Under this interpretation, her thoughts about the high price of her appointment with him reflect fears about the high price the country could pay if he’s elected and is already paying by seriously considering a demagogue as president.
In another dream posted to Reddit Dreams, Trump’s son (completely fictional person) in a boxing match is used to tell a story about the dreamer sticking up for himself. He sees how Trump stands up for himself and, like a son emulating his father, learns from that example.
Then there’s the dream that takes place in Trump’s Chili Emporium and the dreamer sees the man himself alongside “little” Marco Rubio putting laxative in the chili . Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
I don’t know what The Donald would think about the way he is portrayed in dreams, but if this trend continues I might be the one who ends up talking about him in a therapist’s office!
More great dreams featuring Trump. To get an idea what they mean, read through the comments. I’m RadOwl in these discussions: