Civil norms were violated quickly, early and often in the election and during the first year that Trump held office: Name-calling, lying, gas-lighting, explicit racism and misogyny, religious travel bans, threats of nuclear war via social media – Americans quickly learned how fragile their national protocols for conduct and ethics were. What had been taken for granted as normal and expectable civic behavior disappeared in a whirlwind of chaos and aggression:
I had a dream that I met Trump and he threw change at me[i]
It felt like each day something new and flabbergasting was thrown at us. Everything changed. Change was hurled at us all, and culturally established taboos of morality and taste were thrown out the window.
Rumors emerged of violated taboos around sexuality and toileting, and many dreamers seemed to attach to the symbolic implications of shattered norms as represented by the alleged “pee tape” Dreams of being peed on, wet pants, peeing on others, or public urination swirled through the minds of several dreamers.
I had a dream last night that trump passed a law saying we all had to pee in the top of the toilet[ii]
I had a strange dream where Donald Trump was hosting some public event as President on TV and he stopped midway to go pee, but didn’t realize the overhead camera watched him peeing and it was broadcast live to the world.[iii]
i had a dream i was at a hotel in the reception and donald trump came charging in looking like a hot mess, climbed up the stairs and then peed on everybody[iv]
had a dream that donald trump visited my house and he got pee on the toilet seat and didn’t clean it up[v]
I had a dream last night that I was having dinner with President Trump and his staff at a restaurant, and in the middle of the dinner the president peed his pants. There was pee all over his clothes…[vi]
Last night I had a dream Trump was pissing on my car and I was detained for trying to stop him with a spray bottle[vii]
And although in many social circles Trump’s purported sexual kink, or pee fantasies were considered trivial and humorous – dreamers conjured much deeper conflicts and concerns about the president’s unilateral disregard for basic norms and the willingness to violate culturally determined moral taboos. Gaining dominance and pleasure by violating core cultural moral taboos are behaviors that are common to psychopathic personalities, and many dreamers wrestled with immoral impulses symbolized by Donald Trump.
Guggenbühl-Craig, in his book The Emptied Soul, proposes that psychopathy is a universal archetype, instinctive destructive energies, power-driven, anti-social tendencies that are present in each one of us, in some form, to a greater or lesser degree:
One is inclined to ask how, in a democratic country, we may prevent psychopaths from inveigling their way to the top… It seems to me more important that the people be able to see through a psychopath, to see through their own psychopathic side. In most democracies this is ability is well enough developed so that a dangerous psychopath is usually detected when he or she appears on the scene. ~ Adolf Guggehbühl-Craig, The Emptied Soul
In the aftermath of World War 2, Carl Jung wrote about the interaction between a national leader who appears to manifest and exploit the most dangerous unacknowledged shadow-aspects of an entire nation:
“…he symbolized something in every individual. He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason that they fell for him. C. G. Jung, CW 10, para 454
Here we see a dream of psychopathic cruelty wearing the hat of an iconic, mythic white American “warrior-hero:
He was walking north up Fifth Avenue with a sub-machine gun, shooting everyone. Rocking a Davy Crockett fur hat… ~Anonymous
Many dreams, eighty or so in this dream collection, appear to struggle with the inner and outer manifestations of this anti-social archetype – in dreams which focus on violated taboos and norms, criminal acts and other psychopathic symbols and characteristics.
He cheats, deserts, annoys, brawls, fails and lies without any apparent compunction. He will commit theft, forgery, adultery, fraud, and other deed for astonishingly small stakes and under much greater risks of being discovered than will the ordinary scoundrel. He will in fact, commit such deeds in the absence of any apparent goal at all. ~ Hervey Cleckly, The Mask of Sanity, p. 390
And just as Cleckly describes, in his seminal book on psychopathy in our dreams the president cheats:
Since Sept 2016, I’ve had a recurring/continuing dream that Pete Rose won the 2016 election. At first, the dreams seemed funny, but I think it was my brain cluing me into the very real possibility that DJT could win. ~ Anonymous
My dream last night had Trump loading up a Toyota pickup truck with ballots he had collected from polling places as he said, “I’ll take this batch over… I’ll meet you there…”[viii]
Dreamed last night that I was golfing with Trump and he just could not keep the ball inbounds. Like 90% of it was him taking illegal drops. And then we had to let a group play through and he made a ruckus during everyone’s backswing so no one would embarrass him with a good shot[ix]
So last night I had a dream Trump went door to door and offered to pay me to vote for him in 2020. I said I would if he told me about the Russians. He ran away.[x]
So I had a dream that me and Stone Cold Steve Austin participated in a motor cross tournament. Half way through the race Donald Trump shows up and wins (he cheated obviously) and the crowd started throwing heads of cabbage at him from the taco stand.[xi]
I had a dream the other night about Trump taking us back to the pre-Gregorian calendar just to screw with people.[xii]
I had a dream last night where I had to give Trump a ride. He lit up a cigar. I told him you can’t do that, then I woke up[xiii]
I had a dream that Trump and George Washington got in a fist fight and then they pulled out samurai swords and I’m very upset that I woke up[xiv].
I had a dream that Donald Trump punched a reporter in the face on national TV and the reporter punched him back and Trump was bleeding everywhere and we were all like, “Welp! Just another day in America, I guess!”[xv]
And lies without any compunction:
I had a dream that the Trump administration made up some scandal about Obama so that we would all stop loving him and then I woke up confused bc I can’t say for sure that’s something our current President wouldn’t do. It was weird bc he planted evidence so everyone believed it and our communities were devastated. They declared a state of emergency. People were out in the streets weeping lol. I was apparently the only one who knew the government made it up[xvi].
Dream-Trump commits theft –
My husband woke up this morning and told me he dreamt Trump et al were taken down in the biggest money laundering scene ever uncovered.[xvii]
i had a dream that donald trump had brown hair and tried stealing my car?[xviii]
4YO “I dreamed last night that a bad guy stole all the blueberry muffins. He was like Donald Trump but a LOT nicer”.[xix]
Had a dream I was meeting w/ pres trump and was like “cool. I’ll be able to judge for myself if he’s an idiot.” In my dream he wasn’t an idiot, but after leaving the oval office, I noticed he had stolen my wallet[xx]
I had a dream about seven months ago Trump was in the Oval Office talking to two or three other people and he said “Did we get the Bitcoin money?” I woke up right then really anxious, like holy shit. I’ll never forget it. It was very real.[xxi]
He commits adultery –
I had a dream the police forced Donald Trump to resign because he broke the law by cheating on his wife. Which is actually a law in the south. It was a good dream[xxii]
As well as fraud, and any other anti-social deed –
It’s bad that I had to think really hard this morning whether my dream that Mueller was now investigating Trump’s involvement in a heart-and-lung transplant scandal (selling access to them) was real……. It’s not, right?[xxiii]
I had a dream last night – @LindseyGrahamSC was finally overcome w guilt & remorse & spilled his guts live on CNN. He admitted he was being blackmailed over his hacked emails, naming everyone from trump down. [xxiv]
I had a dream last night that Melania split up with trump because she was lesbian so he married his daughter[xxv].
And in our dreams he is not only discovered, in fact, our dream-wishes seem to focus on arresting Trump’s destructive behavior – expressing a desire to see him held legally accountable – although there is sometimes a sense of futility as the dreamer is lucid enough to see that such dream-wishes do not necessarily make things come true.
Picture Donald Trump, in the back of a pickup truck, being detained and questioned by officials. (I think I like the way my mind works when I dream!) He was on his way to an event, perhaps. I don’t know why he had been walking down the sidewalk or street instead of riding in his motorcade. He hadn’t alerted the local officials that he’d be in the area. He didn’t think he needed to tell anyone his business. He was cocky and arrogant. He’s the President of the United States… more importantly he’s Donald Trump. He doesn’t have to tell anyone anything. He’s above the law, above rules and regulations, above common sense and courtesy. The local officials weren’t having any of it. They were determined to verify he was who he said he was and his reasons for being there. They weren’t taking his word for it. They weren’t succumbing to his bullying. The dream was brief and it ended there. I saw it as if I was driving by in slow-moving traffic but was able to catch the gist of what was happening. Even though the dream contained an act by local officials of standing up to Trump, I didn’t feel elated or gleeful or vindicated -in the dream or when I woke or now. I felt and feel numb, sad, mournful, stunned. The fact that the episode was happening at all overshadowed the fact that Trump was being held accountable.~ Anonymous
Had a vivid dream last night. I dreamed Donald Trump was being led out of the White House with his arms cuffed behind his back by federal agents. This is not a joke. I literally dreamt this[xxvi].
I had a dream that Trump was arrested for drunk driving and driving a multi-axle rig without the proper certification because he decided he wanted to personally move some nuclear warheads to a launching site.[xxvii]
I dreamt Ivanka and Melania Trump singing the Cell Block Tango from the musical Chicago[xxviii]
Last night I had a dream that Trump asked me if I’d take over the presidency for a couple of weeks so he could go on vacation. I did and immediately had him arrested.[xxix]
Another cluster of dreams focus less on anti-social behavior, and more on the horror of glimpsing the psychopathic soul. Cleckly details the “absolute” incapacity of psychopathic personalities to feel empathy or love for others – as a “self-centeredness that is apparently unmodifiable and all but complete.”
I had a interesting dream where the phantom thieves were stealing the heart treasure of Trump…[xxx]
Fairy tales and myths often spin tales of “cold” psychopathic evil, and offer mythological instructions to defeat giants with buried hearts, and the ways we experience such “heartlessness” as supernatural or monstrous. Dreams of the psychopathically distorted soul read like quick cut previews of horror films.
i had a dream trump was being eaten alive from the inside by mutant butterflies. i just stood there watching, detached[xxxi].
“Psyche” meaning, soul, spirit or the animating principal was represented in Greek mythology by the butterfly. In this dream, drawing on collective and mythological images, paints Trump as a symbol of a distorted, decomposing soul.
Guggenbühl-Craig relies metaphors of emptiness, lack, psychic “holes” and hollowness of soul to describe the psychopathic archetype in his writing on psychopathy – and this dream summons similar imagery:
My dream was less about the president and more on the Vice President. It was just before he announced that he was running with Donald Trump. The dream consisted of him standing there with black holes for eyes and a gaping maw where his mouth was meant to be. It was horrifying. I felt like he was coming for me. ~Anonymous
And the existential horror of the archetype of inhuman-humanity seems to feed upon itself:
…once i dreamt trump was a cannibalistic rapist/serial killer who tore open his own head to reveal another identical trump inside[xxxii]
Other dreams frame psychopathy as evocative of demonic possession. In the dream below – the president is depicted as the possessing demon named “Killer Bob” – who takes over the souls of various characters in the television show “Twin Peaks” – in order feed off of the suffering of others:
What does it mean if you wake up fully from a deep, deep sleep after having dreamt that Trump is revealed to be Bob from Twin Peaks and then he murders you slowly with a tiny knife[xxxiii]
Others dream of Trump as the archetypal embodiment of evil, the Devil himself:
This is funny! I had a dream that my Mom (may she Rest In Peace) told me that Trump was the devil! [xxxiv]
The #DonaldTrumpDreamDiary (Day 3): Last night I dreamed @realDonaldTrump was eulogizing #StephenHawkings when Trump suddenly disappeared into an alternative universe, leaving nothing behind but the smell of sulfur.[xxxv]
I had a dream where Trump was at a gala with Melania, they were about to hold each other’s hand to walk and Trump ripped his face/clothes off and he actually had a costume of the devil underneath. He started dancing (without Melania who was starring at him like the entire world through tv like wtf) and then he took off his mask and just laughed saying “just kidding”.[xxxvi]
I had a dream last night NO JOKE that Donald trump was a fly in my bathroom and it died and I was like “mum lol guess the devil isn’t coming on Friday 13th anymore”[xxxvii]
Charlotte Beradt reports a German dream with a similar theme:
I was sitting in a box at the opera, dressed in a new gown, and with my hair beautifully done. It was a huge opera with many many tiers, and I was enjoying considerable admiration. They were presenting my favorite opera, The Magic Flute. When it came to the line, “That is the devil certainly,” a squad of policemen came stomping in and marched directly up to me. A machine had registered the fact I had thought of Hitler on hearing the word “devil”… (The Third Reich of Dreams, p. 25)
Beradt recounts that the dreamer then searches the vast audience for an ally or assistance and is either spat upon or met with blanks stares of the terrified or already possessed.
Intentionally hurting or torturing animals is a symptomatic alarm signal that is strongly associated with the sadistic aspects of psychopathy. Dreams of harm to innocent animals, seems to speak not only of sadism but of damaging environmental policies and the president’s support of the NRA and big game hunting.
Woke up from a nightmare that Trump personally shot and and killed the last three Northern White Rhinos. Still had to check the internet to make sure it wasn’t just a dream.[xxxviii]
Had a dream Trump kept exotic pets in ill conditions and his children tried to take care of them but he forbade them. Once he was booted out of office the animals were seized and taken to sanctuaries. But his croc ate his monkey because it was starved.[xxxix]
…Last night, I dreamed I was back in math class, and the teacher brought in a therapy elephant, and then Trump walked in and shot it.[xl]
I had a dream that Trump murdered a puppy in front of me & if that doesn’t tell you what I think about his character, I don’t know what will[xli]
I dreamed that Trump killed the red-tailed hawk that lives near my back yard.[xlii]
I had a dream that I had a cat, and Donald Trump started petting the cat, and I was SO afraid he was going to hurt it. Then he turned around and drop-kicked a stuffed animal dog. I asked him, “Do you have anything you love?” He just looked at me and shook his head. [xliii]
I had a dream where I went on a heist to save a ton of kittens from Trump and stole a stack of litter boxes, got caught but they let me go[xliv]
Perhaps such dreams also speak to the aspects of Trump’s public image, or aspects of the dreamer themselves which are experienced by the dreamer as unnatural, against human nature, or alien in some way. The a group of about twenty dreams articulate this “alien” theme explicitly:
I dreamt that aliens put trump in power to outrage people enough that it would wake up the apathetic and change the course of history by endorsing people so they would lose[xlv]
Had a dream that Trump was tweeting on air force one that when he landed he had a big surprise for America. I was starting to feel bad for him. Suddenly huge alien ships came out of the sky and blew us all up. That was the surprise.[xlvi]
I had a dream that some kind of “space package” came down to Earth & the items in the package proved Trump was from another planet & he was trying to eventually have mankind enslaved. Lol. Then the people at the end rose up, picked Trump & others up, and locked them in jail.[xlvii]
Twitter feed/reality is fucking me up. I had a nightmare the republicans were working with aliens who could mind control people, and would murder anyone it didn’t work on. Eventually the aliens planned to kill their republican ‘partners’, too.[xlviii]
Last night my friend had a dream Donald J. Trump was acting so bizarre people started demanding he produce his Earth certificate.[xlix]
Last night j had a dream where trump, his family, supporters, and anybody associated with him got sent to another planet and Barack Obama was president again.[l]
I weirdly had a dream about this couple days before I heard about a gov shutdown. Don’t worry. It’s unearthed Trump is an alien after the gov is shut down. We all rise up in anger, the last straw, & we literally pick him up & throw him/others in jail. We all rejoice, sing songs.[li]
It is also interesting to consider to what degree dreamers are manifesting their associations to Trump as “alien” defined not only as from another planet – but in alien defined as loyalty and political allegiance to a foreign government.
Certainly these dreams of violated norms depict the ways that dreamers feel assaulted, attacked, possessed, infiltrated, invaded, and dominated by the Trump administration. Our next chapter will explore how dreamers respond to the disseminated doctrine of Trumpism.