Chapter 13: Dreams of Discord and Polarization

The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

~ Luke 12:53 King James Bible


If, as Jung suggested, the underlying archetype that fuelled the rise of the Third Reich in Germany was Odin/Wotan in his destructive warring aspect, inciting and luring a peaceful populace into battle frenzy – then perhaps the underlying mythologies of the United States are tales such as Cain and Able, myths of brothers turning against brothers, and the irreconcilable values between those who believed they were entitled to enslave human beings, and all those who opposed slavery, including and especially enslaved persons themselves. These national polarizations and splits, the persistent dichotomies in our collective values, mean that our states in truth, have rarely been united and never for long. These dreams expose our disunity and conflicts – as communities and families polarize and break apart along our underlying fault lines. These dreams explore the losses and estrangements that emerge when our world view and our values are directly opposed to our neighbors or our family members.

About half of these dreams were focused on political schisms in communities, ruptures in communal values pitting neighbor against neighbor.

The US had turned into the days of the red scare. Except all our social justice warriors and civil rights activists were being imprisoned and killed. Everyone was turning on each other, and in my case, even my own family members were killing my most beloved social servants. I had the sense this was all because of Trump’s administration. ~Anonymous

I dreamed I was taken on a bus full of friends and peers to a camp where we ended up forming sides and trying to shoot each other. Donald Trump was there, wearing red and white, arguing at an identical miniature cardboard cut out of himself.[i]

Hoping I have better dreams tonight than I did last night. Last night I dreamed militant Trump supporters were trying to kill me![ii]

Just had a pretty vivid dream that one of my Trump loving friends, whom I haven’t spoken to since the election, told me she hated me because I was exposing her children to liberalism. How real is that? And scary, too.[iii]

Dreamt this weekend that I was at a rocket launch party from some auditorium that was also a Trump rally where people were super-religious and wouldn’t talk to me.[iv]

The following dream identifies our entrenched polarization on issues of racism and white supremacy explicitly:

I had a dream the other night that I was talking to a Trump supporter who said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Trump were alike. I told her the only thing they had in common was that they were at opposite ends of the same spectrum. I get my best zingers in dreams.[v]

These factions and splits in our values also emerge in dreams about the selection of potential romantic partners.

Had a dream last night a Trump supporter asked me out on a date. I yelled at him and said no. I’m glad my unconscious self has higher standards than my conscious self cause I woke up thinking he was kinda cute[vi]

i had a dream that i met a cute boy at the gym (?) and we hung out and i started to like him but then i asked him if he liked trump and he ruined it[vii]

Last night I dreamt that I had a hot new boyfriend who was super into me, and things were going great. BUT, I found out he was a trump lover and dumped him[viii]

Trump is also framed as a catalyst for family severances – estrangements and conflicts between parents and children, between siblings, and among extended family members.

Dreamed my MAGA uncle wore a trump shirt to Xmas thing today, and I went off on him and everyone got mad at me, but I didn’t mind bc I was right.[ix]

I also had a dream that my brother in law put up a trump sign and tried telling me he wasn’t racist. I screamed “if you support a racist you are no better than the racist!!” Slammed the door, and woke up feeling rejuvenated.[x]

I just had a dream i was at a Donald Trump rally and he shook my hand and then my 10 year old cousin Kelsi shot me for shaking his hand. Idk why but it feels like a metaphor[xi]

Had a dream that the members of my family that don’t speak to me anymore welcomed me back to the family with open arms. (I’m the black sheep bc I decided to marry someone older than me). Then it turned into a nightmare when I found out they were all Trump supporters.[xii]

 No joke i had a hyper realistic dream that my folks housed Donald Trump in the room next to mine because he wanted a low key impromptu golf vacation and I was so upset I locked myself in the bathroom.[xiii]

Even the alliance with the family pet is suspect:

Last night dreamed that my cat came out as a trump-supporter + I had to, like, deal w what that meant 4 us as a family.[xiv]

Others dream of healing rifts, of reconciliation,  of winning hearts and minds, and restoring harmony to conflicted families.

I had a dream last night that my family started to admit that Trump wasn’t as bad as they thought. [xv]

I dreamt that my parents admitted that voting for Trump was a massive mistake[xvi]

I had a dream my parents told me i was right about Donald trump and we hugged[xvii]

            Thirteen dreams appear to have been activated by Trump’s role as an symbolic “father” to a nation. “Trump is my father and we are in conflict” is a recurring a motif. These may be associations drawn from the dreamer’s personal relationship to their specific father and their potential similarities to Trump, or perhaps refer or to authoritarian aspects of the dreamer’s family life which they reject, or wish that they could change. These dreams could also represent conflicts with patriarchal structures and values that have been internalized by the dreamer, and/or that are manifest in the sociopolitical environment. It also speaks to the profound polarizations and values conflicts that emerge along generational lines –children versus parents, youngers against elders.

Dreamed Trump was my dad and he kept ruining contests I wanted to enter at work by showing up. And he made me do a first communion and then left because he wanted a place with a fireplace as we stood in front of a fireplace.[xviii]

Had a dream last night that Trump was my stepdad and he only gave me a $400 allowance a month Cheap bastard …[xix]

Last week I had a dream that Donald Trump was my father and secretly faked an assassination attempt on his own life so that my siblings and I would learn to love him better[xx]

I had a dream that Donald trump was my stepdad. It was hell.[xxi]

I had a dream I was Trumps daughter and because I hate him he tried murdering me. He kept chasing me around the White House and it was the most stressful dream I’ve ever had. But I escaped.[xxii]

I had a dream that Trump was my stepdad. It was terrible until I realized that literally everyone was plotting against him with me.[xxiii]

The wish to modulate, reform, rescue, survive or overthrow the abusive authoritarian negative father archetype – The king is dead, long live the king – is a recurring theme in myth and fairy tales, and the stuff of dreams for thousands of years.


[i] @lydiacolemusic

[ii] @IvyOfPoison

[iii] @Sally_Skadoosh

[iv] @lexiconstable

[v] @Anniekin85

[vi] @Sarahjumi

[vii] @havanalipa

[viii] @pussimussprime

[ix] @ChickSpinster

[x] @Hunteremonfrere

[xi] @WyattWentland

[xii] @victim_of__love

[xiii] @103degrees

[xiv] @LeeCalliope

[xv] @captchucksimian

[xvi] @SideOfGinger

[xvii] @gwowwmeoww

[xviii] @inthetoaster

[xix] @kristinaclareee

[xx] @not_harmony

[xxi] @rettehnr

[xxii] @DemandaFrost

[xxiii] @paytonOMG