Why Donald Trump Is Haunting Your Dreams
Have you been seeing a big, scary, orange blob in your dreams? When you see this blob, is it fast approaching? Does it sometimes seem like you cannot stop this blob? Most importantly, is this blob incredibly racist?
Well, you join over 50 Daily Beast readers and countless others who have recently had dreams about GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. They are almost all very weird and they say a lot about America. You can read them below.
But first, Kelly Bulkeley wants to tell you not to worry. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re seeing Donald Trump in your dreams. (There’s only something wrong if Ghost Donald Trump is talking you into voting for him.)
Since 1992, Bulkeley has been studying how presidential candidates appear in your dreams. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and has written 20 books about how dreams affect us—and how our world affects our dreams.
In 1992, he says, Ross Perot maintained the same basic space in people’s brains as Donald Trump.
“What I’ve learned, in every election, is that the frequency of appearance in people’s dreams is an index of people’s charisma—interpersonal dynamism. That’s the hypothesis,” says Bulkeley.
In 2008, people “dreamed like crazy about Barack Obama,” he says. “Particularly with the first campaign, there was a messianic quality. The dreams were in these magical settings and people were having these really wonderful, profound, intimate feelings. These dreams reflected dramatic, emotionally rich settings.”
Hillary Clinton was around back then, too.
“With Hillary, there was some more ambivalence,” he said. “Her ambivalence comes through in her forcefulness as a leader as a woman and a liberal. Some people love that; some people don’t. She happens to attract that symbolic level of interpretation—an emblem of all sorts of different things.”
After all, Bulkeley says, that’s the guts of dreaming about politicians: “These are figures that are metaphors for a feeling or a relationship in your life.”
Which brings us to the largely mortifying dreams of Donald Trump. The Daily Beast solicited dreams about the Republican presidential candidate this week, and we received neutral dreams that involved cookies at a bake sale. We also received much scarier ones.
One major theme that our readers continued to bring up? Donald Trump driving them around in a car. One, in which The Donald appeared to be kind and caring, was even an Uber driver. Bulkeley says this isn’t surprising.
“Cars and, of course, driving are classic American dream symbols of mobility, dependence and autonomy—or lack of it. Uber is the latest version of that, of relinquishing control,” he told The Daily Beast. “If Donald Trump is suddenly in charge of your car—that’s a great expression of those underlying concerns. It’s creating a dramatic, attention-grabbing scenario—one that’s been percolating in the subconscious.”
Another common scenario features our respondents back in school, but Trump is now the teacher in the front of the class. Bulkeley believes this is proof that Trump’s message of power and control is working.
“School experiences become lifelong dream templates. People go back to school experiences in their dreams throughout their lives, in part because that’s another dramatization of someone having an unpleasant degree of authority over oneself,” said Bulkeley. “You’ve got this scary person who has control and power and authority over you. That’s the exactly the impact Trump is trying to have. That’s the impact of the success of his campaign: that people are scared of him. In fact, Donald Trump might be excited to hear that.”
Bulkeley is gathering even more dreams for another quantitative analysis of presidential candidates in dreams for this election cycle. He’s collecting Hillary Clinton dreams and Trump dreams for a third decade of presidential dream analysis.
Dreams are, once you get rid of the Ubers and return visits to 8th grade, a pretty direct line into America’s uneasy election season subconscious, anyway.
“In some parts of history, dreams have direct ties to an impact on the community and challenges they’re facing,” he said. "With dreams and the election, they’re speaking to our group efforts to try to figure out what the heck’s going.”
Here are dreams about Donald Trump that were sent anonymously to The Daily Beast, only edited for punctuation and clarity. You can send Bulkeley more here.
The Rollback Dream
I dreamt that Donald Trump was trying to convince my girlfriend to have sex with him in a $5 DVD bin at Walmart. We were walking around Walmart trying to find something really specific that I don't remember and all of a sudden Trump shows up and is like "hey honey lets get it on in this DVD bin" or something similarly blunt and it weirded me out and we walked away. Kind of disappointing I know but Trump was a far secondary problem to whatever we were trying to locate.
The Sharing Economy Dream
I guess it was because I got pizza earlier that day, but I had this wacky dream where I got in an Uber and Trump was my driver. And as you do with Uber drivers, we started making conversation, and then I proceeded to extensively break down the pros and cons of D.C. pizza restaurants for seriously like 15 minutes. For a dream, I did a really good job. And he quietly listened (he didn't even argue with my picks, sad!) and then I got out and we parted ways. It was baffling. Just normal Uber driver behavior, listening to me talk about pizza (for what must've been an incredibly long ride!?) except he was actually Trump.
The Trumpcare Dream
I had a Trump-inspired nightmare that involved taking an elephant to a veterinarian. Like most of my dreams, I couldn't recall the details. There was blood and a lot of commotion.
The Mario Dream
I had a dream Donald Trump was racing me in Mario Kart as his own character. It’s a hazy dream consisting of graphic visuals of Mario Kart interchanging from first- to almost a third-person view. However, the other player is a cartoonish version of Donald Trump. It was the hair that stuck out more than anything.
The Creepy Chauffeur Dream
Trump appeared in my dream. He gave a lift to my family and friends and later told me in a creepy way that my little sister was “absolutely brilliant,” and that he had “never seen anything like it.” I told him to back off.
The Mrs. Fields Dream
I was in a mall. It was a nice one. Not too crowded too. It was so chill. There was this booth that the Trump supporters had set up. They were selling homemade cookies. Ten for $5. Insane, right? And they were nice and kind. Not stupid like the ones we see everyday. These people—they seemed intelligent. Like they knew what the fuck they were doing. People started buying cookies. All of a sudden there was an Asian guy with glasses who walked up to them and stared at them. “I love cookies,” he said, as he threw himself onto the pile of cookie boxes. Someone asked him why. He replied with the word “cookies,” and that was the dream.
The Mrs. Robinson Dream
I had a dream that Donald Trump was a substitute teacher for a class I was in. I was apparently the only student that noticed his fuming rage building over the course of the class period, most of it directed at me for no reason. He eventually started flipping desks and throwing chairs around while screaming at me, at which point I bolted out of the classroom. I’m pretty sure he was still chasing me when I woke up.
The Michael Scott Dream
Trump and the other GOP candidates had joined a meeting at work. He wouldn’t shut up but wasn’t saying anything of substance. I was disappointed in my boss and coworkers for letting him rattle forth, so I interrupted with a super juvenile, dramatic thumbs down and “motorboat” noises with my lips. It ended there in undramatic fashion.
The Cruella de Vil Dream
I had an otherwise-unrelated dream that included a conversation where a friend told me Trump wants to outlaw puppies. I remember being unsurprised.
The Frat Dream
So for some reason, I was back in a random classroom at my old high school. I was sitting at my desk when I saw the Donald holding some sort of white plate, which contained his urine. (I know it’s disgusting, sorry.) He approached me, looked at me, then proceeded to throw his plate of pee at me. I was shocked and I screamed “He just poured his piss at me!” Everyone in the room was shocked and angry at Trump. That’s when I woke up. I wish I never had this dream, but I did. I’m watching less cable news now because of this dream.
The Tweeting-From-Captivity Dream
I dreamt that I found out Donald was actually a supervillain intent on destroying the world, so in the dream I captured him and locked him up, but he escaped. I ran through the city streets asking people “Have you seen Trump?” No one had seen him. I was watching his Twitter while searching and he tweeted “I’M DOOMED” because he knew he was being chased. I found it particularly hilarious that he’d be tweeting while running away.
The Re-Attributed Charles Mee Play Dream
I dreamt once there was this group that had Donald Trump
tied up with ropes
struggling to break free
but trussed up like a chicken
legs folded back against his body
tied upside down to a stake
planted in the middle of a pit
howling and swallowing dirt
Trump’s anus screaming pink and pointing at the sky
like a flower
and all the women around the pit
stripped naked for the work and sweating with pleasure
armed with shovels
filling in the pit with dirt
burying Donald Trump alive
its screams choked on the dirt
until all that remains
is the radiant flower of Trump’s anus
touched by pretty white fingers
his violent contractions helpless
as he strangles on the dirt
and all who stand around the pit and watch
are overcome by heat and stupor
their throats choked by sighs
and crying out
eyes moist with tears.
The Plane Crash Dream
I had a dream where I was at a Trump rally waiting for his plane to land. As the plane was about to touch down, the tail section was angled too far down and it broke off and the rest of the plane did a massive somersault in the air before it exploded into a fiery mess on the runway. At the moment of explosion, I was then teleported onto the plane seconds before the accident. I noticed I was seated next to Chris Christie and could see Donald sitting in front of me. These guys had no idea what was about to happen and I somehow wasn’t able to speak/warn them. I noticed my stomach turning and my blood pressure rising as I was preparing for impact until I was thrown into consciousness at 4 a.m.
The Rogue Wave Dream
I love the ocean and miss it since an injury I suffered. Ever since my friend posted this picture of Trump, the nightmares of not surfing became political. Are you aware of the term “In My Room”? It is about being inside the curl of a wave. (Hence, The Beach Boys song “In My Room.”)
Trump causes me to actually think I’m on a wave again. Everything is great, and then I’m tangled in what I believe is seaweed or kelp. Next thing I know, I see his giant head. I wake up screaming, “Get the F out of my face, you nasty…” These are reoccurring to where I have probably burned off hundreds of calories and had to change my sheets every two days. I’ve scared my dog, however my 18-and-a-half-year-old cat doesn’t give a crap.
The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Dream
I dreamed my ex was calling me on my cellphone. I picked up and she had the voice of Donald Trump.
The Impossible Dream
I’m on Trump Tower, a lookout tower along Trump Wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border. A horde of Mexican illegals approach. But they can’t get past the wall. TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP, USA USA USA I scream. The illegals turn around and America is safe from illegal immigration and terrorism under the benevolent reign of President Donald J. Trump.