Donald Trump is in love with me.
I know. It’s an awful dream. But here’s why it’s true; here’s what is (sometimes) inside my head:
Make me great. Make me richer and more beautiful. Make me do well at whatever I attempt. Give me stamina. I don’t want to be sick or weak or get pneumonia. I don’t want this hearing loss—it’s embarrassing. Fix the skin that hangs from under my chin. Heal the capsulitis on the ball of my foot. Make me smarter, more able-bodied and minded. Make my mind quick again—I never used to lose a word or name when I needed it. Help me build a wall to keep out all distractions, symptoms, critical voices and vulnerable feelings. Make me better than others; make me the best. Dear god, I used to be so tough and strong—please make me great again.
And with this inner attitude, I help elect Trump. That’s why he loves me, in my dream.
Some people may think that is a strange way of thinking about the connection between dreaming and everyday reality, and it is, but I believe it. I believe that the prevalence of this type of inner attitude—and I don’t think I’m alone—with its emphasis on a particular definition of success and strength, is one small piece that has contributed to the rise of this dangerous demagogue.
On these final days running up to the election, many people I know are asking themselves what they can do to ensure that Trump is not elected. Social action, political work, convincing people who hate both candidates to vote for Hillary, etc, all continue to be immensely important. In addition, since many people I know, do not personally know people who intend to vote for the Donald, changing those minds is unlikely. So here’s something to change inside, if it pertains. It’s what I am doing… and with great urgency.
1. Think symbolically. Notice that psychologically speaking, every time I talk to myself in the above way, I support Trump—inside. Every time I favor strength and wealth and success, every time I favor what is known and comfortable, every time I compare myself to other people and think I had better catch up and be the best, I contribute to an environment that supports the rise of Trump.
2. Feel into and understand the Donald-like tendency within myself. Of course I do not treat other people or groups in the deplorable manner that he does. I am not a racist, islamophobic, misogynistic, xenophobe. The content of my prejudice is different and it’s directed inward. My tendency to favor strength, success and greatness, my occasional tendency to want to be better than (as opposed to less than—which is presented as the choice) resides within my own psyche, just below the threshold of my awareness—and sometimes it haunts me at night. It's a deplorable way that I talk to myself.
3. Discover what’s at the root of this Donald-like tendency and appreciate and empathize with myself. There are all sorts of social and cultural reasons that I want to fit into mainstream ideas of greatness and success. And it’s not just my personal psychology. It has deep roots in culture and history, in sexism, anti-Semitism, an intergenerational experience of oppression and marginalization and from having grown up in a family where financial stress created tension, conflict and worlds of unhappiness.
4. Now STOP IT. I refuse to continue to contribute to an inner atmosphere that helps allow Trump to rise. I will catch it when it happens, cut it out, and put an end to this attitude. And if any of this resonates, you can too!
Do your part. Please don’t support Trump, internally.