Our president elect spoke repeatedly of dreams in his victory address. It was an insane dream I had refused to believe. The perverse will of jouissance was enough for one man to inflate fantasy into real numbers. During his campaign, I recognized the mechanism of disavowal at work. Donald Trump managed to build a populist movement based on an appeal to jouissance. Psychoanalytic knowledge reveals that this mechanism is a defense against castration. From a structural perspective, Trump could not loose. In fact, it is limit, lack and loss which he continually disavows. America woke up to his dream that anything is possible – a world without limits. His wish, our command. The will to power fabricated from empty ‘big league’ speech – cheat, lie and steal – whatever works. Perhaps so many of us were shocked because while we recognized the threat, it was a loss we could not yet accept. I noticed that the day after the election ‘refusal’ and ‘repudiation’ reverberated in the media. We have entered an epoch of generalized disavowal. What does this mean for psychoanalysis, which privileges our gaps in knowledge, our slips and bungled acts? Psychoanalysis might distill the relationship to loss that each speaking being adopts.
In the early morning of the election, I dreamt that I was trying to bring a new patient into the consulting room, but she kept falling, spilling a drink and bumping into people, before we could make it into the office. Trump’s dream is the real father, father jouissance beyond the law, the one who can have it all. In opposition, my own dream that morning articulated stumbling, failure and parapraxis. During the election, I had dreamt of the unconscious itself.
If it is the unconscious that Trump disavows in the vertiginous pursuit of jouissance, then the unconscious is where I find my political orientation, in this strange disorienting space of the Imaginary White House. As for the woman in the dream . . . suffice it to say that Lacan predicted the election when he formulated that woman may be a symptom of man. . . So heartbreaking that she will not return to the White House, a symptom in a new position.