This Post from Freisinnige Zeitung is republished with permission.

It was not even a nightmare, but actually quite funny. What’s fascinating is how your mind can cook up a story that is so consistent and even builds up to a punchline.


I can’t recall all of it, there is also a piece that was rather bizarre before the main part:

A reporter does an interview with Donald Trump. He asks him an extremely specific question about what is going on, somehow with the expectation that he will flunk it. To my bafflement — and I know everybody else’s — Trump answers with an even more specific term I had never heard before (I can’t recall what exactly).

Then I look at Trump and he looks much younger, more like in his 40s. The reporter also holds a big microphone in his face, and I realize that this must be some footage from long ago. So I figure out that at the time this was perhaps a hot topic and so Trump’s knowledge might not be as impressive as it seems.

Next the camera moves to the left, and you see Trump in his current version. He seems to stand in front of a video wall and that suddenly explains why it must have been some old recording. Trump is totally gloating because he understands how good his answer makes him look.

There is now something missing in my dream. Somehow Trump is being interviewed again, and I look at his hair which is some kind of a bob cut like a 1970s glam rock star. (I know where this comes from: Yesterday I looked through Trump’s endorsements in 2016, and one of them was Gene Simmons, baseplayer and singer with KISS. But then Trump at least does not wear silly facepaint.) Someone behind me wonders: “But this is not his real hair?” And I answer: “No, must be a wig.”


There is another gap now and the main story begins. Somehow I have all the background knowledge to understand it. Basically, it is that Donald Trump wants to promote American cars that he thinks have been unfairly maligned by foreign competitors. So they have set up a course for him to demonstrate their superiority. He is supposed to get the car going and then do some spectacular stunts.

I sit on the right backseat and can hence look at Trump behind the steering wheel. He is even more excited than when he had his photo op with the fire engine in the White House Rose Garden. He grabs the steering wheel and just can’t sit still because he is looking forward to his big moment.

The first part of his task is to demonstrate how American cars have been portrayed as inferior: Competitors did the testing with too little pressure in their tires and that made them look bad! So Trump has an extra pedal in the front that he can kick to pump up the tires. And that’s what he now starts to do.

For some reason, this only works for the backtires, and we in the car feel the back of the car go up noticeably. As Trump kicks the pedal, he gets more and more excited. So he keeps kicking it with abandon, and the car tilts even more, and I realize that it cannot go on for much longer. Someone then gets nervous and screams: “Stop it. That’s now enough. Just stop it!”

But Trump is on a roll and just ignores it and pumps and pumps. And then the back tires explode, and you can see rubber pieces land on a far away wall. I don’t know why this does not lead to big jolt in the car. But anyway, Trump becomes very quiet and looks around as if to check whether the others have noticed what has happened.


I am really proud of my dream, which captures the gist of the Trump presidency in a short story like I could never do while awake.

If you wonder what the handle “Freisinnige Zeitung” means. This was the name of a newspaper that was founded by the great German journalist and politician Eugen Richter in 1885. A literal translation would be “Liberal Newspaper.” The word “freisinnig” is made up of “frei” (free) and “Sinn” (sense, mind). The “-ig” is for an adjective, parallel with English “-y.” It is often translated as “free-minded,” which is one interpretation, but in the 19th century this was just the German equivalent for “liberal.” The term has fallen out of use in Germany proper and survives only in Switzerland where it has a similar, though more particular, meaning as the designation of a party that I am not associated with.