I suspect all of us who are on social media, or are known to have voted for Donald Trump, have felt the escalating malice and name-calling from Trump-haters, now nobly referring to themselves as #theresistance. Yeah, they’re the flippin’ French Underground fighting the Nazis.
What we are seeing is the worldview epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which can be defined as an irrational level of hatred of Donald Trump the man, the businessman, the husband, the father, the candidate, the President.
All hate all the time, to the point that many are professing upfront that they will never accept him as president (including sitting congressmen such as John Lewis) and plan marches against the Great Oppressor before he is even sworn in as president. Yes, the derangement reached the point that a businessman who had no effect on almost anyone’s life, and was given awards for his work with the inner city (see picture) was protested as an oppressor before he had any power whatsoever.
Since this contagion is spreading among one type of political person, and they live among us all, herewith are some treatment options you can try on those suffering from the disease. There’s no cure beyond a worldview revelation and some historic context, which will be difficult to realize while suffering under this, but there are treatments to lessen the severity of certain symptoms.
Symptom 1: Trump is an illegitimate president
The disease here forces its sufferers to undermine a newly elected United States President before he is inaugurated. This means making the case that the President of the United States is not really president. Dangerous to the country, delusional for the individual.
Treatment: Suggest that this overt anti-patriotism is unbecoming of Americans who have a history of pulling together after an election, even Republicans after the two elections of Barak Obama. No Republicans acted in such ways. Further, point out that the last newly elected Republican president that bitter Democrats did this to was Abraham Lincoln. Heads will spin. Spittle may fly. But Trump Derangement Syndrome is not contagious by touch. It’s an infection of the rational thought process.
Further treatment for this syndrome is listing all of the items that have been blamed for Trump’s win (none of which ever actually include Hillary Clinton.) The first thing blamed was the racist Electoral College. (Sorry, but you just need to understand that sufferers see everything as racist.) The popular vote is what should count! Hillary is our President! Well, no. The rules are the rules and we don’t change rules after a game is concluded because the losers don’t like the results. Then it was fraud in Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Jill Stein was going to uncover it. There was fraud all right, but not committed by Trump voters. Then it was another try at FBI Director Jim Comey. If not for Comey, Hillary would have won. Well, if she hadn’t played the Nixon card and deleted 33,000 emails from her unsecured server that had classified documents and more on it, there would have been no need for Comey. And now finally, it’s the Russians.
The disease comes with a fever.
Symptom 2: Putin/Russia hacked the election
Since Russia “hacked” the election on Trump’s behalf — or so the claim goes — then Trump will be in the back pocket of the Russians and will go easy on them.
Treatment: Very easy. Treat with context. Point out that he couldn’t go easier on them than Obama/Clinton did. After the embarrassing “reset” button — remind them how terrible they claimed relations were because of Bush to set the first context — point out that the Obama administration did nothing when Russia invaded and took over Crimea; nothing when Russia invaded eastern Ukraine and appears to have annexed it; and nothing in Syria despite the cries for help, allowing the Russians to go back in for the first time since the Cold War to help their old ally crush the rebels ruthlessly. This gave us the humanitarian disaster that is Aleppo.
Trump could hardly do worse than this record.
Symptom 3: Outrage over a foreign nation interfering with our elections
This is meant to keep focus on the nefarious Russian nemesis that now owns Trump and further the narrative that the Trump presidency is illegitimate. (Actually, Russia really is a problem that Obama’s weakness enabled and emboldened and is now leaving for his predecessor.)
Treatment: Easiest yet. Casually point out that the Obama Administration overtly worked to defeat Brexit and made threats that Britain would no longer enjoy its trade status under a Bexit approval. No outrage though by those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Add that Obama’s campaign team was sent to Israel to work on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponent. Again, no outrage by those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. In 1996, the Clinton Administration tried to bolster the election of Boris Yeltsin by endorsing a $10.2 billion loan from the IMF that was to be linked to privatization, more open trade policies further steps toward capitalism. Yeltsin used the loan to bolster support among voters. And, once again, no outrage by those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. This symptom is a classic case of selective outrage and reveals mere partisanship and nothing higher.
It’s unknown the course this syndrome will take, but with treatment, we hope it can be managed and those suffering from it will over time regain their proper faculties.
Symptom 4: Fight the Oppressor!
The claim that Donald Trump was a great oppressor gained currency weeks before he was elected. A businessman with no power and who had no effect on almost anyone’s life, and was given awards alongside Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks, was protested as a racist oppressor before he had any power whatsoever. That’s TDS.
Treatment: It’s important that those suffering from this symptom be treated with some honest context. While Trump had no power to oppress, President Obama did. And did.
First, the Obama Administration sicked the most feared of U.S. institutions, the IRS, directly on his political opponents. Any group seeking tax exempt status that had Tea Party or Conservative in its name was targeted for denial through attrition. Dozens of those applied — a relatively quick and simple process — but were run through the wringer, some for years, until they ran out of money to keep filing. They never received that and so could not raise money to oppose President Obama’s 2012 reelection. Obama denied Americans their Constitutional rights to further his personal political career. That was oppressive.
Second, Obamacare fines people for not buying a product President Obama decided Americans should buy. That’s oppressive and would have been unconstitutional but for a politicized Supreme Court.
Symptom 5: Protests, threats of impeachment before he’s president
I wanted to start a pretend pool on how long it would take for sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome to call for impeaching Trump after the moment of inauguration. Measured in months, weeks, days, hours or seconds. Well, I was too late, because calls for impeachment began before he was sworn into office. No matter, there will be members of Congress who will call for it within days, weeks at the longest
Treatment: Inform the TDS sufferers that there are actually tight controls on impeachment, and they do not include vulgar behavior or ideas with which opponents disagree.
Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, is helpful here: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Symptom 6: 66 members of Congress boycotted the inauguration
Clearly, Trump Derangement Syndrome has affected the highest levels of our government — if not the actual strongest of our people. A rather astounding 34 percent of the Democrat members of Congress boycotted the inauguration and were cheered on by other fevered sufferers of TDS. It was a tragic moment for them and an embarrassment.
Treatment: Remind TDS sufferers that one of the greatnesses of the United States is the peaceful transition of power between political opponents. Since the Civil War, this has always been the case. The Obamas, the Clintons, the Carters, along with the Bushes, all participated in this American truth. All handled with dignity and class — which could not have been easy for Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. But they did it.
We will update symptoms and treatment as they become visible and available.
EDITORS NOTE: The column is a combination of two columns which originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.