The American Psychiatric Association
DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS
ADDENDA FOR 2017
Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS):
Trump Derangement Syndrome is the latest (though most virulent) strain of a general and besetting condition of liberalism—catalogued in the DSM for previous years under Conservative Derangement Syndrome (CDS)–, whose aetiology can be traced back to the late Sixties. After short periods of latency, it breaks out on the political Left whenever its opponents are in power or contending for power, and manifests itself in a rabid detestation that overwhelms the human capacity for rational cerebration or discourse. As of the time of writing, there is no known treatment or cure.
The initial outbreak of CDS took the form of Nixon Derangement Syndrome, which eventually mutated into Reagan Derangement Syndrome, crossed the Atlantic to become Thatcher Derangement Syndrome, broke out again in the U.S. as Bush Derangement Syndrome, spread north across the 49th parallel to become Harper Derangement Syndrome, and in Trump Derangement Syndrome, is now a full-fledged psychic epidemic that has metastasized to most of the Western world.
CDS in its generic form presents with a finite set of symptoms, with minor variations depending upon which conservative politician or policy has happened to induce it:
- a reflexive denunciation of all sitting conservative presidents or prime ministers as shifty, mendacious (cf. Nixon, Bush, Trump), or harbouring some hidden Christian-theocratic agenda (Bush, Harper);
- contemptuous aspersions upon their invincible stupidity (Reagan, Bush, Trump), or egregious lack of experience or qualification for the job (Reagan, Trump);
- charges that they are war-mongers, war-criminals, reckless cowboys avid to plunge the world into thermonuclear Armageddon (Reagan, Thatcher, Bush, Trump);
- reflexive denunciations of them as the running dogs of capitalist greed, tools of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Chemical, the Wall Street Banks, whose policies, domestic and foreign, are trimmed to satisfy the avarice thereof (all of the above);
- allegations that they are anti-Semitic, anti-Black (Nixon, Trump), anti-women (Reagan, Thatcher [!], Bush, Trump), anti-poor (Reagan, Thatcher, Bush, Trump), anti-Muslim (Bush, Harper, Trump), and (the Right’s original sin) anti-communist (Nixon, Reagan, Thatcher; except for Trump, who is apparently too soft on Russia, if not a tool of the Kremlin); finally,
- promiscuous comparisons with former fascist dictators, especially Hitler (Reagan, Thatcher, Bush, Trump).
With the gradual attrition of “collusion” and “obstruction of justice” as pretexts for impeachment, the Dems and their media mouthpieces have moved on from civics to psychiatry. Trump is mentally unfit. He is none too bright, childlike, doesn’t read (can’t?), an imbecile, a dolt, a dullard, a dim bulb, a cretin, a village idiot (but then it takes a village, doesn’t it?), dumb as a post, several bricks short of a load, playing without a full deck.
But wait, he’s not just stupid, he’s also nuts: demented, wacko, cuckoo, cracked, unhinged, batty, barmy, bonkers, bananas, out of his tree, crazier than Kim Jong-Un, and even more dangerous.
The psychiatrization of political disagreement is a hallowed tradition of progressive ideology. In the Soviet Union, dissidents were regularly consigned to psychiatric prisons for the crime of ideological non-conformity–and not merely as a matter of cynical political expediency. After all, as even Western progressives believed at the time, only the insane could oppose the high-minded, egalitarian ideals of the Socialist State.
Today’s liberals probably believe that Trump is gaga for the same reasons: who but a lunatic would want to reduce taxes on corporations, animadvert against illegal immigration and open borders, forego the traditional diplomatic obfuscations (that have hitherto worked so well) and call Kim a thug, or describe parts of Africa and Central America as “shit-holes”?
It’s odd to hear the defenders of the filth that oozes out of Hollywood and the music industry–that oozed out of the Clinton Oval Office, for that matter–suddenly affecting shock and horror, like the matrons of some Victorian quilting bee, at such mild and mundane maledictions. The shrinking violets of liberalism never hesitate to call America “racist”, “fascist”, or “bigoted”, words that are far more toxic than any workaday expletive.
Would they have been less offended had Trump described these miscarried states–in more long-winded political-scientific terms–as merely, let us say, “corrupt, dysfunctional, impoverished despotisms”? (Though fastidiously accurate, I doubt that the leaders of Haiti, Venezuela, or Sudan would have found such a formulation any less offensive.) The fact that so many of their native sons are leaving is plain enough proof that the tropical paradises from which they come are just as malodorous as Trump has described them. And if Trump is a “racist”, what does that make the migrants who are fleeing mother Africa for America? Voting with one’s feet seems rather more insulting than opining with one’s mouth.
On this theme, in a performance worthy of the Tawana Brawley Life-Time Achievement Award for the Impersonation of Racial Victimhood, here is what the esteemed junior thespian from New Jersey, Cory Booker, said to Trump’s Head of Homeland Security (Booker’s emphasis):
…The Commander in Chief, in an Oval Office meeting, referring to people from African countries and Haitians, with the most VILE and VULGAR language. Language FESTERS. When IGNORANCE and BIGOTRY is (sic) allied with power it is a DANGEROUS force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is (sic) COMPLICITY. Right now in our nation we have a PROBLEM. I don’t know if 73% of your time is spent on WHITE SUPREMACIST HATE GROUPS. I don’t know if 73% of your time is spent concerned about the people in FEAR in communities in this country: SIKH Americans, MUSLIM Americans, BLACK Americans. The fact pattern (sic) is clear of (sic) the THREATS in this country. I HURT. When Dick Durbin called me, I had TEARS OF RAGE when I heard about his experience in that meeting, and for you not to FEEL that HA(te)-HURT, and that PAIN, and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues, saying I’ve already answered that line of questions when TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW because of what they’re worried about what happened (sic) in the White House. That’s UNACCEPTABLE to me. There are THREATS in this country. People PLOTTING. I receive enough DEATH THREATS to know the reality… And I’ve got a president of the United States…who talks about the countries of origins (sic) of my fellow citizens in the most DESPICABLE of manner (sic). You don’t remember…you can’t remember the words of your Commander in Chief. I find that UNACCEPTABLE.
With the KKK marauding through the streets of every city, town, and village throughout AmeriKKKa, and the Supreme White Supremacist sitting in the Oval Office, it’s a wonder that Booker has yet to be lynched on his way to the Capitol. Liberals habitually accuse conservatives of wanting to “turn back the clock”; but for the former, the clock is permanently stuck in Mississippi, circa 1930. And they say Trump has lost his grip on reality.
Against Trump, we hear all of the shopworn calumnies (racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, Neanderthal, lunatic) that liberals have always hurled against their political opponents, as the means to avoid the onerous chore of arguing against their ideas. But their personal detestation of him, worn proudly as a badge of virtue, has now brought them dangerously close to the edge of psychosis. Someone should remind them about their axiomatic opposition to “hate”.
As Joe Sobran has observed, it is invariably conservatives who are guilty of “hate”, whereas liberals feel only justifiable “outrage”. The most telling locution in Booker’s speech, aside from its overall tone of distempered (or theatrical) emotionality, is the clause in which he begins to say “hate”, before quickly changing it to “hurt”. Since they are now so interested in psychology, Trump’s amateur analysts ought to have heard about the “Freudian slip”. If they were honest, they would admit that hate, rather more than hurt, is indeed the emotion they feel.
The mentally destabilizing effects of hatred are on clear display in the nightly commentaries of Chuck and Nancy (surely the zaniest comic duo since Ricky and Lucy), in which they have reduced themselves to walking thesauruses of malignant hyperbole. Every new Trump initiative, no matter how innocuous, unleashes from them a hurricane of doomsday wrath: a 60-day moratorium on travel from countries whose chief export is terrorism is “despicable”, “disgusting”, “loathsome”, “vile”, “inhuman”, “Nazi”; the repeal of Obamacare is “genocidal”, and will lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children and minorities; a two percent reduction in the top marginal income tax rate will bring the economy to the brink of “Armageddon”. With the Dow continuing to break records on a daily basis, and 150 major American corporations raising wages for their workers in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s tax legislation, pronouncements of imminent economic collapse—let’s pretend they aren’t deliberately mendacious–suggest that someone, at least, has lost touch with reality. Given the Tourette’s-like torrents of abuse spewing from the mouths of Trump’s opponents, their long-distance psychoanalysis of him reminds us of the Jungian principle that the psychic Shadow is inevitably projected on one’s enemies.
It’s hard, in fact, to avoid the conclusion that the entire progressive beau monde has by now succumbed to a collective nervous breakdown, the signs of which were already evident in the weeks between Trump’s election and inauguration. In their attempts to describe the reaction to the Trump victory on the other networks, commentators at Fox News wore out at least three metaphors (“losing their minds”, “heads exploding”, “suffering a thermonuclear meltdown”) on only the first night of post-election coverage. Each of them was deemed (correctly) to be inadequate to the escalating hysterics of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews alone.
Those who are now accusing Trump of being “emotionally unstable” might remember that exemplary demonstration of Stoic equanimity by a CNN anchorperson—a professionally disinterested “reporter” of the news—who dissolved into tears when the announcement of Hillary’s defeat could no longer be postponed.
But this, alas, was only the first drop in a Noachite deluge of lachrymosity to come. On The Day After, classes were cancelled at thousands of schools across America so that students and teachers could receive “grief counseling”. And for the next week on university campuses, exams were indefinitely suspended, because students could hardly be expected to concentrate on the finer points of non-binary gender theory when the end of democracy was at hand. Shortly thereafter, following the announcement of Trump’s travel moratorium, the ubiquitous Senator Schumer, in a revival of idolatrous thinking, assured us that even the Statue of Liberty had been weeping profusely since the election, while weeping profusely as he said it.
Some time between Obama and Trump, the Democrats must have changed their theme-song from “Happy Days Are Here Again” to “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To”. Not since the Jews wept by the waters of Babylon; not since the women of the nations lamented the death of Tammuz; not since the mothers of Bethlehem wept for the Innocents; yea, not since Princess Di was taken from us, have we witnessed such protracted rituals of ersatz grief. So great has been the volume of tears that if President Obama had indeed managed to reverse the rise of the oceans, the miracle must now be in jeopardy.
Time was when weeping over a misfortune or defeat was considered indecorous. While witnessing the destruction of his Trojan patria and the slaughter of his kinsmen, Aeneas was visited by the ghost of his dead wife Creusa, who told him to dry his tears and restrain his futile dolor et furor. While awaiting his own execution, Socrates admonished his friends to desist from their blubbering. And here is how Milton described the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden:
Some natural tears they dropp’d, but wip’d them soon;
The world was all before them…
The downfall of a civilization, the death of a sage, the forfeiture of Paradise: these are things arguably worth crying over. But the defeat of one party by the other, within a two-party State, in a democratic election? After eight years of hope-and-change happy talk, it’s time for liberals to get back on their meds.
Meanwhile, practically every day for months after the election, Americans were witness to another festival of community-organized “outrage”. Professional activists in cities and on campuses across every blue state took a break from smashing windows, looting businesses, overturning cars, and setting fires at G-10 summits, Black Lives Matter protests, and pipeline construction sites, to smash windows, loot businesses, overturn cars, and set fires to protest the impending “chaos” of a Trump Administration. Disgruntled Hillary loyalists infiltrated Trump rallies in order to provoke brawls, which, as they patiently explained to a sympathetic press, “proved” that Trump’s supporters were a pack of violent, racist vulgarians.
At the soi-disant Women’s March, Madonna ruminated about bombing the White House, to the unanimous approbation of her pink vagina-hatted auditors (reminding us again that while conservatives are always guilty of hate, liberals will be given a pass on incitement to riot.) At the same event, the starlet-turned-political-analyst Ashley Judd pronounced that a Trump presidency would be “Hitlerian”, a trope that has since been repeated hundreds of times in the liberal media. (Hitlerian? It’s been more than a year and dozens of executive orders since the inauguration, and not a single Black, Brown, Hispanic, Muslim, Jew, woman, homosexual, transgendered person, or non-binary-gendered person, has yet to be rousted out of his/her/shis bed in the middle of the night by Trump’s secret police. Where are Trump’s concentration camps? Where are his gas chambers? Trump hasn’t even managed to build a wall to keep people out, let alone one to keep them in. In any other circumstances, liberals would have solemnly admonished that such promiscuous comparisons to Hitler grossly diminish the suffering of the Jews, and the epochal significance of the Holocaust.)
And who can forget those small, heroic acts of personal resistance: disappointed Hillary voters violently accosting their deplorable seat-mates (including Trump’s daughter—a woman!) on airline flights; three black youths torturing a mentally-disabled person, screaming “Fuck Trump…Fuck Whites” at him, as they shoved his head into a toilet? Racism, anyone? Hate-crime? Of course not. More justifiable outrage.
It seems only logical–morally necessary–, that if White racism exists, so must a reciprocally irrational Black antipathy towards Whites. Surely a victim-group’s “justifiable rage” must occasionally spill over into racist hatred. Could it be that the reflexive imputation of “White supremacism” to conservatives in general and Trump’s supporters in particular is at least partly rooted in racism itself? But in the Manichaean universe of CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Democratic legislators like Cory Booker, politics is a medieval morality play in which there is little room for such ambiguity or self-reflection.
To any clinical observer of the history of the mass mind, Trump Derangement Syndrome ought to be discomposing. The fanatical hatred of Trump has by now become a world-wide pandemic, afflicting half of the American electorate, an overwhelming majority of the populations of Canada and Europe, and practically all of the members of the news media, educational establishment, and popular culture. TDS is hardly the first outbreak of collective hysteria resulting from an assiduous political campaign to diabolize an enemy. But in the past, the contagion remained locally confined (Albi in the thirteenth century; Savonarola’s Florence; Paris during the Terror; Salem, Mass., in the 1690s), propagated, as it was, without the aid of a ubiquitous and ideologically one-sided press, social media, and entertainment industry.
There is, as I have said, no known cure; but the first step on the road to recovery for TDS sufferers must surely be to remember that psychoanalysis begins at home.