Stage four of Trump Derangement Syndrome: Identifying the progress of a disease
Like AIDS three decades ago, Trump Derangement Syndrome is a new ailment, whose full course of development is as yet unknown. But after a year since TDS exploded on the scene in early November 2016, we can observe the progress of the disease through four stages in certain acute sufferers. This offers hope that we may start to predict how the affliction may spread or, alternatively, extinguish itself, should the rate of transmission to others be slowed by factors we may be able to identify.
Progressives love to adopt what they call a "public health perspective" on things they oppose, such as possession of a firearm. This results in pediatricians asking parents if they have a gun in their house, among other oddities. Two can play that game. It is time to face the mass psychosis that has swept the at-risk population of the nation since the election of Donald Trump as president.
It is pretty clear that the first stages of TDS include:
1. Denial. Attributing Trump's electoral victory to Russian "hacking" is the most common manifestation, but another common manifestation of the syndrome is Electoral College denial ("Hillary won a majority of votes, so she should be president").
2. Anger at Trump-supporters. Disparagement of Trump voters as unworthy fools whose misguided thoughts brought us a disaster. This is matched by anger at Trump-supporters among political commentators.
3. Shunning of former colleagues with the bad taste to support Trump. In fairness, this is a two-way street, as Kurt Schlichter quips:
As 2017 comes to a close, tumbleweeds roll down the empty Lido Deck while the Republican base answers the question, "What if Conservative, Inc., gave a cruise and nobody came?"
4. Conversion. As the first three factors combine, and if no countervailing thoughts are allowed entry into the TDS sufferer's brain (for reasons we do not understand yet), we get signs of actual ideological conversion. Once the virus of liberalism reaches the brain, progress can be devastating.
The GOP tax bill's bringing out my inner socialist. The sex scandals are bringing out my inner feminist. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are bringing out my inner liberal.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 21, 2017
And this from Max Boot, who suddenly discovered "white privilege" because of Donald Trump. (No kidding!) Writing in Foreign Policy:
[I]t has become impossible for me to deny the reality of discrimination, harassment, even violence that people of color and women continue to experience in modern-day America from a power structure that remains for the most part in the hands of straight, white males. People like me, in other words. Whether I realize it or not, I have benefitted [sic] from my skin color and my gender – and those of a different gender or sexuality or skin color have suffered because of it.
This sounds obvious, but it wasn't clear to me until recently. I have had my consciousness raised. Seriously. ...
The larger problem of racism in our society was made evident in Donald Trump's election[.]
Is there any recovery possible when TDS reaches this late stage? Does it permanently disable perception and logic?
My hopeful prognosis is that remission is possible. Jonah Goldberg, for example, despite early disdain for Trump and membership in the National Review editorial staff, has retained his ability to make distinctions and even find praiseworthy actions by President Trump on occasion.
The coming year, with the likelihood of prosperity fired by deregulation and tax reform, will be a test. I expect those NeverTrumps who have not developed an immune reaction in the cerebral cortex will recover, while those unable to get beyond their own failure to understand Trump's electoral victory and subsequent triumphs will lapse further into their illusions.
Eventually, they will come to admire Rosie O'Donnell, which ought to be the marker for the terminal stage.