Three years before the plague known as Covid19 began, another plague infected millions of Americans. Known as Trump Derangement Syndrome or TDS, it has grown more serious over time and its harmful effects have multiplied to the point where they threaten the future of the country. The symptoms of TDS are as follows:
Early Stage: Dislike of Donald Trump. Then, as this feeling is nurtured, the mind becomes focused solely on Trump’s negative traits and is virtually unable to see positive traits or give the man the benefit of the doubt. This uncharitable mindset is accompanied by a refusal to watch any news source that acknowledges Trump’s achievements or expresses support for his programs. In time, a person infected with TDS come to expect that others, particularly family, friends, and colleagues will support his/her view of Trump and becomes upset when they do not.
Middle Stage: Dislike for Trump devolves into hatred, accompanied by outright refusal to acknowledge his achievements, even monumental ones like bringing Arab countries together with Israel and making America energy independent. As the hatred intensifies, the person feels compelled to badger conservative family members and friends to share his/her contempt of Trump. If they resist the badgering, the hater first suspects them of stupidity, dishonesty, and/or lack of integrity, and then openly accuses them of those faults.
Advanced Stage: When the receivers of the insults become fed up and avoid the abuser, he/she does not apologize but instead blames Trump for the broken relationships. At this stage, the sufferer from TDS becomes addicted to demonizing Trump, needs a daily fix, and seeks it out no matter how vile or unsupported by evidence it may be, never considering that the source’s intentions or motivations might be dishonorable. Meanwhile, the person is apt to fly into an uncontrollable at the sight of a Trump bumper sticker or MAGA hat. This advanced stage of TDS is not static but dynamic. Like a cancer that breaks out of its boundaries, it metastasizes, no longer hating only Trump, but everyone associated with him in any way. Nor does it just hate them—it wants them punished!
It is impossible to say how many Trump haters reach this extreme stage, but I contend the number is large and many of the individuals are influential. The following facts support this contention.
Facebook banned Donald Trump’s account indefinitely and Twitter did so permanently, while retaining those of Ayatollah Khomeini who advocates the murder of Jews; Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro who keeps his country in deprivation; professional athletes who supported rioting and looting in the summer of 2020; Kamala Harris who collected bail for the rioters; Kathy Griffin, who held up a fake decapitated Trump head for the camera; and Madonna, who said she wanted to blow up the White House with Trump’s family in it.
Apple, Google, and Amazon removed the Parler website from their servers, apparently for that company’s friendliness toward Trump and other conservatives, and thereby effectively driving them out of existence and leaving their employees without jobs.
Facebook locked former Libertarian congressman Ron Paul from his account for the vague offense of violating “community standards.”
Harvard University considered taking away constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz’s Emeritus status reportedly for simply stating his professional opinion that impeaching Trump would be inappropriate and unconstitutional.
Harvard University removed Congresswoman and Harvard graduate Elise Stefanic from her advisory position at the college for agreeing with President Trump that there were serious irregularities in the 2020 election.
A petition being circulated by Harvard students calls for revoking the earned degrees of Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman (and former Navy Seal) Dan Crenshaw, and Kayleigh McEnany, reportedly because their support of President Trump’s call for investigation of election irregularities has made them “instigators” of violence.
University of Michigan regent and Republican leader Ron Weiser was verbally attacked for not denouncing President Trump after the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On January 15th, NBC reported that some Democrat lawmakers are worried that their Republican colleagues might actually KILL them. Evidently their hatred of anyone associated with Trump led to paranoia.
The editor of Forbes Magazine published an Op-Ed piece saying, “Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists . . . and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie.” He even named some of the people he wanted to force into unemployment, including Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, Kellyanne Conway, and Kayleigh McEnany. In effect, the editor was announcing to employers that they would be punished if they did not support his view of Trump and his followers.
Whoever coined the term Trump Derangement Syndrome was uncannily accurate. Derangement is a disturbance of mental order and function that at first weakens and then destroys balanced reasoning and perception. We usually think of derangement as a physiological phenomenon outside our control, but as the above examples suggest, it can also result from the freely chosen and consciously intensified sin of hatred. In other words, we can be culpable for it.
Not surprisingly, people with TDS tend to ignore biblical passages that denounce hate and emphasize love, such as “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” “Judge not, lest you be judged,” “Love your neighbor as [you love] yourself,” “Look not at the speck in your neighbor’s eye but at the plank in your own,” and “God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.” Similarly, such people avoid appeals to mercy, compassion, and forgiveness, each of which is a powerful antidote to hatred.
We now have a vaccine that can protect us from Covid19, but there is no vaccine against Trump Derangement Syndrome. In fact, there will never be one. The only protection from it is the exercise of God’s gift of free will to replace our hatred, first with respect and then with love.
Copyright © 2021 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved