Updated: Jul 2, 2019
What is Trump Derangement Syndrome? Depending on which side you’re on, it can either be someone so blinded by loyalty to Trump that they refuse to accept facts or people so blinded by their hatred of Trump that they refuse to accept anything positive about him.
I would like to offer a third definition.
My definition goes right to the source. Trump Derangement Syndrome, to my understanding, is a condition suffered by Trump alone, hence the name, in which he vilifies anyone or anything that views him in anything other than a positive light.
There are several examples of this type of thinking. There are, obviously, his Twitter rants, which Comedy Central has turned into a “library” of the most outlandish evidence of this condition. Included in this are his comments against Democrats, late- night talk show hosts, especially Saturday Night Live and even fellow Republicans who dared to vote against his policies.
No one is safe from his illness, even the dearly departed. He still holds a grudge against the late Sen. John McCain, who he blames for his failure to repeal Obamacare.
Using this vehicle, Trump has inflamed his base while keeping Republicans, who fear that a negative Tweet could hurt their re-election chances.
His rallies are also a way he exhibits his condition. Often long, rambling, unscripted and chaotic, these events provide a prime venue for spreading misinformation. Threats of violence against the media, claims of Fake News and the inevitable “Lock Her Up!” chants while calling the Mueller investigation a witch hunt are all clear evidence of this condition.
A third way he exhibits this illness is in his free-wheeling, often confrontational, conversations with the press on the White House lawn. These press “gaggles” often are an opportunity for him to challenge the press rather than respond to direct questions.
Instead of providing an open access, as he once promised, these events are an occasion for him to blast his opponents, spread more misinformation, praise his supporters or feign ignorance when he doesn’t want to answer a question.
These impromptu “conferences,” often held under the noise of an awaiting helicopter as he prepares for yet another weekend at one of his exclusive properties, are all evidence of this unique condition. And by continuing to spread his illness, Trump continues to divide the nation.
CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.