Woman with paper with cross sign


Last night, while I was talking about the difference between the two presidential candidates during Beer with Bob (a weekly feature at 6pm on Tuesdays @christianforga7 on TikTok), I was confronted with accusations that I suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

For those that don’t know, TDS, as defined by Wikipedia (the only place I could find a definition) is a pejorative term, usually for criticism or negative reactions to former United States president Donald Trump that are perceived to be irrational and to have little regard towards Trump’s actual policy positions, or actions undertaken by his administration.

Much like the terms “snowflake” and “libtard,” it is primarily deployed by far-right pundits, trolls, and politicians as a way to counter any suggestion that their guy might, in fact, be a bad guy. For example:

  • Trump hangs out with and praises dictators to include Viktor Orban, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un
  • Trump said very directly that there was “A lot you can do … in terms of cutting entitlements” in regards to Social Security and Medicare
  • Trump said he would encourage Putin “to do whatever the hell he wants” to our NATO allies
  • Trump said he would be “a dictator on day one”

These are all factual statements. You can look up the quotes. You can look up the videos and watch him say these things. But, when brought up as counterpoints to conservative arguments, they are brushed aside as examples of Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS has become the shield wielded by self-proclaimed right-wing warriors to fend off any attack, any fact, any quote or any notion that Trump might actually be the one problem facing our nation.

The situation has become so bad and so commonplace that I believe we are witnessing the rise of another Syndrome. In this case, Trump Denial Syndrome. Yes, I know using the same letters will be confusing, but you can always pass it off as “they stole that from us those damn, (insert pejorative here)!”

The primary symptom of Trump Denial Syndrome is that when confronted with information about Trump’s actual policy positions, words, statements, actions, and believes. Quotes and facts that are documented and on record. His believers respond with an immediate, “No its not,” or “That’s not true,” or “You’re twisting his words,” or “He didn’t say that,’ followed immediately by an accusation of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. It’s a vicious cycle.

A larger part of the problem is that the folks that are quick to throw out the label of TDS are either unaware of what Trump has said because they are not paying attention to the news of the day (most commonly they are getting their news from friends, family, or social media), or they dismiss the outlandish things Trump says as rhetoric or exaggeration and encourage everyone else not to believe it either; while those that suffer from TDS are immediately outraged by that fact that the other side can’t see and understand what their lying eyes are saying to their mischievous brains. In the end, the moment an accusation of TDS hits the floor it usually indicates that one side has abandoned the discussion. Not being able to talk about issues is the number one symptom of TDS.

This reaction of shutting down conversations when confronted with an idea or subject that makes us uncomfortable is the root of the problem. We the people are no longer capable or willing to engage with those outside of our bubbles, outside of our comfort zones. We have gathered together in our tribes and are unwilling to reach beyond those boundaries, suddenly making everyone a stranger in a strange land.

I believe that Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy and our foundational institutions. I freely admit that anyone would be hard-pressed to show me examples of anything good he has done for this country as a former President or a future one. I am well aware that I may suffer from TDS.

I also know that when I objectively try to go through my list of grievances, starting with those I laid out earlier, I am immediately dismissed and denied by those that also suffer from TDS. There is either no fact, no quote, or no action that meets the standard of too disgusting. Oddly enough, in a time of vaccine denial, we have become inoculated against the outrageous.

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