Well, actually there's two. The first is what I will call Trump Derangement Syndrome
(TDS). This syndrome has affected a segment of the movement formerly known as Never Trump and virtually everyone that identifies as a Democrat. It's symptoms include: Objecting to anything Donald Trump does or says, forming strange alliances across the aisle, trolling your former political allies on social media and likening the Trump administration to the Third Reich a week into his presidency.
To see examples of Trump Derangement Syndrome I might suggest looking at the following examples. The first and most glaring is called the Women's March. I call it the Funeral for Hillary's Unsuccessful Presidential Bid, but I digress. To express their displeasure at a comment Donald Trump made nearly 10 years ago, women across the country, to include members of government and the media, felt it was a good idea to don "pussy hats" and labia costumes, whip off their shirts and take to the streets.
As far as I can see this bold move accomplished two things. It made "pussy" an acceptable part of the political lexicon, such as Wendy Davis's idea regarding "Pussy Hat Economics" and fought objectifying the female body by dressing as it's most intimate parts and going topless. In sum, it was aimless and policy free as captured by Steven Crowder
, yet captured the media's undivided attention for several days
The next examples actually come from the Conservative and Republican ranks. Most notably Cheri Jacobus and Evan McMullin. Former Never Trump figures with respect and positions in the media, consulting and government these individuals best exemplify the disorder infecting the political right. Cheri uses her social media account to troll others who are adjusting to the Trump presidency, even if he was far from their first choice. She also repeatedly and often brings up issues from the Primary and General Election that have to some degree been adjudicated in the public square. McMullin announced
he will partner with groups from the political left on Conservative issues. He most notably has reached out publicly to Shaun King, who as of the latest report has never uttered a Conservative idea. His social media is also full of anti-Trump messaging all the time.
The second disease, Herpes Simplex Trump Stage IV
(HST), is only seen on the political right. Those suffering from this disease support or excuse everything Trump does regardless of the ideological implications and bristle at any observation about how far from their former public positions this takes them. Prime examples include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and John Nolte.
Not only did they defend nearly every policy position Trump took in the primaries, they have continued to defend his more liberal leanings to date. I would challenge anyone to find a Trump criticism in their public writing and commentary on his proposed ands actual policies going back to June of 2016. All three of these individuals were brutal to a GOP Congress that allowed too much to be spent, but appear silent on the proposed budget that includes a border wall and and infrastructure spending that still produce a deficit and increased debt.
What happened to the Penny Plan Sean so painstakingly explained for Trump during the primary? Hannity is so enamored he gave a forum to Julian Assange and has praised WikiLeaks as do-gooders. Yes WikiLeaks, the organization that published the classified information that Bradley Manning provided. Nolte wrote an entire blog saying he is fine with Trump lying
because Obama did it. "He did it first" ceased to be uttered in my house when my youngest was five, as I suspect is the case in most households, but we are being told the political equivalent. And much has been made of Ingraham's tweets praising Trump for the exact same proposal that she criticized Obama for.
For those of not infected, both of these disease are frustrating and tiresome. Those on the political right suffering from TDS accuse us of abandoning our principles when Trump does something that actually aligns with them. Will those with the this syndrome on the Right still reject everything Trump if market based healthcare wins the day? I suspect so.
For those with TDS on the political left, if Trump renegotiates NAFTA or withdraws from the Trans-Pacific Partnership as Bernie Sanders vowed to do, (and the latter of which Trump has done), will you still be shedding your shirt and lighting trash cans on fire? My gut tells me most certainly.
Those suffering from HST are just as maddening. Once considered staunch Conservatives, they are jumping on the train to justify tariffs, a wall that contributes to continued deficits and other items that are distinctly not Conservative. If Trump makes good on his campaign promise to subsidize daycare through expand the EITC will they attempt to make it acceptable? My guess is yes.
It seems nearly impossible to take a rational approach. One that involves cheering for Trump when he does things you agree with and being critical when he takes action where you disagree without risking a wholesale freakout from some infected with one of the diseases. However, I beg you my still rational fellow citizens take your vitamin C, try some Airborne and if you begin to feel you have been infected with the symptoms of either one of these diseases seek treatment with a still rational friend immediately.
In the end, Trump is a populist. He is also going to be Trump. He is going to advocate and do things over time that are blend of his most popular campaign promises and most popular policy preferences regardless of their political ideology. He is also going to say things that may shock or offend you. Learn to deal with it in a productive way that allows you to maintain your credibility (I'm looking at you Sean). Otherwise it's going to be a really long and ugly four years.