America is dealing with a growing mental health disorder: Presidential Derangement Syndrome, or PDS. It appears to be growing with each passing administration in the White House.
PDS is characterized by a blind antipathy and hatred towards whoever is the President at a given time. This may consist of wild accusations, emotional outbursts, occasional acts of violence or destruction, attempts to delegitimize the President and other irrational conduct.
Who has this syndrome depends on which party is occupying the White House. For example, if Democrats are in the White House, PDS is prevalent among Republicans. If Republicans are in the White House, it is Democrats who are more likely to show signs of PDS.
This disorder was first described in the early part of the 21st Century when “Bush Derangement Syndrome” was used to describe many of the critics of President George W. Bush. While specifically referring to President Bush at the time, it had since become clear that PDS is growing and has been seen during the administrations of all the Presidents that have followed him.
PDS could very much be seen during the administration of President Barack Obama. Much of this took the form of trying to delegitimize his Presidency by attempts to prove he was born in Kenya. This had the effect of diverting attention away from the effects his policies were having on the nation.
As an example, the Affordable Care Act, which was supposed to make health care more affordable and accessible, has been described by medical professionals as a gift to insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and big medical companies. These are the institutions that caused many of our health care problems in the first place.
What was also overlooked by those who were trying to prove Obama was born in Kenya was his habit of saying whatever he felt might give him an advantage in any given circumstance. Thus, his patently false statements when he was trying to get the ACA passed.
While is appears very improbable that Obama was born in Kenya, it’s possible that he would say he was if he felt it gave him an advantage.
PDS among Democrats reached a near fever pitch during the administration of President Donald Trump. The attacks on him started even before the election and continued until the day he left office. It doesn’t help matters any that Trump’s dishonesty, bullying and narcissistic behavior gave his critics all the ammunition they needed.
The Democrats attempted to delegitimize the Trump Administration by noting he didn’t win the popular vote, even though he won in the Electoral College. There were loud demonstrations when the electors in various states met, and they were urged to change their votes and elect Hillary Clinton.
A contrast to the PDS among Democrats was the Trump Deification Syndrome (TDS) among Republicans. Trump was proclaimed to be ordained by God and could do no wrong. Words like patriotism, conservatism and Republican were changed to mean only those who were unquestioningly loyal to Trump.
This may help explain the virulent hatred expressed towards President Joe Biden. It’s the usual PDS combined with TDS that has created the hostility that Biden now faces. Of course, his seeming incompetence and confusing behavior is giving the critics all the ammunition they need.
Just as they did with Obama, the Republicans with PDS are trying to delegitimize the Biden Administration. They repeat and believe the lies told by former President Trump that the election was somehow “stolen,” despite no evidence of massive vote fraud being found. Republican leaders in several states want to enact restrictive voting laws based on these false claims.
So, what’s the answer? That’s hard to say. It’s obvious PDS is growing worse over time. Perhaps we can still pull ourselves back from the brink. Perhaps what we need is to act like adults and look at things from a rational perspective. We could all well by cutting back on the ranting and screaming that’s been going on.
Opposition to a political figure and what he or she stands for is a good thing. Rational, well-though-out opposition can make us stronger and can lead to change for the good.
On the other hand, blind hatred doesn’t do anyone any good. Such hatred destroys everything.
Maybe we all need to just calm down and think things through. I have a feeling that could be what the country needs right now.