Trump derangement syndrome
Trump derangement syndrome (TDS) is a neologism describing a reaction to United States President Donald Trump by liberals, progressives, and Never Trump neoconservatives, who are said to respond to Trump's statements and political actions irrationally and with little regard to Trump's actual position or action taken. The term has been used by pro-Trump conservatives to discredit criticism of Trump's actions.
Origin of term
The origin of the term is traced to political columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, who originally coined the phrase Bush derangement syndrome in 2003 during the presidency of George W. Bush. That "syndrome" was defined by Krauthammer as "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency – nay – the very existence of George W. Bush." The first user of the term Trump Derangement Syndrome may have been Esther Goldberg in an August 2015 op-ed in The American Spectator; she applied the term to "Ruling Class Republicans" who are dismissive or contemptuous of Trump. Krauthammer, himself a harsh critic of Trump, later defined "Trump derangement syndrome" as a Trump-induced "general hysteria" among the chattering classes, producing an "inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences and ... signs of psychic pathology" in the President's behavior.
In December 2016, Justin Raimondo divided the "syndrome" into three stages; in the first, those who "lose all sense of proportion"; next, they experience "a profound effect on ... vocabulary" and begin to "speak a distinctive language consisting solely of hyperbole"' and, in the final stage, the afflicted "lose the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality." Jonathan S. Tobin defines it as "disgust at his manner and his tweets such that all distinctions between him and genuine villains is lost." In April 2017, Fareed Zakaria defined the syndrome as "hatred of President Trump so intense that it impairs people’s judgment." CNN's editor-at-large Chris Cillizza called TDS "the preferred nomenclature of Trump defenders who view those who oppose him and his policies as nothing more than the blind hatred of those who preach tolerance and free speech." Pointing to previous allegations of Bush Derangement Syndrome and Obama Derangement Syndrome, Cillizza suggested, "Viewed more broadly, the rise of presidential derangement syndromes is a function of increased polarization – not to mention our national self-sorting – at work in the country today." Bret Stephens has described the term as something used by conservative groups whenever someone speaks out critically against Trump, regardless of political affiliation.
The use of the term has been called part of a broader GOP strategy to discredit criticisms of Trump's actions, as a way of "reframing" the discussion by suggesting his political opponents are incapable of accurately perceiving the world. However, according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson of Annenberg Public Policy Center, the term could backfire on Trump supporters because people might interpret it to mean that Trump is the one who is "deranged", rather than those who criticize him.
The term has been used by journalists critical of Trump to call for restraint. Fareed Zakaria, who urged Americans to vote against Trump calling him a "cancer on American democracy,” argues that every Trump policy "cannot axiomatically be wrong, evil and dangerous." Adam Gopnik, who takes a strong anti-Trump position, responded to these assertions that it is a "huge and even fatal mistake for liberals (and constitutional conservatives) to respond negatively to every Trump initiative, every Trump policy, and every Trump idea." Arguing that Trump's opponents must instead recognize that the real problem is "Deranged Trump Self-Delusion," Gopnik defined the "Syndrome" as President Trump's "daily spasm of narcissistic gratification and episodic vanity."
Examples of use
Senator Ted Cruz used the term in a May 2018 interview with Fox & Friends, commenting: "Most of the media... they are just out of their minds. They have what I call Trump Derangement Syndrome where all they can do is attack the president all day long on the scandal of the day."
Senator Rand Paul has cited the so-called syndrome several times: in a July 16, 2018 interview where he said that investigators should simply focus on election security and stop "accusing Trump of collusion with the Russians and all this craziness that's not true" – accusations which he said were entirely motivated by "Trump derangement syndrome”; and again on July 19, 2018 on the Senate floor, when he objected to legislation proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders by saying: "Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate. The hatred for the President is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance."
Donald J. Trump via Twitter @realDonaldTrump
Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!
July 18, 2018
He also used it in a tweet about Alan Dershowitz's book The Case Against Impeaching Trump:
Donald J. Trump via Twitter @realDonaldTrump
.@AlanDersh, a brilliant lawyer, who although a Liberal Democrat who probably didn’t vote for me, has discussed the Witch Hunt with great clarity and in a very positive way. He has written a new and very important book called “The Case Against Impeaching Trump,” which I would encourage all people with Trump Derangement Syndrome to read!
July 26, 2018
In July 2018, Jeanine Pirro accused Whoopi Goldberg of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome during a guest appearance on The View to promote her newly published book. This occurred while Pirro was responding to a question about how the “deep state” really works.
Sarah Sanders via Twitter @PressSec
Trump Derangement Syndrome is becoming a major epidemic among Democrats. Instead of freaking out about the booming Trump economy why not celebrate it?
August 1, 2018
In September 2018, Sean Hannity criticized The Washington Post as having Trump Derangement Syndrome for stating in an editorial that Trump, because of his attitude toward climate change, is "complicit" in hurricanes battering the United States; Hannity said, "it is now a full-blown psychosis, it is a psychological level of unhingement I have never seen".
In November 2018, Michael Goodwin writing in the NY Post, discussed a variant of Trump Derangement syndrome he called "Trump Imitation Syndrome".
President Trump used the term again on January 1, 2019 in the following all-caps tweet:
Donald J. Trump via Twitter @realDonaldTrump
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!
January 1, 2019
- Public image of George W. Bush § Bush Derangement Syndrome neologism
- Clinton crazies
- Mental disorder
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- Rove, Karl. "A Grim Prognosis for Trump Derangement". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Cohan, Peter. "Elon Musk's Trump Derangement Syndrome". Forbes. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
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- "Cruz: Release of US prisoners is a 'major victory'". Fox News. May 20, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018 – via YouTube.
- Watkins, Eli (July 16, 2018). "Rand Paul dismisses focus on election attack as 'Trump derangement syndrome'". CNN. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Britzky, Haley (July 21, 2018). "What they're saying: The buzz around "Trump Derangement Syndrome"". Axios. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Cain: Joe Scarborough 'Takes Trump Derangement Syndrome to a New Level'". Fox News. June 7, 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- Morefield, Scott (September 11, 2018). "'The Five Hosts' have a bone to pick with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough over 9/11 column: 'He calculated this'". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- Smith, David (July 18, 2018). "Summit critics have Trump derangement syndrome – says Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (July 18, 2018). "Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It's called Trump Derangement Syndrome!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (July 26, 2018). ".@AlanDersh, a brilliant lawyer, who although a Liberal Democrat who probably didn't vote for me, has discussed the Witch Hunt with great clarity and in a very positive way. He has written a new and very important book called "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," which I would encourage all people with Trump Derangement Syndrome to read!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Meagan Flynn, The Washington Post, Whoopi vs. Judge Jeanine: ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ comment sparks yelling match on ‘The View’, July 20, 2018.
- Sarah Sanders [@PressSec] (August 1, 2018). "Trump Derangement Syndrome is becoming a major epidemic among Democrats. Instead of freaking out about the booming Trump economy why not celebrate it?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Hannity: 'Trump Derangement Syndrome Reaches New Heights' With WaPo Headline on Trump & Hurricanes Fox News
- Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit. The Washington Post, September 11, 2018
- "'Trump Imitation Syndrome' is afflicting the president's liberal enemies". New York Post. November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (January 1, 2019). "HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.