I was hoping to write an upbeat column to kick off the new year, something about how all sorts of things in our great country are bound to get better in the months ahead, a column based at least as much on wishful thinking as hard-nosed reality. A columnist can get away with that kind of fluff this time of year. But it's hard to be cheery when our nation is in the throes of a full-blown epidemic, one that is causing so much pain to millions and millions of our fellow Americans.
Yes, I'm talking about the dreaded mental disorder known as Trump Derangement Syndrome — or simply TDS.
You remember Bush Derangement Syndrome, right, when the mere mention of President George W. Bush's name sent liberals into a fevered state of instability. Someone would carelessly say "Bush" and their eyes would involuntarily begin to roll, then came the shortness of breath, followed by foam forming on the poor victim's mouth - though this mainly happened among Bush-hating liberals who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan or in Hollywood.
It was horrible, for sure, but not as horrible as Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Before the election the victims of TDS routinely compared Donald Trump to Hitler. Guess what. They're still doing it. Articles in respectable publications written by professors at elite universities are warning us to be on guard, that a Trump presidency could imperil democracy-as-we know it and may very well spell doom for American civilization.
On election night, as it became obvious that their worst nightmare was about to come true, some libs fainted. Some vomited. Many more threatened to leave the country, but I'm pretty sure none actually did. As Donald Trump might say in a tweet: so sad!
On college campuses the snowflakes melted. At Cornell, students with TDS held a "cry in" to mourn the results with staff handing out tissues and hot chocolate to ease the pain of Trump's victory. At the University of Kansas the cupcakes were offered therapy dogs. A dorm at the University of Pennsylvania set up a "breathing space" the night after the election where coloring books, snacks and puppies were available for students who needed to "decompress in a low-key and low-stress environment." At Vanderbilt, the children who were traumatized by Trump's election were encouraged by the grownups on campus "to take advantage of the outstanding mental health support the university offers." At Yale, and many other schools where TDS was running rampant, tests were cancelled because students were in "shock."
Trump Derangement Syndrome: It's more terrifying than cancer.
Actually, I didn't make that up. Here's part of a letter to the editor published in the Miami Herald from a woman whose 90-year old mother, Ruth, a Holocaust survivor, is battling cancer:
"Today, in her beloved America, Ruth sees the same warning signs she saw in Nazi Germany: anti-Semitism, criticism of the free press, curtailed freedom of expression, religious slurs, overt racism and talk of punishing people for who they are and what they believe." The daughter goes on to say that, "The thought of a president who foments and legitimizes these dangerous trends is more terrifying to her than the cancer she is battling."
Got that? Cancer is bad. Trump is worse!
So in an effort to undo the election results and save the republic, Dr. Jill Stein, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, demanded a recount in three states that traditionally vote Democratic but narrowly went for Trump this time around.
When that turned up nothing, the TDS crowd tried to shame electors into voting for Hillary instead of Donald. There were even death threats aimed at electors who said they would vote for Trump, as they had pledged to do.
Imagine if Hillary had won and Trump supporters demanded a recount, tried to shame electors into rejecting Mrs. Clinton and went so far as to threaten to murder electors who voted for her.
Imagine how liberals would have reacted. Imagine how the liberal journalists who don't even try to hide their hatred of Trump would have reacted.
Turns out that the same people who were outraged when Trump said he might not support the election results ... were now the ones not supporting the election results.
And the ones who said he was trying to de-legitimize the expected Clinton victory ... were the ones now trying to de-legitimize Trump's actual victory.
The ones who said he was a threat to democracy ... were now the ones proudly proclaiming that Donald Trump "Is not my president" - not grasping that comments like that were a threat to democracy.
I was and still am not a fan of Donald Trump. I find him to be both a narcissist and a braggart, not qualities I admire in a man who will soon be president. But, I find it more than a little ironic, that the people who have brought me closer to the president-elect are liberals with TDS, who I find more annoying than Donald Trump - and much more deranged.
Oh yeah, Happy New Year.