With Trump in the midst of a very consequential span of business (G-7, North Korea), and significant questions as to the effectiveness and prudence of his unorthodox style (to put it politely) abounding, it’s worth stepping back a moment and contemplating his perpetual critics, and what we might glean from their endless rage.

Trump, we are told, is not fit to be president. But, what are we to think of those doing the telling when they act no better or far worse? When Robert De Niro stands in front of the Tony Awards audience, emphatically states “Fuck Trump” and is met with cheers (and a standing ovation), and when Samantha Bee gleefully calls Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt“, also to cheers, we might be wise in being reticent about deeming these people sober adults worthy of being put in charge of things.

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), an update of the phrase Bush Derangement Syndrome originally coined by Charles Krauthammer, is painfully familiar to anyone playing in the political sand box. I certainly get being upset, shocked and outraged by Trump’s ascendancy, but failing to come to terms with it, and reacting instead and forever with sputtering rage every time he says something, doesn’t speak well for the TDS-inflicted.

If, after nearly a year and a half of his presidency, critics can’t return to earth and discuss him like adults, why would we trust these critics with the reins of power they so deeply covet? What marker of maturity do they depict in their endless and monolithic spouting of hate and invective? Why should we for a moment think that those who scream at the sky at the mention of his name are people who are more worthy of being in charge, or being listened to, or being heeded, than Trump and his supporters?

I have a couple friends whose sum total of political shares and postings on social media consist of angry screeds, I-told-you-so’s, and nasty, condescending mockery. I’ve stopped pointing out that this style does nothing to convert the not-already-converted, but now, as it continues, I am inclined to ask what possible reason one might have to pay them more heed than the person(s) they hate so much. What case did De Niro make by saying “Fuck Trump?” Did Samantha Bee really think that dropping the c-bomb on Trump’s daughter would be an effective and convincing punctuation for her statement?

All they do is reinforce the supposition that they’re angry shit heads who should not be trusted with the keys to a rusty Yugo, let alone majority control of the most powerful nation on Earth. Why would an outside observer consider their opinion worth anything, if they show no ability to control themselves or speak in rational tones?

This rage has spilled over into other societal debates. Although we don’t hear the phrase “Angry Left” as much any more, it’s as strong as ever, in my experience. Consider the case, for example, of clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson. He has become an Internet sensation of late, not only for his politically incorrect observations on modern society, but for a steady and measured demeanor that is a rare and refreshing contrast to the hyperbolic and at times absurd manners of his interviewers and critics. For this demonstration of adult qualities as much as anything else, he’s become so hated by the defenders of the modern progressive narrative that they single him out for long-knives treatment. It seems as if they find his calmness evil in and of itself, a seductive false-front to lure the gullible (i.e. every single non-TDS person out there), and they fear that their uncontrollable rage will be unmasked by it.

Trump is the president, like it or not. This was true for Obama, and for Bush, and for Clinton, and so forth. He’s doing things, some good, some bad. If you want to have a chance at winning over people who disagree with you on this or that point, I’d suggest that sputtering rage and other TDS manifestations aren’t the way to go. If you want the balance of the body politic to believe that you’re to be trusted to run things, acting like or cheering De Niro and Samantha Bee isn’t the way. You’re prompting the Trump loyalists to harden against you, to spike the football every time he does something they like, to defend him even when he does something questionable, and to close their ears to any criticism of any sort. That leaves the rest of us, those who want to consider the significant questions I mentioned at the open of this piece, disgusted and frustrated.

It also helps and shields Trump, and not just in the aforementioned fortifying of his supporters’ firmness. An unfairly treated person gains sympathy, especially when that treatment is at the hands of the powerful, the famous, and those perceived to be running the narrative. It makes legitimate criticism harder, because the loudest and shrillest tend to drown out everyone else. No, you don’t have to “convert,” but if you want to a – be taken seriously by anyone who doesn’t already agree with you, and b – assert that you and yours should be trusted with the nation’s future, stop acting like an ass.

And – be open to the possibility that Trump might actually get or have gotten something right. This morning brings big news from the North Korea summit. Whether Trump’s efforts turn out to be successful or merely another failed attempt at resolving the matter of the Hermit Kingdom, only time will tell. I’m sure it’s annoying as hell to see Trump’s fans (prematurely) gloating, but your nay-braying is worse. They, at least, can point to the reality of a meeting. You’re basing your dismissals of Trump’s NoKo effort on nothing but your personal hatred.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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