Anti-Trumpism is Fanaticism.
Trump’s supporters have been called a cult (among other things) for defending the sitting president, or for finding no fault where others find all
sorts of outrage. Sometimes the criticism is valid. But I have to wonder why the uncompromising, obsessive, and paranoid anti-Trumpists seem more
likely to drink the cyanide kool-aid.
First, a note about the quality of the arguments and outrage: Anti-trumpism is the fast food of moral posturing. What comes out of it is always
prepackaged, limp, soft, and stomach-churning, but customers are still lovin’ it as much as they did when they had their first taste. We can turn on
the TV to watch the same late-night television host (notwithstanding their political donations and affiliations) flip the same mediocre, tasteless,
and overplayed burgers, to the same clone of an easily satisfied consumer. The vain attempts to horde snigggers by way of bullying and snide cruelty
are too contrived, too forced, thrown together with a stack of stale and fake ingredients, and sold to dupes and addicts through a multi-million
dollar public relations budget.
But that’s just me. The mediocrity and moral turpitude of anti-Trumpism is a matter of taste, after all, and ridiculing the tastes of an
anti-trumpist is like ridiculing a teenage girl for liking Justin Bieber. On the other hand, perhaps it isn’t a matter of taste, but a coping
mechanism for deeper issues.
According to the American Psychological Association, Post-Election Stress
is a real phenomenon. More than half of Americans reported that the 2016 US election was stressful and led to stress-related symptoms.
72% of Democrats and 26% of Republicans reported that the outcome—Trump’s win—was a significant source of stress. 66% of Americans (both
Democrats and Republicans) reported that thoughts regarding the future of the nation was another significant headspring of their tensions.
In combination with social media
, which only aggravates
stress further, a significant amount of anti-Trump folks are ripe for the physical, emotional and behavioural problems associated with stress.
And who can blame them? Trump’s presidency and the future of the country has been thrown into dystopian status by unaccountable journalists,
intellectuals, unelected bureaucrats, and celebrities. Prophecies of fascism, internment camps, Nazis, religious persecution, race wars, nuclear war,
civil war and Hitler, were beaten into the heads of trusting media consumers. Any positive reporting throughout the campaign, or anything that is
positive in outlook towards the future, is near impossible to find. With the media’s depressing fortune-telling, in combination with the manic
attempts of comedians and satirists to evoke complacent laughter, a bi-polar wave crashes over the shore of paranoia.
Effectual methods of coping with stress include adopting a positive outlook, or finding commonality with others, but finding commonality with a mortal
enemy is difficult. The APA suggests cutting back on the intake of news, but such is impossible when the news is the source of everything one knows
and holds dear. Thus the retreat into the ineffectual
methods of coping with stress: denial, blame, anger, magical thinking, projection and
“Historians in the near future will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on earth began, thanks 2 Donald
Trump” - Michael Moore
"But Michael, if humans are extinct, how will historians mark the day?"
Turn on social media to discover an unhealthy obsession with Trump’s tweets, which has been the top story of even the most professional news outlets
for too long. Given the claims of his cult of personality and thin skin, one might expect an army of fawning sycophants praising their dear leader in
the feed, while the critics remain banned or blocked from responding. Instead, it is the exact opposite: a myriad of fame-seeking backbiters
clamouring for exposure, vying for top spot on the anti-trump gravy train like too many have done before them. Whether for followers or for coping
with stress, at what point is this obsessive-compulsive?
Philosopher George Santayana once wrote “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim”. And who remembers the
aim of anti-Trumpism? It had something to do with Mexican rapists, sexual assault and Vladimir Putin (or was it Rosie O’Donnel?). Each outrage was
forgotten about in days and replaced by a brand new one, while any evidence to the contrary, the clarifying statements, the explanations, the other
side of the story, and anything that might shed doubt on their narrative, was conveniently missing in favour of the yellow journalism they are now
wedded to. In the last analysis, they have only redoubled their efforts. And their aim? To cope with the self-induced stress they are now left to deal
We have protesters, activists, and their celebrity handlers operating under the delusion they are fighting against oppression, or at least some future
form of it, when they couldn’t point to an oppressive thing outside their own emotions, their reaction to words, their puerile prophecies, and the
sensationalism that exploits them. Anti-Trumpism is fanaticism.
Than you for reading,