Thanksgiving is family time and so I recently had an opportunity to take my siblings’ political temperatures. This disclosed that a new version of an old malady is abroad in the land. It might be called the Trump Derangement Syndrome in emulation of the once pandemic Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Let me explain. George W. Bush set liberal teeth on edge. They could scarcely contemplate his visage without being seized by an uncontrollable impulse to do him harm. Not only did they want to throw him out of office, but a significant number of them fantasized about his assassination.

Now this mania has been transferred to Trump. Granted that he is more provocative. Granted also that his programs may be more far-reaching. Nevertheless, the most important thing about them is that they could be conservative — and that is entirely unacceptable.

First off, my sister Carol, who voted for Trump, has become a pariah in her New Jersey neighborhood. Her erstwhile friends won’t talk to her if she so much as hints at anything positive about the Donald. So far as they are concerned, the fact that he has recently been on good behavior does not exonerate him of his innate malice.

Then there is my brother, Joel, who voted for Hillary. He and his wife have stopped watching the news ever since that dreadful moment in which an unexpected horror beset our nation. The pain of that unforeseen body blow was too great to endure.

As it happens, Joel’s neighbors went for Trump. They were therefore eager to share their surprise and delight at his victory. The sumptuous feast that my brother hosted was their opportunity to say out loud what, in his house, they had hitherto been required to keep to themselves.

Where did this liberal super-sensitivity come from? Why all the public crying, gnashing of teeth, protest marching, and vilifying of Trump’s nominees for public office? Hadn’t the Democrats lost elections before?

My guess is that liberals were not prepared to have their failures rubbed in their faces. As long as their president was in the White House, they could pretend that their ideological agenda was intact. When Hillary lost, however, they were forced to redouble their efforts to hide from reality.

Remember what Barack Obama promised: He was going to bring our nation together. Our racial, gender and social class divides were to be healed. At home, ObamaCare was certain to improve our health, while lowing costs. In addition, his stimulus package would initiate a period of robust economic growth.

Meanwhile abroad, controlling American militant arrogance was sure to end international wars and to elevate our nation’s prestige. Indeed, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in anticipation of his inevitable achievements.

Yet this did not transpire. The oceans did not recede. Kumbaya did not become our national anthem. Even the Democrats know that. But they have to blame someone. Since they are such magnificent people, the fault cannot rest with them. It must lie with someone of Trump’s malicious disposition.

As I have been saying, liberalism is a failed enterprise. Many Americans are just beginning to realize this. Karl Marx proclaimed that the proletarian revolution would commence after workers pierced their false consciousness. Once they realized that their bosses were exploiting them, they would rise up in righteous indignation.

In fact, ordinary working people are catching on to something entirely different. They have finally recognized that liberals are not their friends. One of the things they like best about Trump is that he violates the canons of political correctness. Another is that he promised to get their jobs back.

The liberals do not understand this — and it is driving them crazy. Because their political reality never coincided with physical or moral reality, they cannot make sense of the universe. The result is that they are lashing out. They are trying to break free from an ideological straight jacket of their own design.

Unfortunately, few on the left are aware of this. They still regard themselves as intellectual paragons. But isn’t this kind of omission diagnostic of some forms of mental illness? Couldn’t it be a manifestation of political paranoia?

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D. is a professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University. He lives in Canton.


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