The ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ Dodge

By Conor Friedersdorf

Donald Trump is different.

Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all had allies who defended their approaches to the presidency against critics.

But defending what Trump says or does is often impossible. Americans can’t help but know that he didn’t win the popular vote; draw more people to his inauguration than Barack Obama; act wisely in appointing Michael Flynn; execute well in that first executive order on travel; or accomplish more in his first 100 days than any other president.

Americans can’t help but see that he is erratic, and that his domestic agenda has stalled bigly. He can claim that no politician has ever been treated more unfairly. But we can’t help but know that Ronald Reagan was shot and that John F. Kennedy was killed.

That’s why pro-Trump and anti-anti-Trump commentators have adapted.

As the weeks pass, they spend less time making positive arguments for the president and more time hiding behind the talking point that his critics are overwrought. Unhinged. Hysterical. Suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Don’t look here, at the president who shared too much information with Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting. Look there at an excessive reaction to it.

The approach is inseparable from the web era. No matter how bad a Trump blunder, someone can be found overreacting to it or otherwise losing their cool on social media. In fact, social-media feeds disproportionately expose us to the most over-the-top takes, making it seem as if they reflect the median reaction even when that is far from true.

That illusion is exploited by commentators like Tucker Carlson. He recently declared:

Many journalists believe it’s literally impossible to be unfair to Donald Trump or the people who work for him. Extremism in the pursuit of Trump is no vice. That’s the view in …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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