I know, we can’t actually deport Donald Trump to another country. But that didn’t stop me from creating a White House petition a few days ago titled “Deport Donald J. Trump.” How much fun would it be if Trump could not only be deported but to of all places Mexico?! (Think about how much they would love him there.)
But that petition was really my “coping strategy” (as my psychologist sister explained) for dealing with the fear and anxiety Trump is causing myself and many others. Maybe we should call it Trump derangement syndrome. Or maybe it should be described as Trump PTTSD—Post Traumatic Trump Stress Disorder. Either condition, in my opinion, is caused by an unhealthy exposure to Trump.
And if you think it’s your imagination that Trump seems to be everywhere in the media, you are not being delusional. (At least not about this issue.) As The New York Times documented this week, Trump has received $1.8 billion in free media coverage during his campaign, which is more than double the dollar figure of the free coverage that Hillary Clinton has received.
Trump has truly turned this campaign into the Trump reality show. And it’s a show that is as riveting as it is revolting in which Trump is the hero to some and the villain to many more.
I bet Trump, the unabashed narcissist, is loving this. Even Kanye West and Kim Kardashian must be jealous of how Trump can control the media. Looks like the lesson for Kim is you want to compete with Trump for press, there’s no need to post scantily clad photos of yourself on Instagram any longer—simply demonize Muslims and Latinos and the media will give you non-stop free and mostly positive press coverage.
But I truly have seen an OCD-like obsession with Trump in not just myself but in many, many other people. Simply put, America is sick. Now it’s not all Trump’s fault, but he has certainly ginned up the fear. Simply put, America is sick. Now it’s not all Trump’s fault, but he has certainly made us all sicker.
And all those infected are also trying to cope with the anxiety and fear caused by Trump. While my petition to deport Trump was clearly tongue in cheek (or was it?), another Trump PTSD sufferer has created a more substantive one titled “Arrest and prosecute Donald J. Trump for incitement to violence.” That petition already has over 70,000 signatures and if it reaches 100,000, the White House will respond to it as does with all whitehouse.gov petitions that garner that many signatures.
There are truly throngs of Americans who appear to be suffering from Trump PTSD trying to find ways to cope. Trump has caused conservatives opposing him to lash out with articles in the National Review attacking Trump.
While others on the left have created parody Twitter accounts as coping strategies to try and laugh in the face of fear. For example, there’s the “real Donald Drumpf” and the “President Trump” parody account that tweeted last night, “You can now stop comparing me to Hitler since he never won Florida.” #Primary Day #floridaprimary And of course numerous Trump twitter accounts were created after Trump bragged about his penis size at the GOP debate a few weeks ago. The one that probably would anger Trump the most is called “Trump’s little penis.”
All of this is a sign of how those who truly loathe Trump are trying to cope with the anxiety he is causing them. And loathe is the correct word. I have never heard people discuss a leading political candidate the way Trump has been talked about. There’s truly a palpable fear involved. After all, when the stepsister of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss, who is an Auschwitz survivor, says Trump “is acting like Hitler” by inciting hate, you know it’s not all in our head. (Or is it?)
And now Trump disorder has even reached apolitical people like Brandon Stanton, the man who created the immensely popular “Humans of New York” website. This week Stanton penned “An open letter to Trump” that went wildly viral on social media. His statement began, “I didn’t want to risk any personal goodwill by appearing to take sides in a contentious election.” But Stanton added, “I’ve come to realize that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one,” adding poignantly, “You are a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power.”
And then there are the Trump supporters who also seem to be infected with some Trump-induced ailment while we have seen Trump supporters on TV defending the worst of Trump’s conduct, from Trump’s failure to passionately denounce the Klan to support his demonizing Muslims to at least subtly defending Trump’s inciting violence at his rallies. For example on Wednesday Trump advocate Scottie Nell Hughes was on CNN defending Trump’s threat there will be riots at the Republican National convention if he’s deprived of the nomination with her stunning comment, “Riots aren’t necessarily a bad thing.”
We have shockingly also seen more than words from some Trump’s followers. Trump supporters have been seen punching and kicking protesters at events in defense of their beloved leader. And disturbingly a few days ago some devout Trump fans indicated that they were considering creating an armed militia to defend Trump supporters at campaign events. All of a sudden creating a Twitter account to mock Trump’s penis size seems almost adorable when compared to this crap.
I wish there were a medication that could help all those suffering from Trump PTSD. Sadly, there isn’t. I’m not sure what the future holds for us a nation, but the likely prognosis is that we will get much sicker. After all we know the press will give Trump much more free coverage in the months to come than any other candidate. The question is will America ever heal from whatever disorder Trump has given us?