by J. Pharoah Doss, For New Pittsburgh Courier
During the rise and fall of Donald Trump, both political parties developed Trump derangement.
The American Spectator, a conservative publication, first used the term Trump derangement during the 2016 presidential primary to describe “ruling class Republicans” who found Trump uncouth and unfit for the presidency. Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters “deplorables,” which meant racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. This encouraged derangement toward Trump’s growing base.
After Clinton’s 2016 presidential defeat, Trump derangement intensified.
Days after the election, ABC News reported: Tens of thousands protest Trump’s victory—124 people were arrested. “Not My President” demonstrations were in 15 major cities across the country. ABC stated these demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but ABC also reported damage, vandalism, highway shutdowns, fires, and injuries to police and protesters.
During the presidential transition period Politico reported: “Half-dozen Democratic electors have signed onto an attempt to block Donald Trump from winning the Electoral College. These Democratic electors knew their plans would fail. But they hoped their efforts would erode confidence in the Electoral College.”
Finally, the day after Trump’s presidential inauguration, Reuters reported:
“Black-clad activists, among hundreds of demonstrators protesting Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony, clashed with police a few blocks from the White House, in an outburst of violence rare for an inauguration.”
What did the post-election and inauguration protest accomplish?
Idealists might say they made their voices heard, but it was just the outcry of the defeated. It didn’t accomplish anything because protesting is done by those powerless to prevent whatever they are protesting from happening.
CNN commentator, Fareed Zakaria, eventually defined Trump derangement as “hatred of president Trump so intense that it impairs people’s judgement.”
But Trump derangement wasn’t just rooted in hatred, it was also rooted in devotion.
After Clinton called half of Trump supporters deplorables, she referred to the other half of Trump supporters as people that felt “the government has let them down.” For those Trump supporters, Trump wasn’t a demagogue, he was a savior.
However, Trump wasn’t reelected in 2020.
Immediately, the Trump campaign alleged widespread voter fraud in the battleground states. Trump devotees translated that to mean the election was “stolen from them.” Trump’s legal team mounted legal challenges on the president’s behalf, but in court, Trump’s lawyers never pursued election fraud. Trump’s lawyers focused primarily on voting irregularities. Meanwhile, Trump devotees were under the impression that Trump’s legal team could overturn the election results due to massive fraud. Eventually, the courts dismissed all of Trump’s legal challenges. The electoral college voted on Dec. 14, officially ending the 2020 presidential race, but Trump refused to concede and acknowledge that Joe Biden won the presidency.
Desperate and in denial, Trump decided to hold a rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, the same day Congress was scheduled to certify the electoral votes from each state. Trump called on Vice President Pence to halt the ceremonial proceedings, a last-minute idea Pence didn’t bother to entertain. Trump held his final rally right before Congress convened to certify the electoral votes. However, once Trump devotees discovered the vice president didn’t answer their savior’s call and Trump himself was powerless to resurrect his presidency, they took matters into their own hands, and the grand finale of Trump devotion ended in a deadly delusion of grandeur.
Trump devotees overran the Capitol police and aimlessly stormed inside the U.S. Capitol in order to stop a ceremonial event. The police eventually restored order and Congress reconvened after a temporary delay.
The next day headlines read: “Attempted coup at the Capitol—4 dead.”
But labeling this riot at the Capitol an “attempted coup d’état” is a viewpoint from Trump derangement. This was nothing but a pathetic display of powerlessness by deranged people attempting to stop what couldn’t be prevented. Democracy was never in danger or even threatened from this outcry of the defeated.
Unfortunately, those that believed this tragic event undermined American democracy are still under Trump derangement.