Trump Derangement Syndrome: A Different Reality

Examining Trump's Rhetorical Strategies and Their Impact

by Zain ul Abedin
Trump Derangement Syndrome: A Different Reality
© Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In American politics, the former president, Donald Trump, continues to employ a familiar tactic: deflecting accurate criticisms by hurling insults at his detractors. This tactic is not unique to Trump; it's a page straight from the playbook of his fellow Republicans, who are quick to project their issues onto those who speak the truth.

For instance, the term "Trump crime family" accurately depicts decades of questionable charitable and educational endeavors, property value misrepresentations, and substantial profiteering during his White House tenure. However, Trump and his supporters have mockingly referred to the "Biden Crime Family" in response.

When Trump is labeled as deranged for his late-night Twitter tirades, he seizes upon the term and uses it as a weapon against his political adversaries. He even claims to protect democracy from a supposed "Joe Biden's war on democracy," a stark reversal of reality.

Trump's Manipulative Rhetoric

Trump's infamous call to "fight like hell or you won't have a country" now serves as a warning to anyone who values constitutional norms, political stability, the rule of law, and a free press.

It seems that the responsibility to safeguard these values falls on the shoulders of the general public because no one else appears willing to do so. Trump's penchant for using playground taunts and simplistic slogans is reminiscent of a pre-teen, which is both laughable and concerning given his status as an adult and former president.

However, repetition is a powerful tool, and Trump knows that if he repeats something often enough, many people will believe it, regardless of its accuracy. Additionally, some want to believe Trump's narratives because they align with their preconceived notions.

As the classic song "The Boxer" by Paul Simon suggests, "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." Comparisons to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels are not unfounded. Trump frequently employs terms like "fascist" to obfuscate the truth and discredit his critics.

His goal is to strip such words of their meaning through overuse.

The Distraction of 'Trump Derangement Syndrome'

Trump and his supporters have wielded the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome" (TDS) to dismiss anyone who reflexively opposes his ideas.

However, it's essential to recognize that this is a form of psychological projection. TDS distracts from the genuine concerns surrounding Trump's actions and policies. In this era of the Trump cult, the tactics employed are reminiscent of dark historical moments.

Trump has repeatedly encouraged violence among his followers, and his campaign spokespeople now speak of "crushing" his critics. It is not deranged to be alarmed by such prospects or horrified by his chaotic handling of crises like the pandemic.

While some may argue that invoking Hitler or Nazi comparisons is overused, it is crucial to consider the historical context. Trump's reliance on simple slogans, propaganda, and divisive rhetoric bears unsettling parallels to past authoritarian leaders.

Trump's ability to deliver propaganda effectively, often entertainingly, appeals to a segment of the population more interested in supporting their prejudices than engaging with complex political issues. Ultimately, Trump's legacy is discord, division, and a blatant disregard for the truth.

Whether one considers his actions driven by delusion or cunning manipulation, the danger posed by Trump and his followers is undeniable. It's imperative for those who see through his tactics to remain vigilant and continue defending the values of democracy and truth.