The Universal Notebook: The misery of 'Trump Derangement Syndrome'

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Would you be a little unsettled if Justin Bieber had been elected president of the United States? Would you be able to take those who voted for an impulsive, self-indulgent pop star seriously as responsible adults? Would you be wondering how there could be enough mindless teeny-boppers in the U.S. to elect an obviously unfit man the leader of the free world?

Well, that’s how many of us feel about Donald Trump.

I say this by way of explaining to all the “Get over it, you lost” crowd that it’s not losing that’s the issue; it’s that the winner is in no way whatsoever qualified.

So let’s make it official. I am suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, as is just about everyone else I know.

When the weather is lousy and the sidewalks are icy, I blame Donald Trump. When I’m not feeling well, it’s Trump’s fault. When the newspaper is late, Trump. Everything that goes wrong can now be blamed on Trump.

You might think that recognizing my own condition would help me get over it, but, in fact, it only strengthens my animosity toward the man. After all, it’s Trump’s fault I am suffering from TDS, his and the misguided American celebrity worshippers who elected him.

I’d feel guilty about not recognizing the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency were it not for the fact that Trump himself was Patient Zero when it came to Obama Derangement Syndrome.

“We can’t let this happen,” he infamously tweeted on Nov. 6, 2012. “We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided.”

Ditto, Donnie.

And just prior to the election, Big D repeatedly refused to pledge to recognize the outcome of the election – unless he won. Well, he won, but millions of us refuse to recognize the outcome of the election.

I keep reading that Democrats need to understand why working stiffs voted for Trump. Let me explain why I don’t really care.

Some, I realize, were blinded to his total unfitness by a single issue like abortion or gun control. People like that would actually have voted for Justin Bieber if he promised to appoint pro-life and anti-gun control judges.

The majority of Trump voters, who voted for him because they mistakenly believed Hillary Clinton was the devil, the economy was in the tanks, our borders had disappeared and the U.S. military was weak, were simply brainwashed. And that is why I cannot respect Trump people. They voted for Justin Bieber because they believed lies. To affirm the legitimacy of a Bieber presidency would be totally disrespectful to the office.

And Trump knows he is not a legit president. He’s a game show president, a celebrity playing at president. He never expected to win. He is not prepared to govern. He knows the FBI and the Russians gave him the edge. He knows the majority of Americans did not vote for him and, given the ongoing protests, he knows the majority of Americans do not support his hateful white nationalist agenda, either.

That’s why his first order of business in office was to dispute media reports that twice as many people showed up in Washington to protest his election as showed up the day before to celebrate it.

When Trump has to send his toadies out to deny what everyone saw with their own eyes, it is a sign of just how insecure the man is. And it is that insecurity coupled with his impulsiveness, vanity and vulgarity that frightens the good people of America.

Attack the media and stifle dissent, that’s the strategy of petty tyrants. That’s the Putin way. We already know how petty Donald Trump is. We now have to do everything in our power to prevent him from becoming a tyrant. That’s why the streets, the parks and the airports are filled with millions of Americans opposed to Trump’s tyrannical decrees.

We all have a moral duty to resist. We must say no to his nihilistic cabinet picks, no to his nominee for a stolen seat on the Supreme Court, no to the repeal of Obamacare until he has something to replace it, no to his stupid wall that will cost U.S. taxpayers and consumers billions, no to his paranoid travel ban and no to his Breitbart buddy Stephen Bannon, who is Trump’s puppet master.

Maybe if we can stall Trump long enough, his supporters will come to see that their populist hero only appoints plutocrats; that his flag-waving nationalism is not only unpatriotic, it’s un-American; that he is unfit, unstable, unkind and a threat to the American way of life.

I can understand why many people could not vote for Hillary Clinton, but that does not excuse them for electing Justin Bieber.

Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

  • EdBeem

    Apparently, the Bieb is a Canadian citizen. An other good reason he should not be POTUS.

    • David Craig

      And he’s 13 years too young.

      • EdBeem

        I demand to see his birth certificate. Of course, that wouldn’t have made a difference to Trump because it turns out he can’t read or write. That’s why he watch TV and dictates tweets..

  • Chew H Bird

    While Bieber might have been a preferable choice over either of the two major party candidates, it is truly “We the People” who allowed such flawed candidates to take center stage. By failing to control the two major political parties We the People allowed our current President to take office. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

    What we now have is possibly the most transparent President in history. By tweeting whatever comes into his head, we are privy to minuscule glimpses into his mind. While I know my brain thinks outrageous things from time to time, I am grateful my thoughts are silent. President Trump apparently thinks his mind musings are fit for public consumption. I have no idea what thoughts rambled around in the head of his predecessor, but I suspect we are all grateful he kept them to himself.

    Since our national media seems to think that deploying President Trump’s tweets is a good idea, (so those of us who ignore twitter can share in the agony), virtually everyone who can read, or has a television or radio, has to suffer along with those on Twitter.

    By acting in the way he does, President Trump distracts people, (all of us), and he is actually trying to accomplish becomes a complete mystery. As citizens we have been accustomed to being in fear of things we do not know or do not understand over the past few decades. Basing decisions on fear, in my opinion, has dire consequences more often than not.

    When I wish people would “suck it up”, all I truly want is for all of us to respond with positive action to what we want rather than by reacting to things we do not like.

    • EdBeem

      There was nothing wrong with Hillary. She was the victim of a decade’s long multi-million dollar smear campaign. She would have made an excellent president. We should be celebrating the election of the first woman POTUS. Instead, we are praying the mean-sorted illiterate oaf who won doesn’t do something to get us all killed. No one I know expects him to last more than a year.

      • Chew H Bird

        In my opinion, if you understood the exact terrifying nature of her security issues, you would be as petrified of her and I am…

        • EdBeem

          You bought the Big Right Lie. Trump is already doing exactly what she was accused of doing.

          • danmaine

            It is you who bought into her lies, she was the most corrupt and hated individual to run for President. It was difficult to vote for Trump but she was the worst choice. The Liberal Media setup the election by avoiding vetting BOTH major party candidates. I’m still amazed how you project your thoughts and values above others. Typical Liberal Socialist…Keep calling other’s vile names it isn’t helping your cause. Conservatives felt the same way when a Radical Socialist Alinski following community organizer with no leadership skills was elected. The Democrats set the precedence with our former Celebrity in Chief, he read a great teleprompter and looked good while being no more than an empty suit.

          • JimDSull

            The greatest con-artist we’ve ever seen persuaded a critical mass of voters that she was “the most corrupt and hated individual to run for President.” That’s why that stuck. It wasn’t true. But they were told it was, they were messaged to, and marketed to, and the snake oil went down. To take issue with these so-called lies of Clinton’s after listening to the onslaught of bullshit coming out of Trump’s mouth and off his thumbs is like getting pissed off about a mosquito bite while a rattlesnake clamps his jaw on your thigh.

          • Queenie42

            Perfect! Thank you!

          • Chew H Bird

            Last time I checked, two wrongs do not make a right…

        • Queenie42

          Chew, would you please expand your statement? I’m not trying to be silly, I would really like to know.

          • Chew H Bird

            I have worked in IT for 30 years. Some of my clients work very close with various government agencies in the DC area. The Department of State manages global US security policy. AQs Secretary of State Hillary’s intentional and deliberate actions jeopardized US security.

            I agree fully that we currently have a loose canon as President. That said, the actions of Hillary Clinton should have disqualified her prior to the start of her campaign. I’m not going into the technical details, but after 30 years of designing, configuring, securing, testing, and maintaining secure networks I have a fairly decent understanding of the risks involved with her actions.

            Most people, even those with clearances, need to go to either a special location or utilize specific devices to access the secure networks in place by our government.

          • Queenie42

            Thank you, Chew. However, I voted for Hillary Clinton based on my belief that she would be the less likely to use the nuclear codes. We can fix the damage of Trump or Pence although it may take a generation or two, but we can’t fix what would happen in a nuclear war. That would be a game ender for humanity. I don’t think Hillary Clinton as evil. I think President Trump is. And Bannon, as puppet master, would like nothing better than to cause a nuclear holocaust.

          • Chew H Bird

            I take no issue with the choices people made. I could not in good conscience vote for either major party candidate, however I certainly understand your choice and agree with you concerning the risk factor.

            I do not think either candidate is “evil”. I do believe our sitting president is unstable, but he appears to have a nice family and I suspect he generally means well regardless of the persona he consistently displays. I also believe Ms. Clinton means well, but suspect her many decades in public politics (either as candidate or spouse), have colored her vision.

  • yathink2011

    Maybe if you wrote about something different, maybe something positive where you could help make America great again, it wouldn’t be so stressful for you. You seem obsessed.

  • Jimmy_John67

    The fact that Ed Beem and people like him have no interest in understanding why people voted for Trump will just help to contribute to Trump’s re-election in 4 years. The willful ignorance, obsessive hate and outlandish propaganda spewed by Ed and others of his ilk is simply trying to beat Trump at his own game which is a losing proposition. Unfortunately, Ed is just an angry bully so there is no hope for him but with any luck others in the country can open their eyes and hearts and work to understand and accept all points of view. Becoming truly tolerant and compassionate Americans is the only way we will avoid 8 years of President Trump.

    • JimDSull

      65% of Trump voters thought Obama was a Muslim. 59% don’t think he was born in the United States. 52% think Trump won the popular vote. 24% think Anthony Scalia was murdered. The stock market rose more than 11,000 points under Obama, and yet, 39% of Trump voters believe the stock market took a dive under Obama. These beliefs are borne of ignorance, hate and propaganda. Are we supposed to tolerate this?

      • Jimmy_John67

        No Im, oops sorry I mean Jim, you aren’t supposed to tolerate it but fighting back by exponentially elevating the level of ignorance, hate and propaganda is a lose lose situation.

  • EdBeem

    I believe the chances are better that Donald Trump will be the first president removed by a military coup than that he 1) serves an entire term or 2) gets re-elected. The best that can be said about him is that he is unqualified in every way. The assessment goes downhill from there.

  • Vanada

    This, with all due respect, is exactly the problem for you and others: “as is just about everyone else I know.”. People have cut themselves off from others who think differently from them, and are incapable of even listening, let alone, entering into dialogue with them. We live in carefully selected silos, meticulously built bubbles where our suburban (in your case) neighbors look, sound, dress, talk just like we do. But that’s the problem (or great strength) of democracy, everyone gets a voice. Even Justin Bieber fans.

    • Jimmy_John67

      Great comment. Unfortunately many people in this country hate the concept of the most important aspect of diversity…..diversity of thought. Intolerance of differing opinions on both sides of the political spectrum is how we have ended up with 16 consecutive years and counting of unqualified and/or ineffective Presidents and Congressional members. Unfortunately with the rise of social media and the 24 hour news cycle and the decline in face to face human interaction it is now easier then ever to exist almost exclusively in an echo chamber of your own opinions and never truly attempt to walk in someone else’s shoes and work to understand their unique points of view.

    • JimDSull

      You think you’re taking the high road with this perspective on silos and bubbles and “people who think differently.” People aren’t thinking differently because people aren’t thinking. This is the problem. There’s no mystery as to why people voted for Trump. We know why. There’s nothing to understand. They digested one unequivocally false claim after another, and on Nov. 8 took a giant dump on America. Did the Democrats fail to stand shoulder to shoulder with the HVAC guys, and the steel workers and the people making under $100K who today and into the foreseeable future will get a far better deal from Democratic policies than they will under Trump, or any Republican administration, for that matter — absolutely. The Dems made a strategic mistake. But it wasn’t for lack of understanding what was happening. We don’t respect the voice of people who cry fire in theaters that aren’t burning; and we shouldn’t ever respect the voices of people who believe Obama is a Muslim, or any of the other bullshit Trump used to fire up his base.

  • EdBeem

    I keep hearing that unless we stop criticizing Trump and his followers, they will elect him again. That suggests that Trump’s followers are even more irrational than we thought. They voted for a man who lacks the knowledge, judgment, temperament and experience to be president just to tick off liberals. Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

    • Jimmy_John67

      If that is the message you are taking from the comments then there is even less hope for you then I previously thought. Sad. Simply sad.

    • JohnQCitizen

      Again Edgar, you are delusional. I know your responses make you feel good, but we are not buying your theory!

  • EdBeem

    From what I hear, the issue that may bring Trump down is his Russian Connection. I am told that several investigative teams are close to releasing bombshell reports about his Russian dealings, dealings that will explain why he picked oil dealer Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Mark Sumner has a succinct report on this in the Daily Kos. Here’s a synopsis:

    Let’s review:

    Donald Trump has frequently expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin, viewing him as a “strong” leader who Trump “admires.” Trump has also given wildly differing statements on his personal relationship with Putin.

    Trump has, on multiple occasions, suggested a weakening of the NATO alliance.

    Despite this, Trump previously expressed support for Ukraine.

    After Trump hired Paul Manafort, a man who had worked for—and may still be working for—pro-Russian forces seeking to destroy the democratic government of Ukraine, Trump’s position on Ukraine changed to one that is far more friendly to Russia.

    Trump campaign staff, including former Rumsfeld assistant J. D. Gordon, halted the implementation of pro-Ukraine language in the GOP platform, and insisted on language that was much more supportive of Russia after saying they had to speak directly to Trump about the policy.

    One week after the change was written into the GOP platform, emails hacked from the DNC were released through Wikileaks. Both government and independent investigators have identified the hackers as being associated with the Russian government.

    Donald Trump suggested that Russia might also hack Hillary Clinton’s email server and recover 30,000 emails (which are not “missing,” but were personal emails deleted by a team of lawyers who reviewed the server).

    Trump later claimed he was being sarcastic, but within a week of his request, further hacks took place at the DCCC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. These hacks have also been identified as coming from Russian sources.

    Both Manafort and Trump issued denials that they had anything to do with the changes to the Republican platform, despite the many witnesses and despite having made no objection to the news as it was reported at the time.

    Trump, in an interview, seemed not only confused about the two-year-old invasion of the Ukraine, but gave apparently contradictory indications that, were he elected, he would cede the occupied Crimea to Russia, and that the Russians would withdraw from the Ukraine.

    None of that is speculation. Not one word of it is theory.

    • JohnQCitizen


      You are delusional! This is not “I Spy”. Get a life!

    • Queenie42

      The oil deal with Russia could mean upwards of one Trillion dollars to Putin. And billions to Trump and Rex. I always thought trading with the enemy was a treasonable offence.

      • EdBeem

        And people wonder why Trump makes nice to Putin and refuses to defend the Ukraine, which Putin wants so he can pipe oil through it.

        • Queenie42

          And Putin has a lot of “dirt” on Trump, Bannon,, Rex and Flynn which he will release if Trump doesn’t overturn the sanctions. His patience must be wearing thin.
          I have a picture of Flynn at the right hand side of Putin (Flynn was a guest speaker) at a gala event for the Russian state newspaper, RT. (Russia Today, I think that stands for.) Very cozy.

  • peterplus

    At this point, Mr. Beem, anyone who still believes that trump is anything more than a lunatic and a con man, is a moron him/herself – or a white supremacist- or an evangelical so-called christian– or all three– and should not be permitted to troll in your newspaper. But I confess that I enjoy reading their comments and laughing at their breathtaking ignorance. I can picture them all, huddled with their assault rifles, waiting to be flown up to heaven when the rapture begins. It’s great stuff. trump once said, “I became a republican because most of them are religious nuts who will believe anything.” He was right about that. By the way, heaven for these trump supporters is a large room where they will be forced to watch ‘Saturday Night Live’ episodes through eternity.

    • Jimmy_John67

      Wow a lot of hate and ignorance towards Trump supporters considering peterplus has said multiple times that he voted for Trump. So either he is wholly self deprecating or a liar who has untreated mental issues. My guess is the latter which is why Beem always upvotes his comments. Birds of a feather….