(NEW YORK SUN) – Like many others, I have for some time been trying to understand Trump Derangement Syndrome, the phenomenon of otherwise reasonable people reacting irrationally to some peculiar quality of the president, a quality especially in evidence when he is in the presence of his supporters.
Some of it is easy enough to comprehend. Unlike any president since at least Jackson, Mr. Trump was elected by attacking the entire political class from right to left and practically all leaders of both parties and the parties themselves. He managed to stir up enough discontent to win the nomination of one of the parties and then got just enough votes in the right places to win the election.
Since Mr. Trump had opposed everyone in both parties, they all opposed him, and the Republicans, almost as much as the Democrats, wanted to get rid of him. If there had been any truth at all to the gigantic fatuity about Trump-campaign collusion with Russia, there would have been bipartisan enthusiasm and relief in throwing him out of the White House like a large dead mouse.
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Mr. Trump was not only the first president who had never sought or held a public office, elected or unelected, or a military position. He also had no knowledge of the official procedures and attitudes in the upper approaches to the presidency. As he had changed parties seven times in 13 years looking for his chance to try the novel theory of turning celebrity, and often rather crass celebrity, into electability, and had countered press skepticism with social-media direct contact with the people, supplemented by support on the talk-radio circuit, which generally enlists the attention of a lower-middle- and working-class demographic, he had no cadre of political loyalists to assist him.