Trump Derangement Syndrome

The country is in the throes of a major epidemic, with no known cure and some pretty scary symptoms. It's called Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, and it's rapidly spreading from the point of origin -- the political class -- to the population at large. TDS is a social mental illness that manifests itself in the refusal to accept the results of the 2016 elections. This ailment belongs to the category of political psychosis. Unlike most other mental disorders, TDS is a contagious disease that can cause epidemics and even pandemics.

In the first stage of the disease, victims lose all sense of proportion. President Trump's every tweet provokes a firestorm, as if 255 characters were all it took to change the world.

The mid-level stages of TDS have a profound effect on the victim's vocabulary. Sufferers speak a distinctive language consisting solely of hyperbole.

In the advanced stages of the disease, the afflicted lose touch with reality. Opinion is unmoored from fact. Life resembles a dark fairy tale in which the villain, Donald Trump, is an amalgam of all the worst tyrants in history, past and present, while the heroes, Trump's critics, are akin to the resistance fighters of World War II.

TDS victims routinely compare Trump to Hitler. Time magazine ran an opinion piece that asked "Just how similar is Donald Trump to Hitler?" The answer: "The comparison between Hitler and Trump is so poignant because both men represent their personal character as the antidote to all social and political problems."

Since Hitler has been dead for more than 70 years, though, TDS victims felt the need for a more potent bogeyman -- a tyrant with more currency -- and they've found one in Russian President Vladimir Putin. They insist the Trump is a pawn of Putin who ordered a hacking campaign to help Trump win the election.

If you ask a TDS victim what might help them feel better, they'll use the word "normalize." As in, we mustn't "normalize" Trump. What they're really saying is that normal means of dealing with him aren't enough. Which raises the question: If he's another Hitler, if he's in league with Putin, then why is assassination out of the question? Poke a TDS victim and you'll find they don't think that "solution" is out of the question at all.

This is the final stage of the TDS epidemic -- violence against a democratically elected leader. Unless a cure for TDS is found, this is where we are headed.