In Brief: The Lethal Wages of Trump Derangement
Trump Derangement Syndrome cost countless lives, says Victor Davis Hanson.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson understands context. He also understands the Left and its almost literally blinding hatred of Donald Trump. That hatred had deadly results, as he explains:
Think about it: For about five years, anything candidate, president-elect, and President Trump said or did, the media, the Left, and progressive popular culture opposed in Pavlovian fashion.
Anything that Trump touched was ridiculed or discredited — regardless of evidence, data, or cogency. The merits of a Trump policy, a Trump assessment, a Trump initiative were irrelevant — given the primordial hatred of the Left of all things Trump: the president, the person, the family.
Under the reductionist malady of Trump Derangement Syndrome, facts and logic did not matter. Instead, anything not said or done in opposition to Trump empowered the supposed existential Trump threat. Ironically, some of the most deductive and reductionist Trump haters were supposedly professionals, the highly educated, and the self-proclaimed devotees of the Enlightenment. And yet in their uncontrolled aversion and detestation, they suspended all the rules of empiricism, logic, and rationality — and people died as a result.
It was far more than the tarnished careers of Andrew Cuomo or Anthony Fauci. It was the “unnecessary deaths of Americans in particular.”
For over a year, anyone who questioned the official NIH/NIAID/Fauci narrative that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a new viral mutation that had jumped to humans from bats (or pangolins) — perhaps carved up in the Wuhan wet market — was attacked both personally and professionally. Why? Mostly because Trump himself had questioned just that improbable hypothesis. And Trump certainly could not be right. But even if he were, it was still the moral thing to say he was not.
Connecting the dots of a biosafety level-4 virology lab, at or near the first recorded cases of COVID-19, was a mortal sin — simply because Trump had alleged just that. Instead, we were to discount the twisted relationships between the known gain-of-function viral research going on in the lab, the absence of any known animal infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the connections of the lab with the Chinese military, the lab’s known lax safety record, the systematic efforts of the Chinese Communist government and the World Health Organization to lie about the origins and nature of the virus, the year-long effort to stonewall Wuhan investigations, and the conflict-of-interest statements, behaviors, and policies of prominent American health officials who routed funding to gain-of-function research at Wuhan.
Instead, we were to believe a Chinese/American media-fed narrative of a sick bat, far from Wuhan, infected with SARS-COV-2 (any such culprits are as yet still undiscovered) that jump-started a chain of mutations that eventually turned the pathogen into a human strain that became a highly infectious pandemic in a way not seen since the Spanish flu over a century ago.
Had the country removed such knee-jerk, venomous hatred from the equation, and instead encouraged scientists to examine the evidence in disinterested fashion in early 2020, then we might have known what we are only beginning to learn now — a year earlier and with hundreds of thousands of Americans perhaps still alive.
Hanson goes on to explain the fallout from this sickness — the TDS, that is. That included the about-face on hydroxychloroquine once Trump praised it, a demonization that one estimate says cost perhaps 100,000 lives. It also included the Left’s obsession with Russia, which, ironically, allowed Vladimir Putin to grow stronger and endanger the world. And it included the border, which is now in full-blown deadly crisis. “The lethal examples of the wages of irrational and deranged Trump hatred,” says Hanson, “are nearly countless.”
He concludes, “Irrationally hating everything Donald Trump touched was not just pathological, it often became downright scary — and deadly — for Americans.”
- Victor Davis Hanson
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