NOTE: Written before Clinton lost and Trump won, this essay reveals much
about the 'Lynch Trump' mania currently dominating all forms of media and
preventing too many people from realizing (much less acknowledging) what's
actually going on in the world and in their lives. Perhaps this is an
intended (not accidental) effect. Be aware that the flagship of Prgressive
media, the Huffington Post, published this. Note the ending, where the
author implies (in faux humor) his willingness to cast multiple votes for
Clinton. It's puzzling that what Harold Rosenberg described as 'the herd of
independent thinkers' weren't at all focused on the most obvious, grotesque
errors and flaws of Obama and his associates. Schiller's words shed some
light on this and help us understand a little of what we're seeing today: *The
boldness of the schemes which malice is able to contemplate and to carry
out must excite astonishment, as must also the means of which it can avail
itself to accomplish its aims. *
by Jonathan Small 09/10/2016 02:22 pm ET
*For a person suffering from germ phobia, that ritual is hand washing. For
a person with OTD, it’s obsessive checking and re-checking every available
screen for bad news about Trump.*
The symptoms start seconds after I awake in the morning. Like an addict
reaching for his pain meds, I fumble for my iPhone and scroll through my
feeds for the latest news about Donald Trump.
I scan for words like “lies,” “fledgling campaign,” and “raccoon hands.”
Each time I see them a little pleasure center ignites in the frontal lobe
of my brain.
But the high is fleeting. As I get ready for work, I flip through the
morning news shows hoping for a juicy story on Trump’s declining poll
numbers. Left-leaning political podcasts are the soundtrack of my morning
commute. At the office, I check my social media feeds again.
I suffer from a psychological disorder nobody but me calls OTD or Obsessive
Some signs and symptoms:
- Impulsive thoughts and urges related to getting negative news about
- Repeatedly checking to make sure Trump is screwing up
- Compulsive “liking” and sharing negative posts about his campaign
It works like this: First, I must know what Trump did wrong. Then I need to
know what other people think about what he did wrong—and how this will
adversely affect his candidacy. When I’m not fully satisfied with that
feedback, I need to hear more negative news about Trump.
And thus the cycle continues—an endless loop of joy and pain, sunshine and
I wondered if I was alone in my OTD. Is it one of those silent diseases
that sufferers are too ashamed to talk about, but actually cripples
hundreds of thousands of people every day?
So I phone Eli Karam, Ph.D, a clinical therapist in Louisville, Kentucky.
He’s level-headed and sharp, with just the right amount of ambivalence
towards Trump to be the objective voice I need to hear. To my surprise, he
tells me that my self-diagnosed neuroses isn’t so far from an actual real
“A true sign of OCD is that you have an obsessive thought that you can’t
get rid of,” he explains. “So you develop a ritual to get that thought out
of your head.”
For a person suffering from germ phobia, that ritual is hand washing. For a
person with OTD, it’s obsessive checking and re-checking every available
screen for bad news about Trump.
Dr. Karam’s explanation helped shed light on what I was doing, but I still
didn’t know why I was doing it. Germaphobes (like Trump, ironically) are
driven by a fear of being exposed to germs. What was my fear?
I didn’t have to dig deep into my childhood to figure it out. The answer
was right there for all to see, like a huge tuft of orange hair.
“The idea of a President Trump is so terrifying, that you look for negative
things about him in the media to convince yourself that he’s not going to
Can you blame me? While Trump is an underdog, this thing is far from a done
deal. None other than Michael Moore predicts Trump will win
Experts point to Brexit as an example of what could happen here. The
debates are still a month away, and they could radically change the race.
Then there are those deleted Hillary Clinton emails
Just writing that last paragraph makes me want to type “Trump” and
“woefully unprepared” into Google and read every article that pops up. I
wish I could jump in a DeLorean and time travel into the future, so I would
just know what happens.
This is textbook OTD. “You can’t stand being in limbo,” says Dr. Karam. “So
to function, you try to find enough sources to confirm what a tyrant and
narcissist Trump is.” That’s why people with OTD need their fix. The
ambiguity of the election is just too overwhelming to handle sober.
Ok, fine. I get it. I got a fever for more Trump. So what’s the
“It’s never cold turkey,” says Dr. Karam. “You need to undergo a systematic
desensitization.” In laymen’s terms that means I need to gradually limit my
exposure to the things that are causing my OTD in the first place—my phone,
my laptop, my TV, my tablet. Basically if it glows, it goes.
Dr. Karam encourages me to switch up my routine. Instead of waking up and
looking at my phone, I should go to the gym. Instead of listening to
political pundits, I should listen to Headspace . “Taper down your Trump
intake to 15 or 20 minutes a day.”
Lastly, I need to accept what I can’t control. “You’re not going to figure
this out until the second week of November,” says Dr. Karam. “You only have
control over one thing—the way you vote.”
Punching that hole repeatedly for Hillary Clinton on November 8th is one
obsessive compulsion I will gladly tolerate.