18 June 2008

Close Encounter with BDS

Charles Krauthammer described Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) in December 2003 as: “the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush” (italics in the original). Until quite recently, I had never experienced this phenomenon first-hand.

I won’t go into the particulars of the encounter too much. Let it be said that my interlocutor is an educated person who, apart from this conversation, is just an average, self-described liberal. This person and I have had a few charged conversations before, but they all went off without any ill feeling afterwards.

I do not list the following particulars as an attack of any kind on the person who shared them with me. Rather, I hope to show the lack of logic resident in this point of view; the source of this lack of logic is hyper-emotional thinking. The following are paraphrases.

- Bush is a fascist and the U.S. is under his dictatorship. (For more on the roots of fascism, I highly recommend reading Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.)
- Bush and his cronies monitor civilian activity in the U.S. The Patriot Act is proof of this.
- The Iraq War was designed and has been extended to enrich Bush, Cheney, and their friends.
- The military-industrial complex enriches Bush, Cheney, and their friends through no-bid contracts to Haliburton.
- (Notwithstanding all of the above) Bush is an idiot.

I feel compelled to describe the crescendo of the conversation in more detail. My interlocutor charged that Mr. Bush is still a practicing alcoholic. As proof, I was shown a video (on a cell phone) of the President at a wedding reception, circa 2003. My interlocutor urged me while I watched the video to admit that Mr. Bush was obviously drunk and slurring. There was no sign of alcohol visible in the video. Having been to many a wedding myself and watched more than a few Bush Q&A sessions, the President seemed like his usual self – slightly hesitant and wary of saying something which might be not quite right – and quite sober. For this observation, I was politely told that I was something akin to blind.

It occurs to me that, much in line with rational thinkers elsewhere, it is utterly impossible to reason with BDS afflicted persons. Theirs is beyond reason, built on the assumption that all evil in American finds its focus and source in President Bush (and his VP). If the focus of this affliction were any other person, it would be equally irrational. That its focus is the current president is, if nothing else, damaging to the country.

What is troubling is that as the political process moves forward, the Left will attempt – indeed, already is attempting – to directly equate Sen. McCain to President Bush. Obviously, this is being done for election year reasons and without regard for the true differences between the two men.

However, if successful, those afflicted with BDS will have the opportunity to smoothly morph their current derangement into MCCDS. While this may prove immensely comfortable for BDS sufferers, it would not be a healthy prescription for the nation.

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