The Universal Notebook: ‘What is wrong with these people?’

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Obviously, I am a hyper-partisan liberal, but my lovely wife is far more reasonable. Still, several times a week when she reads the newspaper or watches the news on television Carolyn asks aloud in exasperation, “What is wrong with these people?” 

For the most part, “these people” are Republicans. And what I tell her is, “They’re out of their minds.”

America, we have a problem. No, not just the demented Donald Trump. America’s problem is that Trump went over the edge and he took the Republican Party with him.

Ever since Trump was elected I have said repeatedly that only ignorance and prejudice explain how such a clearly unfit man came to occupy the White House. Now I realize that insanity was also a major factor. Trump and his supporters are delusional.

The Cleveland Clinic website tells us “delusional disorder” is “the presence of delusions, which are unshakable beliefs in something untrue. Delusional disorders can be the result of genetic or biological factors but can also be caused by environmental or psychological stress.”

Like the fear of losing white male privilege? 

A shortlist of Trump mob mass hysteria delusions would include the crazy ideas that Trump actually won, Democrats are Satan-worshipping pedophile cannibals, the Jan. 6 insurrection was led by Antifa, school shootings are staged, western wildfires are started by Jews aiming lasers from outer space, and the government is going to take away our guns.

Trumpists, however, have no legitimate complaints. The only person who tried to steal the 2020 election is Trump. He is a liar, a cheat, and a traitor and any fair-minded rational adult can plainly see that. But a recent poll showed that 73 percent of Republicans believe enough fraud took place to change the result of the election. There is absolutely no evidence of fraud, but the fact that the majority of Republicans believe it is the reason this country is in such dire straits.

The lunatic fringe has become mainstream in the Republican Party. Trump Republicans, like the Don himself, are all people with serious personality disorders, people like Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Rudy Giuliani. We have our fair share of GOP cuckoos in Maine, too.

Trump, of course, escaped any legal consequences for his crimes in office because there were enough Republican senators who are afraid of him and his violent followers to let him skate on inciting a riot, which we all saw him do on live TV.

Trump summoned his followers to Washington the day Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote, he repeated the Big Lie that the election was being stolen, he told them to “fight like hell,” and sent them marching on the Capitol, where he promised to join them. Cowardly custard that he is, Trump then ran and hid in the White House, and applauded while his mob trashed the people’s house, threatened to hang Vice President Mike Pence, tried to hunt down Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and killed a police officer.

Trump should spend the rest of his life in prison, but he got away with murder as he always has, thanks to the mob of Republicans who worship him. At the very least he should be prevented from ever holding office again.

What is wrong with these people, you ask? Some are ignorant. Some are prejudiced. Some are crazy. And a lot of ’em are all three.

Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.