Trump Derangement Syndrome is a disease that transgresses borders of culture, success, and economic comfort. You can find it as easily in your local Facebook groups as you can in Washington, D.C. You can find it at the corner barber shop and you can find it on the pages of The New York Times.
But while it may be obnoxious when THAT cousin starts spewing nonsense at the Thanksgiving table, there’s something even worse about minor celebrities using their limited fame as a soapbox upon which to bash President Trump and his supporters. It’s bad enough that we have to hear this crap from a Hollywood icon like Robert de Niro; do we really need to hear it from Kathy Griffin?
On the last days of 2019, here are three Hollywood has-beens who just had to get in one more shot at Trump before ringing in the new year. Get your barf bag ready.
Best known for the role of Sulu on Star Trek, absurdly-gay actor George Takei has turned Twitter into his personal rocket launcher from which to lob bombs at President Trump. It was perhaps inevitable that he would close out the year with one more shot across the bow.
“The thing about Trump voters is that they do not even realize they are enabling the desolation of our Republic,” Takei said. “They somehow think they are preserving America, but in fact they are helping destroy it. And that is a tragedy of enormous scope.”
Well, George, you’re right about one thing: We definitely don’t “realize” that we’re destroying the Republic. You should probably make a New Years’ Resolution to figure out the difference between opinion and fact, though. And maybe a second one – to stay off Twitter.
No one can disparage Linda Ronstadt’s career, as she was one of the defining female singers of the 1970s, and her mastery of the craft speaks for itself. But TDS affects the talented and the untalented alike, sadly. And in an interview with CNN this week, Ronstadt demonstrated that she’s come down with a brutal case of it.
“Some of my family in Tucson are Republicans,” she confided to Anderson Cooper. “I have to be careful because we’ve had so much taken away from us by this administration that I’m not willing to let him take my family relationships away. The parts that were Republican were fairly rational Republicans. We don’t have that in that current White House.”
One wonders if Ronstadt could name one specific thing that President Trump has “taken away” from her or her family.
Cooper, of course, skipped that question in favor of this one: “I’ve read that you have read a lot about the Weimar Republic in Germany, and you sort of see parallels between then and now.”
“Great parallels,” she replied. “I mean the intelligentsia of Berlin and literati and all artists were just doing their thing, and as Hitler rose to power, there were a lot of chances to stop him, and they didn’t speak out. The industrial complex thought they could control him once they got him in office, and of course, he was not controllable. By the time he got established, he put his own people in place and stacked the courts and did what he had to do to consolidate his power, and we got Hitler. He destroyed Germany, destroyed centuries of intellectual history, forward and backward. People like Beethoven, Goethe, and Thomas Mann became jokes. They became Nazi laughing stocks.”
“I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear comparisons between what happened then and now,” said Cooper.
Well, not regular viewers of CNN.
“If you read the history, you won’t be surprised,” she continued. “It is exactly the same. You find a common enemy for everybody to hate. I was sure that Trump was going to get elected the day he announced. I said he’s going to—it is going to be like Hitler and the Mexicans are the new Jews. And sure enough, that is what he delivered.”
Like fellow D-List comedian Kathy Griffin, Handler has turned the Trump presidency into an excuse to forgo “comedy” and turn her fame into a political platform. Handler has yet to pose for controversial art that imagines the beheading of the president, but instead has decided that her true enemy is white women who vote Republican.
“I hope the 53% of white women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 realize the damage he has caused to people who are not white,” she said. “I hope in 2020 they can think about what it’s like to not be them.”
Yep, you really have to pity black Americans in the Trump era. How they are coping with record-low unemployment levels, rising wages, and absolutely no reduction in their rights, privileges, or liberties, we’ll never understand. Thankfully, Chelsea Handler is here to remind us (and, presumably, them) how terrible things actually are.
We’re tempted to hope that 2020 brings us a much-needed cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome and its ugly symptoms. Unfortunately, we have a feeling that the results of the next election are only going to exacerbate the pandemic.
Oh well. Worth it.