I have finally met one in the flesh. My partner and I were in conversation with a very pleasant American couple. The talk moved to the subject of the rather quiet high tourist season currently being experienced in our neck of the Costa Rican woods or, rather, rain forest. We all considered as a factor something I have heard blamed before, namely the American presidential election and its unexpected result. Personally, I can’t see why the election of Donald Trump would cause thousands of people to cancel their holiday plans unless they were illegal immigrants, but every broken shoelace and heat rash at the moment is being blamed on the incumbent in the White House. Then the female half of the double act spoke. The situation, she claimed, was unlikely to change “unless there is an assassination”.
Now, everyone is familiar with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Jill Stein’s pathetic recount, Rachel Maddow’s embarrassing tax ‘bombshell’ that saw her hoist by her own petard, the elite and media meltdown over everything Trump does or says, the Streep brigade making virtue-signalling a Hollywood epic, unelected EU leaders threatening to break up the USA, Obama, Soros and the deep state and, of course, the millennial snowflakes of the Thickest Generation. But this is different.
I have mentioned before that the north Americans I have met in Costa Rica are almost always Democrats who adored Obama and believe Clinton was a great public servant who should be the USA’s first woman president. They also suffer in varying degrees from TDS. More, if they take to you, they automatically assume that you must be in complete agreement with them. For if you are personable and intelligent plus, in my case, a musician, how could you not think these things?
There is a palpable feeling that a lot of people would be dancing in the streets if Trump caught an assassin’s bullet. This is what the US has become, a country so divided that apparently ordinary people are hoping for and actively supporting the violent death of an elected president. Naturally, however, that is not the whole story.
As mentioned, the vast majority of Yanks I meet are Democrats. They know almost nothing about American politics, and indeed my partner politely informed one that I knew more about the US political scene than the average American. It is far more likely to be well-off Democrats who can afford holidays in Central America, and immigration here, than the poorer Republicans in what is contemptuously referred to as ‘flyover country’. One older couple I met informed me politely, when I mentioned how beautiful I had found Virginia, that although this was so, you still had to beware of the ‘southern mentality’. I refrained to mention that I vastly preferred it to her Manhattan Jew mentality.
But TDS is real, is – as the young people say – ‘a thing’. When ordinary people smilingly announce that they want a man dead, there has been a subtle and disturbing shift in the ethical tectonic plates.