Traumatised by Trump


Yesterday I wrote about what I see as mass hysteria gripping significant sections of the left, namely the seemingly genuine conviction that Donald Trump is Hitler and that the United States already is or is on a brink of becoming a dictatorship. As someone with an actual real-life experience of a dictatorship I see this as a sheer fantasy. But it’s not just silly and unhelpful – rhetoric has consequences:

A quarter of students found the 2016 so traumatic they now report symptoms of PTSD, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed Arizona State University students around the time of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, and some had stress scores on par with that of school shooting witnesses’ seven-month follow-ups.

Twenty-five percent of the 769 students, who were an even mix of genders and races and socioeconomic backgrounds, reported ‘clinically significant’ levels of stress.

The most severe cases were seen among women, black, and non-white Hispanic students, who were 45 percent more likely to feel distressed by the 2016 run between Trump and Hillary Clinton…

In January and February 2017, psychology students at Arizona State were given questions based on the Impact of Event Scale, which is used to assess distress in trauma victims.

Most (56.4 percent) of the students, who live in a state that voted for Trump, said they were not happy with the result – 20 percent somewhat dissatisfied, and 38 percent completely dissatisfied.

Meanwhile, 18.5 percent of the students said they were completely satisfied with the result, and 25 percent were somewhat satisfied.

In terms of how the election impacted their lives, 65 percent said there was no impact. Ten percent said they saw a positive impact.

But a quarter were so crestfallen their symptoms would be deemed a medical condition, severe enough to interfere with their work, social activities, and personal relationships.

I would venture a guess that these results could be largely replicated across other universities and other faculties, as well as certain other sections of the community outside of tertiary education (there is certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence about the psychological impact of the election on individuals; for starters you can Google “Trump trauma” and go from there). Which leads me to these two observations:

If you are traumatised by an election result you have invested far too much of yourself in politics. This is not healthy at all. I suspect that the Millennials are particularly prone to go this extreme. It’s a perfect storm of ignorance-producing failing education system, the sensory and emotional saturation of social media and the 24-hour news cycles that create the artificially heightened sense of the present crisis unanchored in reality, and indulgent upbringing that created a particularly self-centered generation. The result is that too many young people live without the ability to see the world around them in proper context and perspective. Older people know that politics is cyclical – sometime your side is up, sometimes it’s down but the great Republic has been around for over two hundred years and has survived reasonably well all the swings and the roundabouts of ideological conflict. For the young people who seem to know little about history or how life works, everything old is new and unprecedented, creating reactions at the extremes of elation and despondence far out of proportion with the objective circumstances.

But the situation becomes even worse when that tendency to exaggerate the significance of the current events gets positively reinforced by those in society who should know better. If you bombard the already impressionable and vulnerable young people with constant messages that Donald Trump is the second coming of the Fuhrer and their country is on the brink of a Nazi dystopia, no wonder a significant minority will end up being traumatised when Trump ends up getting elected. The left with its completely overheated rhetoric is literally scaring people into mental trauma.

It takes a village to raise a snowflake and it takes a village to keep them perpetually melting. Shame on you, people.