I write this on Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection and hope in the Christian calendar, but such a bright promise looks a bit thin given what is going on in our world, our country: what looks like a mass outbreak of mental illness among our political class.
I say this because here is a group of people – journalists, politicians, and other Very Serious Persons – who have hated our new President from the get-go. He's Hitler, he's Mussolini, he's Pepe the frog! He's this, he's that, he's Our National Nightmare! And yet the minute he starts bombing foreigners he's suddenly not so bad after all. Over at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, the CIA's journalistic front man, says he's "becoming a credible foreign policy leader." Ruth Marcus opines that we're witnessing "the normalization of Donald Trump." Finally, she enthuses, "rationality is dawning" on the forty-fifth President! Among the liberal elite, the hosannas were well nigh universal. As Ann Coulter noted:
"Cable news hosts gushed, 'Trump became president of the United States tonight!' On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing 'beautiful' three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the 'women of the Senate,' according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, 'On Syria Attack, Trump's Heart Came First.'"
Fareed Zakaria's joy over the bombing seemed to indicate that, for him, it was practically an erotic experience. And this weird bloodlust wasn't limited to the liberal precincts of the commentariat – far from it. When we dropped the MOAB on Afghanistan, Kimberly Guilfoyle practically had an orgasm over at Fox News. Sitting there in her low cut red dress, her breasts heaving with passion, her lips parted, and an ecstatic smile plastered on her heavily made-up face, she hailed the bombing as if it were the climax – so to speak – of a pornographic movie: "America is back!" Oh, yeeeesssss!!!!
The craziness is pandemic, and it doesn't only revolve around war-worship. The new sadism is flavored with the spice of paranoia. A major political party is now in the throes of a paranoid delusion that the Russians are in control of the US government, and one of their agents sits in the Oval Office, where he is addressed as "Mr. President." And not only that, but someone who is invited to write for the New York Times and is considered a legitimate journalist is telling us that …. well, see for yourself.
Okay, Louise Mensch may be a bit of an outright lunatic, and yet we have no less than two congressional committees investigating this conspiracy theory, with the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and Rachel Maddow all doing their best to validate it. Paranoia used to be considered a form of mental illness: today it is regarded as just another ideology, and not a fringe phenomenon but the animating style and overriding preoccupation of what we used to call "liberalism" in this country.