WASHINGTON: To the growing list of psychological illnesses in a country that hasn’t discovered a problem it has not monetised, add ‘Trump anxiety’. Apparently, shrinks, therapists, and even masseurs are reporting an uptick in clients coming to them with apprehensions about the possible election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th President.
Based largely on anecdotal accounts, the sample is small and mostly located on the East Coast, which in any event is known for its liberal bias. But publications ranging from Washington Post to Wall Street Journal have cited psychologists reporting an increase in patients with whatthey term “Trump anxiety”. That includes some disquiet among shrinks themselves.
“Part of the reason he makes people so anxious is that he has no anxiety himself. It’s frightening,” one psychologist was quoted as saying, a day after the ferocious Detroit debate in which the candidates fetishized about the size of hands vis-a-vis other parts of the anatomy.
Another reason behind the increased stress associated with Trump, psychologist Alison Howard said, was the sense that the real estate mogul tramples over social mores and is allowed “to get away with it”.
Whether psychologists in Middle America and the hinterland that constitutes the Republican redoubts feel a similar unease about the possible election of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is not clear. But like Sarah Palin, who copped four times as many jokes as Obama in the 2008 elections, Trump is getting hammered on the comedy front, with Hillary a distant second.
Comedians though are trying to make light of the Trump mania. “It’s being reported that the Democrats have a plan to “shatter the Republican Party”. When he heard, Donald Trump said, “Beat youtoit!”” ‘LateNight’ host Conan O’Brien joked last night. Then, referring to Ted Cruz trying to tie Trump to a prominent mobster, O’Brien kidded that in an attempt to repair the damage to his reputation, the mobster is distancing himself from Trump.
That feeling pervades even nations. The latest joke is that after watching Trump’s rise, Canada and Mexico intend to build the kind of wall on its border with the US that Trump wants to build on the US border withMexico—to prevent anti-Trump Americans from crossing over.
Meanwhile, those with Trump anxiety who cannot decamp to Canada or Mexico may have to figure out other kind of mental blocks.