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The Hidden Truth Colorado Court Ruling Reveals About “Trump Derangement Syndrome”

Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2023
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by Walter Samuel
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AMAC Exclusive – By Walter Samuel

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One aspect of the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision to disqualify Trump from appearing on the state’s Republican primary ballot which the mainstream media entirely missed is that the split was not partisan (all seven justices were appointed by Democrats) but rather by educational pedigree. The three justices who dissented, including the Chief, all attended law school at the University of Denver. Meanwhile, the four justices who made up the majority attended Yale, Harvard, Penn, and Virginia respectively – all considered elite academic institutions.

This dividing line is a perfect demonstration of what has come to be known as “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and in particular how elites are especially vulnerable to this affliction.

Trump Derangement Syndrome refers to the way in which hostility toward Trump drives partisans to abandon all their purported principles and often even any tenuous connection with reality. Modeled on earlier efforts to apply similar terms to critics of presidents going back to Clinton, the concept has existed since the early days of the Republic. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, was regularly accused of planning to send political critics to the guillotine if he ever became president during the 1790s.

The anti-Trump variety is special indeed because of its propensity not just to infect those exposed to a steady diet of partisan politics, but also the significant extent to which leading figures within American institutions prove susceptible.

Officials with decades-long careers within the FBI suddenly became convinced of ridiculous conspiracies on the flimsiest of evidence (at least those who weren’t knowingly fabricating the Russia Hoax). Likewise, preposterous “Russian collusion” rumors were trafficked by previously venerated journalists and leading news organizations. The C-suites of corporate America, especially at large social media firms, likewise became infected with a blinding hatred of Trump.

All of this highlighted how Trump Derangement Syndrome is, at a fundamental level, an elite disease. It spreads through elite institutions, with their campuses and alumni networks as its breeding ground.

Accordingly, the members of the Democrat coalition who have proven most resistant to Trump Derangement Syndrome have been those furthest from those institutions – one reason why non-white Democrats generally expressed the most skepticism of the party’s positions on COVID-19 lockdowns and open borders.

By contrast, the presence of a degree from an Ivy league or equivalent school on someone’s CV absent explicit evidence of conservative/Republican allegiance is an almost perfect indicator that they will profess a profound hatred of Trump and anyone associated with him.

Those prejudices cross party lines. Much has been made of the support for disqualifying Donald Trump by “leading lights” of the Federalist Society and the conservative legal movement. Michael Luttig, twice considered by Republican presidents for the Supreme Court, has become one of the most outspoken figures on this matter.

But this does not indicate that the cause is bipartisan, but rather that it is a class one, and a product of echo chambers.

Until recently, discussion of economic mobility has been confined to the left, and the old left at that. The new left is far more concerned with identity politics.

With hindsight, several old left figures spotted a trend in the 1980s that has done perhaps more than anything else to influence society today. Social mobility has depended on a number of factors, but one of the key determinants is intermarriage. In the past, while the absolute elite mostly intermarried, gender inequality and the shortage of female professionals meant that male doctors often married female nurses or librarians, many of whom then became homemakers.

As the gender balance shifted, men and women increasingly married socially similar partners. Male lawyers at elite law firms married their female counterparts. Male doctors married their medical school classmates.

The result was an insular world, in which their children, with homogenous familial backgrounds on both sides, were pushed toward attending their parents’ alma maters as legacies, at which point they met future partners from almost identical backgrounds.

The danger here was not, as the old left posited, an economic one. If anything, the professional class is economically weaker today relative to the titans of industry, now reinforced by Silicon Valley, than forty-years ago. The actual danger was creating a social and cultural bubble around the professional classes from which most judges, civil servants, academics, journalists, and medical professionals are drawn. They quite simply do not interact with anyone else, and these informational bubbles become self-reinforcing.

It is no coincidence that the consequences have been felt where social class is most homogenous: university campuses, professional associations, and the federal government.

That brings us to the Colorado Supreme Court decision, which was a product of Trump Derangement Syndrome, although not in a direct sense. The judges, like most members of the professional elite, pride themselves on their professionalism, and adherence to procedures.

Rather, their entire decision is based upon premises which collapse at the first contact with the outside world. Namely, the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision rests on the idea that it is factually uncontested that Donald Trump took part in an insurrection, despite no federal body having alleged either that he did so or that an insurrection even took place.

Despite this, the left will now argue that the question is irrelevant and that the decision is not subject to second-guessing by the Supreme Court. The Colorado District Court Judge purported to determine as a matter of “fact” that an insurrection took place, and no member of the Colorado Supreme Court disagreed. The claim is then made that the U.S. Supreme Court should be unable to review the decision and any effort to do so would amount to another “blatant display of partisanship” by a “right-wing court.”

This is farcical, but also shows the lens through which criticisms of the Supreme Court are now generally made. The attacks on the Court are no longer purely ideological, but based upon demands for elite solidarity, mixed with cries of betrayal.

John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh repeatedly receive exhortations to “preserve the integrity of the institution” – in other words to make rulings in line with the elite consensus of their class rather than with their own interpretation of the arguments they hear. The charges against Alito and Thomas, in turn, tend to be a mixture of portraying Alito as an actor somehow driven by hostility towards liberal elites, precedents, or institutions, and Thomas as someone who “sold out” rather than someone who has beliefs of his own.

It is of course not only with Donald Trump where this elite solidarity comes up. Almost the entire debate about whether children should be able to medically “transition” comes down to the argument that the professional medical associations – in other words, the “experts” – should be the final authority on all decisions. The assertion is that law should defer to facts, and elite-dominated organs should solely determine what the facts are. Who proposes what “the facts” are is more important than the content of those “facts” themselves.

How else to explain the discrepancy between the attitude of this judicial class toward challenges to Donald Trump’s eligibility today and to Barack Obama fifteen years ago? The Michigan Supreme Court, which does not have a single graduate of a tier-one law school other than Michigan, unlike its Colorado counterpart, recently unanimously affirmed a lower court decision keeping Donald Trump on the ballot.

The Michigan decision observed that on three separate occasions federal courts had rejected the jurisdiction of state courts over whether Barack Obama was a natural-born citizen. They argued that it was not the business of state courts to determine the meaning of a federal constitutional clause, much less introduce their own enforcement mechanism.

At the time, the challenges to Obama’s eligibility were seen as frivolous efforts to abuse the court system, and the idea that a state court could simply declare Obama not to be a natural-born citizen was seen as a threat to the democratic process. Similarly, a claim that John McCain was not a natural-born citizen as he was born in the Panama Canal Zone was thrown out.

The difference was not in the strength of the arguments. John McCain in fact was born outside of the United States, and Congress had yet to codify that children born to two American parents outside the country were natural-born citizens.

A court could have easily suggested that the burden was on Barack Obama to prove his eligibility rather than on his opponents to prove he was ineligible. It would have been partisan and bad for the country, but it’s certainly conceivable a court could have done so, especially in a deep-red state.

The actual difference in the elite responses to these scenarios was that efforts to remove John McCain and Barack Obama from the ballot were threats to what elites considered the political system to be, whereas Donald Trump himself, in their mind, represents a threat to that system. Hence the rhetoric about “protecting the Constitution” and “democracy” is really about weaponizing the courts and other institutions to remove those whose presence undermines what the elites consider to be “their” system and to protect those whose presence they consider vital.

The greatest threat to our political system’s legitimacy has come from its increased identification with the elites who dominate it. The more the “Constitution” becomes associated with a cry to protect the privileges of elite university graduates and to shield a professional civil service from accountability, the less ordinary Americans will feel invested in it. Implicit in the Colorado decision is that ordinary Americans cannot be trusted to protect the Constitution, so the Constitution must be made to protect America from them.

When a real threat to democracy comes along, there may well be no one to defend it. 

Walter Samuel is the pseudonym of a prolific international affairs writer and academic. He has worked in Washington as well as in London and Asia, and holds a Doctorate in International History.

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anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

They are petrified of what he represents

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
6 months ago

We have WAY TOO MANY Ivy-League graduates in high places! They are doctrinaire socialists who seek the destruction of America. An Ivy-League degree should be a DISqualification for office!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
6 months ago

TO CENSOR FREE SPEECH & we all lose

J. FARLEY
J. FARLEY
6 months ago

Trump Deragement Syndrome is putting it mildly It’s more like Loony Syndrome, but of course Colorado leadership has gone to Hell, the Govenor, State House, the Senate and the Courts. A Sate wandering in the wilderness.
God Save Colorado!

Florida Freedom
Florida Freedom
6 months ago

Seems like an Ivy League degree has become a stain on one’s resume, identifying one as a cultural elite who views everyone else as “little people” who must follow the dictates of the elite. Those who have such views will soon have an encounter session with reality.

Paul Smith
Paul Smith
6 months ago

Long live the Second Amendment!

Kinney
Kinney
6 months ago

How do you get a good federal job? Turn hard left after leaving Harvard.

Dean Brittain
Dean Brittain
6 months ago

Excellent article. Accurate and factual.

MariaRose
MariaRose
6 months ago

Anytime one mentions TDS, they get all pearl-clutching offended, yet can’t see the damage that their chosen leaders have done. They don’t want to hear the opinions of regular people because their “pedigree” degree gives them the illusion of superiority. I have one opinion of pedigree degrees, especially since they have created high student loan debt and created no jobs (except for those in nepotism slots) and they are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

I can already predict the outcome should SCOTUS overturn Colorado: the next state in line will turn around and actually charge Trump with insurrection first. It won’t matter if they convict or not but just charging him makes keeping him off their ballots will be “legal”. I’m taking odds… it’s either that or Trump will receive a “congratulatory” case of “fine” Delaware wine just before a flight!

mikem
mikem
6 months ago

TDR is real and lives in liberal minds to the point it’s the last thing they think about before they sleep and the first thing they think about upon awakening. then there are those who have it for fear that when trump gets elected they will spend millions on court appearance to try and stay out of jail.

Denise Murray
Denise Murray
6 months ago

I’ve been convinced since Trump was first elected that he’d make fools out of the demorats. A. by doing what he promised…and he did. Meanwhile Pelosi and her street thugs filed phony lawsuit after phony lawsuit…and the one that Comrade Clintonista pushed was so preposterous that no doubt even democrats with two braincells wouldn’t believe it. I’m sure he’s got a very effective guard detail…the loony left isn’t about ‘removing’ someone who has the “gall” to upset their plans for a one party dictatorship.

Henry
Henry
6 months ago

The King is dead, long live the King. Except in this case. There are many who will stop these participants.

sue
sue
5 months ago

They are so smart, they are stupid—that goes for the ivy leaguers. Wonder they don’t have poison ivy from all that ivy. Kudzu is a prolific vine that when goes unchecked it suffocates everything.

Paul
Paul
6 months ago

Trump will get past this,and when he does,his next term will be even better.

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