The existential roots of Trump Derangement Syndrome

The existential roots of Trump Derangement Syndrome
Image: WaPo video screen grab

Just before the French election I installed the Le Monde app on my phone. French news doesn’t interest me except as it impacts financial markets or (rarely) geopolitics. That was a mistake; the lead story in France’s top national daily yesterday at 7:00 a.m. EST involved a “tutu protest” against the allegedly homophobic Wyoming senator Mike Enzi, in which men and women donned frilly ballet skirts for a gay rights demonstration.

President-elect Emmanuel Macron is scrambling to field candidates for the National Assembly elections and proclaiming a grand reorganization of the European Union — but Le Monde reminds us what the French are really about. Trust them to point up the things we most dislike about ourselves.

Pace James Carville, we need a sign that reminds us: “It’s the culture, stupid.” One big idea unifies all of Nietzsche’s offspring — the Marxists, the Freudians, the French Existentialists, the critical theorists, the Deconstructionists, the queer theorists — and that is the right to self-invention. That is the cruelest hoax ever perpetrated on human beings, for we are not clever or strong enough to reinvent ourselves. To the extent we succeed, we become monsters.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.