Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Daniel Henninger, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

Public Theater should cancel its Trump assassination play... But it won’t.

James T. Hodgkinson, who on Wednesday shot Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and four others, posted this on his Facebook page March 22: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Sitting in the dying light of World War I, the poet T.S. Eliot wrote, “I had not thought death had undone so many.” What’s our excuse? Displays of political or social excess seem to be everywhere. Whatever once fastened the doors of people’s minds to something secure and stable has become unhinged.

Some thought the apotheosis of political derangement had been reached when celebrity Kathy Griffin posted a video of herself holding the bloody, severed head of Donald Trump.

But that wasn’t the end of it. We may assume that as Ms. Griffin was creating her video, the artists at New York’s Public Theater were rehearsing their production of “ Julius Caesar, ” the one in which Central Park audiences watch Caesar as a blond-haired Donald Trump, who is pulled down from a podium by men in suits and assassinated with plunging knives.

The news site Axios runs stories regularly about journalists who have been suspended or fired because of their unhinged postings on Twitter . After Donald Trump used a tweet to revive his long-running feud with the mayor of London amid the June 3 killings, CNN personality Reza Aslan tweeted that Mr. Trump was a “piece of s—.”

Some take comfort that these displays did not go unpunished. CNN wrist-slapped Ms. Griffin by dropping her as co-host of its New Year’s Eve show with Anderson Cooper. Delta Air Lines , American Express and Bank of America withdrew their sponsorship of “Julius Caesar,” though New York City’s Democratic Comptroller Scott Stringer said their pullout “sends the wrong message.”

Advertisers must wake up every morning wondering what political meteorite will hit them next. J.P. Morgan Chase pulled its ads this week from NBC News rather than be associated with Megyn Kelly’s prime-time interview with Alex Jones to discuss “controversies and conspiracies,” such as his notion that the Sandy Hook murders were a hoax. Ms. Kelly justified the interview in part on Twitter because Donald Trump appeared on Mr. Jones’s show and “our job is 2 shine a light.”

Donald Trump’s election has caused psychological unhingement in much of the population. But the Trump phenomenon only accelerated forces that were plummeting in this direction before the 2016 election.

Social media—a permanent marinade for the human brain—is causing a vast, mysterious transformation of how people process experience, and maybe someday a future B.F. Skinner will explain what it has done to us.

Impossible to miss, though, is how jacked up emotional intensity has become in American politics. The campaign rallies of both Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders often sat on the edge of violence. Reporters describe political town hall meetings as full of “angry” voters. Shouting down the opposition in these forums or on campus has been virtually internalized as standard behavior. Refusal to reason is the new normal. And then the unreason is euphemized as free speech.

Explaining away these impulses as a routine turn of the populist political cycle is insufficient. Something more permanent is happening.

I remain fascinated with the case of the 10 incoming Harvard freshmen who celebrated their achievement by posting a series of remarkably repulsive, violent photographic memes on Facebook. One said abusing children was sexually arousing; another described the hanging of a Mexican child as “piñata time.”

What those no-longer Harvard students had done was create a “private” Facebook messaging board, where they somehow felt free to mock and subvert current social convention. They aren’t alone. The website Reddit, which has about 500 million monthly visitors, became known for similar “anonymous” bulletin boards on which men, for example, exchange outrageous sexual postings.

We negotiate much of daily life now in tense, parallel universes: One is overflowing with individual political and social behavior that is deviant—flights from the norm—at a time when broader norms of political and social behavior are enforced with a vengeance. Today you can get shamed, sued or fired for almost any conceivable offense.

In reaction, millions of people—including the president—seem to regard social media as a kind of wildlife refuge, where they can run naked against society’s dammed-up personal and political opinions.

The possibilities for psychological dislocation are limitless. Kathy Griffin justified her beheaded-Trump stunt by arguing, “I’ve dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life. . . . This is a woman thing.”

We know that political anger and violence can become mystical in its attraction, especially at the margin for people like political shooter James Hodgkinson. This is a good moment to dial it back. The Public Theater’s management could cancel their staged Trump assassination in Central Park. But they won’t. Like so many others with political disorder syndrome, they no longer can.

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Tall Tom's picture





Now I know what you wrote was in jest...But see what you started?


Troublemaker. ; > )



nmewn's picture

lol...only my humble attempt to break through the brain chemistry effect you so ably described above. 

It seems I failed  ;-)

True Blue's picture

Greek tragedies could end happily at any time; but due to the personas, agendas and egos involved they never do. That's what makes them tragic.

Sort of like how no slasher movie ever made would get past the first reel if the female lead had a CCW; but they never do.

May you live in interesting times.

VWAndy's picture

 If you cant prove it. It might just be dogma.

curbjob's picture
"Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"


It's also possible that since money is created out of thin air, it's impossible to value reason  ..

along with everything else. 

Liberty2012's picture

Yes, it gives the appearance of fantasy being real. Therefore, reason cannot have value.

And it has worked up until now.

Kyddyl's picture

As I said in response to another article I've been off on a kick of reading about the American unCivil War. The heated rhetoric led up to violence far before either "side" was ready. It proved to be a messy disaster. Very few thought ahead far enough to even have their own families survive it. Be very careful of what you wish for. John Michael Greer's "Twilight's Last Gleaming" and "Retrotopia" should give us serious pause for thought. Our just in time grocery supply system would fail, fuel delivery from the few states with refineries would crawl and with all those nuclear power plants needing constant baby sitting everybody needs to settle down and really think this mess out. Inter US civil divisions would need careful and peaceful negotiations. 

Sanity Bear's picture

In terms of what would fail and where, keep in mind that one side of the "war" is almost exclusively concentrated in cities and is almost entirely nonproductive.

In other words, we the productive part of America could starve them into extinction and it really wouldn't be as much skin off our back as anticipated.

new game's picture

living in farm country, your statements are true. and if they venture off the reservation, i can say for a fact they have two huge disadvantages. one being tactical and the second being association.

toast burnt twice...

so, if it gets ugly, sit tight and load up. been trough this drill a hundred times at my forty. have a plan b.

plan b is out the back door and become a tree...

NoPension's picture

Nothing a good purge won't cure.

....see...now I'm doing it.

DuneCreature's picture

America is being nudged into chaos and it is being paid for by Soros and the control freak banksters.

Beware the False Flag agent Provoker Jokers (tm) also trained and paid for by someone. .. I wonder who?

Cui Bono?


These mass shootings are no exception.

I want to see an autopsy report on Hodgkinson.

We never will,.......and there is a reason.

Live Hard, Round Up The Right Evil Shit Stirring Pirates And It All Calms Down Nicely, Die Free

~ DC v6.5

TeethVillage88s's picture

Madonna is a sort of Role Model for how Talmud or Kabala doesn't work. Wow. She says fuck you. Her march on Washington is serious and must succeed. Fuck you she says. She says she wants to burn down the White House since... I guess she is Italian or Mediterranean or Jewish or something. Wow. Maybe she is Trans. She identifies with another body, spirit, soul, Homeland Security of her choice... maybe a fatherland.


12,000 people are threatening what the White House or GOP Congressmen? Wow.

Welcome to the Radical 1960s... we all watched and knew it was happening... the MSM didn't cover it.

So... Lawless MSM... Liable MSM... Sueable MSM... Seditious MSM... Propaganda in Tsarist Russia was not against the law... Propaganda in Germany in 1930 was not against the law...

What is the Law & Protections regarding = Propaganda in the USA = Now that Barack Obama & Congress passed a law to allow Propaganda.

RESEARCH: How many Republicans voted for Repeal of Propaganda Law prohibiting Federal Spending on Propaganda?????????????????????????????

WHO were the DINOs & RINOs that repealed law against funding Propaganda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bigly's picture

Any class action lawyers on this board?

If the govt will not act why not sue these traitors?  Or minimally just make citizens arrests. Then we need a few patriot lawyers to prosecute.Really, guys/gals, IS THERE REALLY ANY MORE IMPT. PRO BONO WORK YOU SHOULD BE DOING?


RightLineBacker's picture

Still no word from George Webb?

Jason, 2 cryptic few seconds vids?

DuneCreature's picture

No, they appear in no big hurry to let Webb post bond in Zanesville OH. .. Being an out of state resident or maybe having no fixed address at all they may set bail pretty high.

The Feds can put a hold on him that the local PDs will usually honor if asked. ... In this case I expect they will run out all of the time limits on every phase of the process.

George should have known better that to give them an excuse to 'fix him in place' and taken along a DD if he just needs to drink some for his nerves.

Live Hard, The Lawyers At DHS Are Probably Pow-Wowing On George Right Now To Deflect From The FBI/DoJ, Die Free

~ DC v6.5

RightLineBacker's picture

Jason video said bail was $3,500.00

I'm sure the Feds have their thumb on him now.

Guess he flew too close to the Sun.

Does Trish have a site?

DuneCreature's picture

Thanks, I messed a $ #.

Sounds about right. ... Heck, it will go up to 5G here so that doesn't sound too bad.

I have not found Trish's site, but I have not looked too hard. .. No YouTube Channel for her I don't think.

Live Hard, We Will Just Have To Wait Because Getting Good Info From Dot Gov Is A Thing Of The Past In Most Places Anymore, Die Free

~ DC v6.5

DuneCreature's picture

Oh ok, I just realized why I missed the bail info. .. It was on the video where Jason gets tangled up with Defango calling each other porn stars etc. . .. I think I gave up listening to that one. .. I skipped around some. ... I can do funny but I can't do drama.

Live Hard, Have A Great Night, I'm Out, Die Free

~ DC v6.5

RightLineBacker's picture

The Jason drama really turns me off also. I tune in because I like George & Trish and Jason does provide an fairly good platform for them.

I also like the crowd source idea, knowing that it has its limits.

Publicus's picture

We will purge the globalists.

south40_dreams's picture

Summer hasn't even started

CRM114's picture

This is the inevitable result of a bunch of self-righteous cowards being given free reign*. They explore, they provoke, and when there is no rebuke at all they suddenly become emboldened, and outrageously viscious. You can see it in a badly-managed playground every day of the week.

Pretty soon, the SJWs are going to feel the backlash from every side. From the murderous muslims they champion, from the so-far unbelieveably tolerent ordinary working folk, and from their own "friends" when they discover the mess they've lead them into.


* and I mean reign, not rein. Think about it.

VWAndy's picture

self righteous cowards kinda fits everyone in and around the government tit.

zen0's picture

Dial it back?

Turn it up, Bitchez.

Forbes's picture

The messaging Henninger identifies was rampant for eight years of Obama ("Get in their faces!" and the Chicago Way--"They bring a knife, you bring a gun.") Social media is/was no different. Remember the Rodeo Clown wearing an Obama mask who was summarily fired. Any critique of Obama was automatically racist.  I could go on and on with examples. The Left never policed its own, was constantly on-guard against the Right, with enforcement of political correctness job #1.

The ankle-biting mainstream media is part and parcel the opposition and the resistence--and the Establishment Republicans at the WSJ are just now noticing?? Someone alert Captain Renault...

Arnold Babar's picture

I'm guilty of this.   I will not listen to a liberal.  They are the dumbest fucking people on the planet.

Bigly's picture

Yes. It is really too bad because i so totally dismiss them, when they have a rare valid point on another topic, i still dismiss them

Let it Go's picture

In reality no intelligent plans have been written or are moving through the halls of Congress. It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. With Trump's greatest accomplishment being the rolling-back of the Obama agenda the article below argues this may be as good as it gets.


TeethVillage88s's picture

But, But, ... that sounds like RINOs, DINOs, NeoCons, Neoliberals, those that think Economics is a Hard Science... Sounds like Propaganda by the Most Powerful Corporations and Family Dynasties...

"Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"

PDS - won't get traction since TPTB have to approve of this kind of thing!


- Borders Are Destroyed to Attack the US Labor Rate (Deserved or Undeserved)
- Globalism, CAFTA, NAFTA, Fast-Track by Bill Clinton, deployed to destroy US Labor Rate & US Jobs & US Middle Class = PROOF that Democrats are Treasonous, are working against the Worker (Either Communist Worker or Other worker)
- US National Security is destroyed by the cost of MIC, $1 Trillion Annually
- US Constitutional Republic is Destroyed, replaced by Globalism Ideology & Propaganda Deep Program to hide this Fact from Middle Class, from Workers, from Job Losers, from Voters, from Students, from Youth who will not see the entry level jobs...

IT IS A REAL MESS, Propaganda is the name of the Problem! We all know the history of Propaganda. We know that Hillary Clinton engaged in an INFO-War long, long ago. 1971 William Renquist Memo pointed out to Republicans that they must gear up for Foundations to fight Democrats who were much stronger in Political Organizations at this time.

Makes you think.

Ordinary average guy's picture

fuck again! why not to make the precodure of publishin comments a bit more simple! I meet it second time ! And cant stop wondering, just what a shit you have here bros

Consuelo's picture



Hey um...


I don't mean to interrupt the latest 'thing', but what ever happened to those carrier groups off the shores of North Korea - are they still there...?

So much shit, so little attention span.   Hey wait a minute...

JamesBond's picture

American's were placed on a restrictive 'need to know things' list many years ago.

Therefore, you don't need to know right now.


Ordinary average guy's picture

Hey! why I can not go back? Some words were forbidden again? - Or am I just an ididot? - why not

Ordinary average guy's picture

Wow!!!!! Hello you all American people!! I just discovered that 2 of my previous cooment did not came throug to be printed here. To appear. - Yoiu know - this is very disappointin. I don'n know how do you live in such a smoggy and suffocatin environmant ))))  you know . I was going to appologies th at I'm perhaps ! errr ! for the moment could been an // lok! i . -- d -- . i -- o -- t . - My message was deleted. I suspect this word. Or may be I realyy was an i.... - i'l wait. look see it later

Ordinary average guy's picture

Wow!!!!! Hello you all American people!! I just discovered that 2 of my previous cooment did not came throug to be printed here. To appear. - Yoiu know - this is very disappointin. I don'n know how do you live in such a smoggy and suffocatin environmant ))))  you know . I was going to appologies th at I'm perhaps ! errr ! for the moment could been an // lok! i . -- d -- . i -- o -- t . - My message was deleted. I suspect this word. Or may be I realyy was an i.... - i'l wait. look see it later

Ordinary average guy's picture

ups! it went 2ce some how. - i'm not guilty - I'd like to think so )))

Ordinary average guy's picture

just pressed a button ))

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

So where was this droid when an Obama flavored Julius Ceaser was done 5 years ago. Oops. Obama is a black democrat. No worries.


Ordinary average guy's picture

what a sense to write long and deep thoughts comments (if any) if this hungfry site eats them witout any mercy. Aeehh boring

medium giraffe's picture

Students subverting social convention! Men joking about sex!  We're doomed!

Ordinary average guy's picture

haha! 5nth time refuse to publish!!!!! )))))))) The Land of Freee????? - )))))))))))))) AShhhahhhahhhhhaaa - Go to Russia you miserable guys