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Treating the Body Politic

 

I’m not a doctor but I know enough about medicine to know that a fever is not an illness in itself but a symptom of a larger underlying problem. And right now, America has a raging fever.

Most fevers are caused by infections. The political and punditry classes have diagnosed the problem as Donaldus Trumpitis, a relatively new disease some are describing as a cancer. But more likely than not, this case of the DTs is not the disease itself but just the manifestation of the fever.

Impeachment is a giant analgesic. The chemists at Founding Father Pharmaceuticals designed this medication so that the only way to administer it was rectally. And the suppository that delivers it is specifically designed to be extraordinarily large and very uncomfortable to the patient. We’re talking the Costco-Extra-Large-Double-Pack-of-Vaseline uncomfortable.

Even if the medication is successfully administered and the temperature is brought down temporarily, what happens to the infection, the real cause of the problem? It will probably spread and in the long run the fever will return, twice as bad as before and more resistant to the Constitutional medication previously forced down our … er, up our … well, you know what I mean.

Before Trump won the nomination there was a lot of talk in GOP circles that the primary process needed to be changed. Trump was looked at as the rash they picked up while sleeping with a skanky Democrat after one-too-many shots of “corn likker” before the Iowa Caucuses. They secretly admired the other party’s superdelegate system that served as a giant condom against STDs (Socialist Transmitted Diseases.) It held back the Bern for a while but they still got a Marxian tumor that’s metastasizing rapidly.

The patient continues to describe the rest of the symptoms: wealth concentrated around the actions of government, stagnation and despair in the heartland, a crushing assault on freedom of speech and intellectual diversity, and a general sense of disconnect in Washington where more and more of everyday life is controlled by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucracy.

The doctors are refusing to listen. They insist that if the fever is dealt with then life will return to the status quo that they are comfortable with, regardless of the discomfort of the patient. That, put simply, is malpractice.

There are 45 comments.

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  1. Reagan

    I disagree with your premise, but, damn, you are a great writer!

    • #1
    • August 20, 2017 at 10:50 am
    • 2 likes
  2. Podcaster
    EJHill Post author

    Thank you, Dr. Robbins. (I think…)

    • #2
    • August 20, 2017 at 10:52 am
    • 2 likes
  3. Member

    The real disease that I see is after Trumps one or two terms. We got an outsider inside because of his wealth and celebrity. He just happened to love his country and it worked. These kind of people are in short supply. Do we get the Mitt or Yeb choice next time ? I pray Trump gets it right.

    • #3
    • August 20, 2017 at 10:57 am
    • 12 likes
  4. Inactive

    This is one of the great metaphors I’ve seen. Bravo.

    • #4
    • August 20, 2017 at 11:06 am
    • 10 likes
  5. Coolidge

    Infections are caused by pathogens outside the body. So… this is an esoteric way of writing that the Russians are to blame? :)

    • #5
    • August 20, 2017 at 11:10 am
    • 10 likes
  6. Member

    Impeachment as treatment is like the use of leeches…not such a good idea.

    • #6
    • August 20, 2017 at 11:10 am
    • 8 likes
  7. Inactive

    EHerring (View Comment):
    Impeachment as treatment is like the use of leaches…not such a good idea.

    Perfect! Maxine Waters is in fact a leech.

    • #7
    • August 20, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • 17 likes
  8. Member

    EJHill:

    The doctors are refusing to listen. They insist that if the fever is dealt with then life will return to the status quo that they are comfortable with, regardless of the discomfort of the patient. That, put simply, is malpractice.

    The doctors and the industrialists behind their practice. They have worked hard to develop this expertise and their competence in that endeavor is demonstrated by our own healthcare system. We better understand how good they are at this.

    Great post!

    • #8
    • August 20, 2017 at 11:57 am
    • 4 likes
  9. Member

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):
    Impeachment as treatment is like the use of leaches…not such a good idea.

    Perfect! Maxine Waters is in fact a leech.

    Funny and oops, noticed my typo in your comment so I have corrected the spelling in mine.

    • #9
    • August 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    Afternoon EJHill,

    We have had many fevers, Katrina, Monica, and if you are old enough nuclear freeze, and other maybe smaller fevers; in your day to day life do these topics dominate your conversations? In my geezerhood life they do not, politics is not the most common topic, mostly its how’s work or family. I know on Ricochet, we are thinking about politics a lot, but does not that reflect on how our group focuses on the media, and DC folks, and pundits. For the media, the DC folks, and the pundits, politics is their work, maybe even their passion. So they are in a fever, or are creating a chronic state of fever to get attention/ratings, to push an agenda by making it appear that there is a fever for or against this or that, or just to make money from the fevers, whether real or created. Perhaps the patient is not in a fever. I understand that because we don’t have a cell phone, and are not seeing the revealing things said on Twitter that we may be living a sheltered life, however in conversations with folks in the average exchanges of life, the passions on display on TV are not being lived out in person. Again, in your life does the fever invade much of your life outside of Ricochet?

    • #10
    • August 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    • 2 likes
  11. Podcaster
    EJHill Post author

    Jim Beck: Again, in your life does the fever invade much of your life outside of Ricochet?

    Considering what I do for a living? Yeah, it’s there constantly. Unfortunately.

    • #11
    • August 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm
    • 8 likes
  12. Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Again, in your life does the fever invade much of your life outside of Ricochet?

    I take your point, @jimbeck. Probably most people would answer “no.” Some melodramatic college students might claim that they feel Unsafe All The Time, of course, but normal people probably see no real difference in their lives.

    I do, because I work in law enforcement. The disease—and it does seem like one—reaches out and grabs people I love and care about. It makes some of the them into targets, and others into … not enemies, really, but definitely not quite friends the way they once were.

    Corporal Montrell Jackson of the Baton Rouge Police Department spoke for a lot of LEOs when he wrote, two weeks before his murder, that he was “disappointed in some family, friends and officers for some reckless comments, but hey, what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy, but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same.”

    What was that quote? “ah, you’re not interested in war? Well, war is definitely interested in you.” That’s how the fever feels to me and mine.

    • #12
    • August 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    • 16 likes
  13. Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Again, in your life does the fever invade much of your life outside of Ricochet?

    I take your point, @jimbeck. Probably most people would answer “no.” Some melodramatic college students might claim that they feel Unsafe All The Time, of course, but normal people probably see no real difference in their lives.

    I do, because I work in law enforcement. The disease—and it does seem like one—reaches out and grabs people I love and care about. It makes some of the them into targets, and others into … not enemies, really, but definitely not quite friends the way they once were.

    Corporal Montrell Jackson of the Baton Rouge Police Department spoke for a lot of LEOs when he wrote, two weeks before his murder, that he was “disappointed in some family, friends and officers for some reckless comments, but hey, what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy, but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same.”

    What was that quote? “ah, you’re not interested in war? Well, war is definitely interested in you.” That’s how the fever feels to me and mine.

    I with you, Kate. What is going on has almost zero effect in my daily life, perhaps a little more with certain of my offspring. Nevertheless, I see wrongs that I know if not stopped will have wide-spread negative effects across this country.

    • #13
    • August 20, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    • 7 likes
  14. Member

    Afternoon Kate and EJ,

    Since I went to college in the 60’s with Nam and riots, and chants of “kill the pigs”, I don’t see this as an unusual fever. Many folks are benefited by the feeling that there is a crisis, and we need to take this X very seriously, we need a “war on X”, so I am reluctant to think that because “everybody says they are feverish”, that there is a fever. I agree that President Trump is different, but the media and its focus and love of the “big story” seems unchanging, remember “Dallas, the city of hate”. I live in Indy, rather a typical Midwest culture, so maybe larger cities are more feverish. Folks at the stores talk more about general cultural trends than politics, talking about restaurants, cost of housing, vacations, movies (Dunkirk). Russian interference, monuments, and the political doom does not spark debate or observations or judgements. We were in England the week after the Brexit vote and in public conversations Brexit came up, they had a fever, I have not been experiencing that here. I am sorry if politics has caused your work to become metaphorically fevered.

    • #14
    • August 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Thatcher

    Very clever – and apt – simile, EJ! Thanks for the light touch here.

    • #15
    • August 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm
    • 2 likes
  16. Member

    Hey! I just realized I hadn’t shared a photo of my baby girl in uniform!

    • #16
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm
    • 31 likes
  17. Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Afternoon Kate and EJ,

    Since I went to college in the 60’s with Nam and riots, and chants of “kill the pigs”, I don’t see this as an unusual fever. Many folks are benefited by the feeling that there is a crisis, and we need to take this X very seriously, we need a “war on X”, so I am reluctant to think that because “everybody says they are feverish”, that there is a fever. I agree that President Trump is different, but the media and its focus and love of the “big story” seems unchanging, remember “Dallas, the city of hate”. I live in Indy, rather a typical Midwest culture, so maybe larger cities are more feverish. Folks at the stores talk more about general cultural trends than politics, talking about restaurants, cost of housing, vacations, movies (Dunkirk). Russian interference, monuments, and the political doom does not spark debate or observations or judgements. We were in England the week after the Brexit vote and in public conversations Brexit came up, they had a fever, I have not been experiencing that here. I am sorry if politics has caused your work to become metaphorically fevered.

    If you see a cop, wave at him/her. If you get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate his work, and how sorry you are about the recent losses to the LEO family, that would be really nice.

    • #17
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm
    • 12 likes
  18. Member

    Excellent diagnosis, Dr. Hill! If all were well in the body politic, the people probably would not have turned to Trump in the first place. Desperate people do desperate things. I know I felt that America was pretty much over when Obama was re-elected, so what was there to lose?

    What seems different now is that the Left is trying to establish the idea that disagreement with it is illegitimate, that other opinions equal hate and must be suppressed. And to promote this idea they have nearly all the news and entertainment media, the colleges and universities, and all the high-tech companies. If Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. start censoring “hate speech” (anything to the right of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) that will be something new, and very bad for us.

    Oh, and they also have an army of masked thugs willing to commit violence, and police departments that have been intimidated into letting it happen.

    I think we have a better chance of punching through this smothering blanket with Trump than without him.

    • #18
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:09 pm
    • 14 likes
  19. Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Afternoon Kate and EJ,

    Since I went to college in the 60’s with Nam and riots, and chants of “kill the pigs”, I don’t see this as an unusual fever. Many folks are benefited by the feeling that there is a crisis, and we need to take this X very seriously, we need a “war on X”, so I am reluctant to think that because “everybody says they are feverish”, that there is a fever. I agree that President Trump is different, but the media and its focus and love of the “big story” seems unchanging, remember “Dallas, the city of hate”. I live in Indy, rather a typical Midwest culture, so maybe larger cities are more feverish. Folks at the stores talk more about general cultural trends than politics, talking about restaurants, cost of housing, vacations, movies (Dunkirk). Russian interference, monuments, and the political doom does not spark debate or observations or judgements. We were in England the week after the Brexit vote and in public conversations Brexit came up, they had a fever, I have not been experiencing that here. I am sorry if politics has caused your work to become metaphorically fevered.

    If you see a cop, wave at him/her. If you get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate his work, and how sorry you are about the recent losses to the LEO family, that would be really nice.

    Will do Kate. We fly a Blue flag in front of our house.

    • #19
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    • 3 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Afternoon Kate and EJ,

    Since I went to college in the 60’s with Nam and riots, and chants of “kill the pigs”, I don’t see this as an unusual fever. Many folks are benefited by the feeling that there is a crisis, and we need to take this X very seriously, we need a “war on X”, so I am reluctant to think that because “everybody says they are feverish”, that there is a fever. I agree that President Trump is different, but the media and its focus and love of the “big story” seems unchanging, remember “Dallas, the city of hate”. I live in Indy, rather a typical Midwest culture, so maybe larger cities are more feverish. Folks at the stores talk more about general cultural trends than politics, talking about restaurants, cost of housing, vacations, movies (Dunkirk). Russian interference, monuments, and the political doom does not spark debate or observations or judgements. We were in England the week after the Brexit vote and in public conversations Brexit came up, they had a fever, I have not been experiencing that here. I am sorry if politics has caused your work to become metaphorically fevered.

    If you see a cop, wave at him/her. If you get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate his work, and how sorry you are about the recent losses to the LEO family, that would be really nice.

    From a couple of years ago:

    • #20
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm
    • 3 likes
  21. Member

    The riots in the 60s ended when fellow students started streaking. Just saying.

    • #21
    • August 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm
    • 7 likes
  22. Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    If you see a cop, wave at him/her. If you get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate his work, and how sorry you are about the recent losses to the LEO family, that would be really nice.

    I would love to love all the cops but… Wave in a friendly way at the cop who has been slow driving every morning past my house for several weeks after I unofficially reported him to his department for tailgating another person on one of our country roads? It would be really nice if I felt like waving at him instead of giving him the finger. Imagine if I had actually filed an actual complaint. I was worried about retaliation if I filed an official complaint. Imagine that.

    • #22
    • August 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    • 4 likes
  23. Member

    Evening EHerring,

    Are you suggesting that our current fever might be lowered with more streaking? It is certainly worth a try. For me streaking at the Villages has a rather different set of complications, like what do I do with my truss, and does it have my name tag on it.

    • #23
    • August 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    • 5 likes
  24. Member

    Sometime in 2010, having taken an overdose of antiobamanoids, some acquired here on Ricochet, I became convinced that the then President’s world was crashing down- even Claire McCaskill was running a mile from him!He hated, just hated, being Commander-in-Chief’!! So I placed a €100 bet with a Democrat- supporting friend that Obama would not be the Democrat candidate in 2012.Thankfully my system rejected the “double or quits” treatment.

    • #24
    • August 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm
    • 1 like
  25. Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    If you see a cop, wave at him/her. If you get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate his work, and how sorry you are about the recent losses to the LEO family, that would be really nice.

    I would love to love all the cops but… Wave in a friendly way at the cop who has been slow driving every morning past my house for several weeks after I unofficially reported him to his department for tailgating another person on one of our country roads? It would be really nice if I felt like waving at him instead of giving him the finger. Imagine if I had actually filed an actual complaint. I was worried about retaliation if I filed an official complaint. Imagine that.

    That’s odd and creepy.

    Of course, you could just wave anyway, or bring him cookies or something. I know it sounds really strange, but this can really work (on anyone, I mean, not just police officers).

    I suppose what happens is that a person who really only knows one thing about you (e.g. “that’s the lady who got me in trouble with my supervisors”) slots you into some pre-existing story in his mind (“all these rich jerks who think they… just like #BLM” or whatever).

    Refusing to go along with that narrative (as in, for instance, flipping him the bird) “changes the channel.” I’ve had quite a few experiences where it really worked. Like Aikido.

    • #25
    • August 20, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    • 4 likes
  26. Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    Evening EHerring,

    Are you suggesting that our current fever might be lowered with more streaking? It is certainly worth a try. For me streaking at the Villages has a rather different set of complications, like what do I do with my truss, and does it have my name tag on it.

    Would it help if Trump streaked?

    • #26
    • August 20, 2017 at 6:42 pm
    • 5 likes
  27. Thatcher

    Dr. Hill, I agree that you have made an excellent point here.

    • #27
    • August 20, 2017 at 6:52 pm
    • 2 likes
  28. Member

    Nice article, EJ, as usual. But thoughts that have recently been bubbling around in my noggin lead me to suggest that you’re slightly off in your diagnosis.

    The fever may not be a symptom of a disease, per se, so much as an auto-immune disorder. Here we all are enjoying a lifestyle unprecedented in the history of the world, but the genetic tribalism and neuroses that contributed to the flowering of the human race won’t turn off just because there’s no existential external threat to the clan and one bad crop or drought will no longer bring the real risk of starvation. So these defense mechanisms have turned inward, attacking the very body politic of which they are part.

    • #28
    • August 20, 2017 at 8:10 pm
    • 8 likes
  29. Coolidge

    I dont think the problem is Donald Trump. ok NOT all the problem is Donald Trump.

    There has been an escalating series of derangement syndromes going back 20 or more years.

    Remember some people had the quaint “Bush Derangement Syndrome”? or Sarah Palin? (for Canadians) Stephen Harper? Republican and conservatives have been inspiring these symptoms for quite some time. Its time we realize that the problem is with the infected population not the targets of the irrational rage… I believe that a biased and unaccountable media are the primary carriers of this infection. The inflammation can be treated with isolation from the source of the infection.

    • #29
    • August 20, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    • 7 likes
  30. Thatcher

    The Blame Trump-bots must be given no quarter. They are exactly like the Bush-bashing trolls from a decade ago.

    • #30
    • August 21, 2017 at 12:41 am
    • 6 likes
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