Partisan Derangement Syndrome -- A Proposed Diagnostic Exam

Instructions: Determine whether you agree or disagree with the following ten statements. For each “agree,” give yourself one point.

[li]The other side is more ruthless and organized than my side.[/li]
[li]Cable news shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight or The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell are a good way to learn about what’s going on in the world.[/li]
[li]I often refer to old and minor political scandals or gaffes as evidence of why the other side is bad in some way (e.g., 57 states, Guam tipping over, “I can see Russia from my house”, etc.).[/li]
[li]The other side is unique in that it switches its views on the legitimacy of political tactics when it suits them (e.g., support or opposition to judicial filibuster).[/li]
[li]The majority of my side’s politicians are acting in good faith, while a majority of the other side’s are acting in bad faith.[/li]
[li]The other side’s protests and other grassroots political activity are largely determined by wealthy donors.[/li]
[li]I have read a political or historical book by Dinesh D’Souza, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky and thought it was well-reasoned and fairly characterized the facts.[/li]
[li]I have non-ironically used a word like “demonrat” or “rethuglican.”[/li]
[li]When my side doesn’t prevail in a political or electoral fight, it is usually because they did not try hard enough or were not sufficiently pure.[/li]
[li]The extremists on my side only exist as a reaction to the political tactics used by the other side.[/li][/ol]


1: You’re OK, but you’re showing some risk signs. You should probably sign out of your social media accounts for a few weeks. Maybe read a non-political book or two.

2-4: It is nearly certain that you are annoying at Thanksgiving. But you can still turn this around. You probably need to reformulate your media diet a bit and consider some light empathy exercises 20 minutes per day.

5-7: You have advanced stage PDS. But with modern drugs and therapeutic techniques, there is a chance you will make a full recovery. Consider falling in love with a Republican/Democrat.

8-10: I am afraid you have terminal PDS. It is best if your family creates a supportive and non-threatening environment for you while your brain wastes away. Totally unrelatedly, I have some supplements that make you smarter that the other side doesn’t want you to know about! Just send me $29.99…

I created a questionnaire specifically for leftists that is extremely helpful in gauging this.

The list of questions is as follows:

What do you think of Michael Avenatti?

I don’t. Should I?

I think it’s a trick question. If you answer, you’re a “leftist.”


  1. My political opponents don’t need to be killed, exactly, but I could get behind sending them to re-education camps.

Well, perhaps the Republicans have realized their behavior is indefensible, so they’re looking for another way out.

I created a questionnaire specifically for conservatives.

The question is:

What do you think of Donald Trump, who is the current President of the United States?

The expected answer is:


There’s a huge difference between the parties. The GOP is a party that is mainly about racial resentment with side dalliances into misogyny and discredited economic ideas. They want to preserve the privilege of white men by restricting democracy in many ways.

Believing that doesn’t affect your score on the quiz, because it is true.

4a. I think that pointing out hypocrisy on the other side is an effective debate strategy.

I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Depends. What do you think of Rudy Giuliani?

So this quiz is not about identifying deranged political conspiracies. Perhaps you aren’t the one to author such a quiz.

I would point out that your use of the term “re-education” presupposes them being educated in the first place.

I wonder what your score is, Will. I think you style yourself a libertarian, but I suspect you love you some Dinesh D’Souza, right?

Very difficult test for me to take. My side is definitely less ruthless than either Democrats or Republicans. So have to give myself a point there, I guess. I do enjoy John Oliver’s show, but not sure I think you can gain any great insights, so not sure if I have to give my self a point there. There aren’t really any politicians on my side, so I guess I don’t have to give my self a point for them acting in good faith while the other side doesn’t. I guess 9 is sort of a point if I squint hard.

So, I guess that’s…3? :stuck_out_tongue: At least I don’t have to pony up $29.99 for a self help guide…

I tried drafting in a way that would satisfy third party folks. But it became way too wordy. I think your amendments are good, though not sure I would include Oliver among “Cable news shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight or The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”

I score a 0. I think, anyway. I read the whole post before responding, which may bias my score. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have agreed with any of the assertions before reading it either.

Oh of course which is evident from literally nothing I’ve ever said. Nonetheless, I fit nicely into the stereotypes you have created just like the rest of the world’s humans, be not afraid.