Supporting Bush: a severe mental illness

Recently I wrote a post about Jay Nordlinger, in which I referred to this right-wing columnist as a jackanapes. On further reflection, however, I think I have incorrectly categorized those who speak of Bush as a “Mt. Rushmore-level” president: rather than being malevolent assholes or stupid goofballs, these people are mentally ill, just like someone suffering from OCD or BPD. In fact, a proper name for their severe sickness is Advanced Bush Support Disorder, or ABSD.

I regret to report that my mother is one of them, a woman who has long suffered from Republicanism, a disease that, while severe in its own right, is nevertheless not so virulent as ABSD. I love my mother, and it hurts to see her in this infirm state.

Regarding Bush she says, “I think he’s a good man, a good, honest man,” revealing the key perceptual defect that characterizes the sickness. I point out that we had no reason to attack Iraq, which military adventure is now officially a fiasco. Mother replies in a sad, knowing tone: “We were attacked, Joey.” When I state the fact that no WMD’s were ever found, mother says, after briefly struggling for an answer, “Oh, you don’t think that Sadaam had weapons? He was horrible, a vicious dictator!” Such answers suggest that the etiology of the disease is contamination of the brain cells with Republican talking points.

ABSD sufferers are dangerously and irrationally loyal to Bush and his henchmen. They don’t just drink the Kool-Aid, they inject it. My sister is also a sufferer. When asked how she can support a man who manifests no positive characteristics whatsoever, she responds blandly: “I just think he’s doing a really good job.” Some ABSD sufferers, like Nordlinger, present with a kind of manic euphoria; others, like my sister, do not. Why the latter type–the person who seems to derive no pleasure from the robotic jerking and chattering that symbolizes support–goes through the motions is one of the chief unsolved mysteries of the disease.

My neighborhood appears to be fully infected. At a recent picnic, persons in attendance made mocking statements about Kerry out loud, as if it were a given that, while Kerry deserves contumelious dismissal, Bush is worthy of uncritical support. Then again, this was in Indiana, one of the Red States. The red symbolizes infection: ABSD is highly contagious. Thought shuts down while the mouth continues to release GOP memes that can infect the undecided. Contagious mental illnesses are rare but not entirely unknown; syphilis is one example.

Unlike sufferers of other mental disorders, ABSD victims are not particularly worthy of our sympathy. Most sufferers are not only recalcitrant but actively fight and disdain potential care providers. Further, the prognosis is usually poor: most ABSD victims go on to vote for Bush, thereby leading to spread of fascism in a country once thought to be immune to this most fearful of political diseases.

As there is no cure for ABSD, quarantine is recommended for all sufferers. Palliative care may be provided in the form of hourly injections of Rush, Hannity, and Ann C. memes. On the other hand, preventive care is highly encouraged. Persons can protect both themselves and the public at large from ABSD and fascism by voting a straight Democratic ticket on Election Day this year.

As a schizophrenic, and on behalf of the mental patients’ liberation movement, I really resent being associated in the public mind with a bunch of Bush supporters!

But that’s of Softball Joey! Any regular Doper could have hit that one out of the park! Did you really let that one slide?

Understandable. Schizophrenics are good people, and there are good drugs for that disorder (Risperdal?). As stated in the main post, the prognosis for ABSD is extremely poor. It is a much more serious disease than schizophrenia.

No. I made the same kind of arguments that Edwards made against Cheney. But the more one offers arguments based on reason and fact, the angrier and more petulent ABSD sufferers get. It is truly a disturbing condition.

Ionesco comes to mind.

Seems like John Edwards agrees with you.

Apparently, I’m “out of my mind”.

Nice to know that.

Another symptom, which you didn’t mention, is extreme suggestibility coupled with lack of critical judgement. If the Rove attack team says “global test” they echo “Kerry want the Security Council to have veto power,” as if the first part of his statement never happened. They would be good employess of the Ministry of Truth.

However, don’t knock all Republicans. Right here on SDMB we have many who are not victims of this disease.

That wouldn’t be the same Ionesco who wrote “Exit the King,” would it? :wink:

That’s right, and therefore I noted that Republicanism is not so serious a condition as ABSD.

These variations on the disease are better known as ABSD-L, ABSD-H, and ABSD-C.

Love the OP! My dad is a sufferer. He actually believes the Swift Boat Liars for Bush and doesn’t want to have anything to do with me because I’m a “Democrat” (said with venom and dismissal). Contrary to what some of my recent posts would have people believe, I didn’t try to change his mind or talk to him in the same way. I tried to find out where he was getting him information, because he doesn’t watch Fox News, he doesn’t listen to right-wing radio, he’s not a fundie (he’s a casual Lutheran). I never did find out, because he hung up on me when I said “Kerry’s a good man, dad.” He’s not really political at all. He’s just bought into the Republican Noise Machine. It’s sad. We haven’t talked since and probably won’t talk again until the obligatory Christmas phone call.

It’s the disconnect from reality that boggles some of our minds. It’s one thing to be ignorant (as in “uninformed”) and quite another to be willfully ignorant. To have all the facts and circumstantial evidence at hand, but to dismiss them all out of hand.

Kinda like the people who believed OJ was innocent, only much much worse.

Along with ABSD (Advanced Bush Support Disorder) I’d like to add ADBLTD (Advanced Democrat Boot Lickin’ Toady Disorder) to the list of severe mental illnesses.

The typical ADBLTD is dangerously and possibly psychotically partisan for the Democrats. Symptoms include: irrational rants against Republicans, especially George W. Bush, but may also include lesser luminaries like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. Hated for the Republicans invades their psyche and controls their being.

However, treatment is possible. Strip the ADBLTD naked and place in a room with a naked ABSD. Take the head of the ADBLTD and shove it up the ass of the ABSD. With the ADBLTD’s head firmly up the ABSD’s bung, force the ABSD’s head up the ADBLTD’s ass. Paint the ADBLTD white and the ABSD black for a nice ying-yang effect, then let the two suffers shout ludicrous insults like a pair of bickering idiots until they collapse form exhaustion or suffocation. Repeat if necessary.

The cure may not be beneficial to the sufferers of the mental illnesses, but to any non-partisan onlooker, the humiliation affronted to both sides will be a delight to behold.

Kerry is a good man, and it’s a shame your dad doesn’t see that, Equipoise. If it should happen that Kerry wins, the White House and the country will be in good hands.

Just not the BEST hands.

As a Bush supporter, naturally I am of the opinion that Bush is the better choice for the job. But I do not dismiss or demonize John Kerry, a war hero and patriot, who I do not favor simply because I do not agree with many of his positions.

You, on the other hand, exhibit precisely the sort of blindness the OP discusses, albeit directed at Bush rather than at Kerry.

Hold on for a second.

All jocularity aside, are people actually saying this? They think that Bush is so great that he belongs on Mt. Rushmore? Please tell me you made this up. My mind is currently in “boggle” mode.

Beautiful! And horrible in its truth.

I especially shuddered at your mother’s “We were attacked” oh jesus…

There’s also the DM strain, and I think it’s actually quite widespred. DM stands for Dennis Miller. He’s my primary example. He’s representative of the sufferer who used to be perfectly normal and intelligent and thoughtful, but due to a severe and evidently permanently scarring reaction to the events of 9/11, their brain ceased to funtion properly and the only thing they can respond to are thoughts of revenge…against…anyone. They just needed to go hurt somebody back, and Hussein was a handy target. It just made them feel better to go fuck somebody up, didn’t really matter who. And since this was Bush’s strategy, well…you have ABSD.

How correct you are! If only there were a treatment–if only a cure!

How correct you are! If only there were a treatment–if only a cure!

Those arguments are easily countered:

“We were attacked, Joey.”

“Actually, Mom - the 9/11 Commission found no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.”

“Why do you hate America, dear?” :smiley:

Well, to outsiders it’s really rather baffling how you let him get voted in in the first place. That an aphasic gibbon who lost a truth telling contest with Saddam Hussein might be re-elected simply 'ERROR-does-not-compute’s the entire rest of the world.

Still, one can perhaps see these supporters’ problem. The US suffered the most horrific act of terror ever seen, understandingly plunging it into a war mentality. But in a war, elections are postponed, and certain other aspects of democracy such as vigorous press criticism are temporarily suppressed. And yet here we are in an election, and the press is full of very important questions about the suitability of this man to be president. They have a deep loyalty to their country, but getting rid of the commander in chief at such a time seems so disloyal to one with such a simple view.