Movement Conservatism as a Mass Communicable Psychotic Break

If you haven’t heard by now, Michael Caputo the assistant secretary of health for public affairs at HHS and self-proclaimed editor of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, has some very interesting ideas he would like us to know (boldface mine):

The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false accusations on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump, even if that opposition bolsters the Covid-19 death toll.

Mr. Caputo, who has faced intense criticism for leading efforts to warp C.D.C. weekly bulletins to fit Mr. Trump’s pandemic narrative, suggested that he personally could be in danger from opponents of the administration. “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get,” he urged his followers.

He went further, saying his physical health was in question, and his “mental health has definitely failed.”

“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” Mr. Caputo said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He also said the mounting number of Covid-19 deaths was taking a toll on him, telling his viewers, “You are not waking up every morning and talking about dead Americans.” The United States has lost more than 194,200 people to the virus. Mr. Caputo urged people to attend Trump rallies, but only with masks…

C.D.C. scientists “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump next,” Mr. Caputo said. “There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.”

Caputo has decided to take some medical leave. Caputo isn’t some level functionary either. He’s extremely well-connected to other Trump faves.

Greg Sargent asks the obvious question (boldface mine):

Everyone is understandably aghast at all this. But how far afield is it from what we hear regularly from that guy who happens to be the president of the United States?

In an important respect, Caputo’s rantings are just a more lurid version of what President Trump himself says constantly — that the political opposition to Trump is at its core fundamentally illegitimate and, indeed, that there is no legitimate way for Trump to be removed from power…

If we’re going to talk about how crazy it is that Caputo suggested that Trump supporters should gird for an armed plot to depose Trump, maybe we should also talk about how crazy all of that is as well. Is it really that big a leap from one to the other?

It’s not far afield from what Trump or other Republicans and conservatives routinely say. Movement conservatism is not what a handful of well-groomed ‘reformicons’ at Washington think tanks believe. It’s what is believed by the rank-and-file, and they’ve just lost it, between conspiracy theories and the antifa supersoldiers. Yes, there are some Democrats who’ve gone way too far down the Russian rabbithole, but not like this.

As people note when someone is drunk and does something horrible, the booze just revealed who you really are.

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1 Response to Movement Conservatism as a Mass Communicable Psychotic Break

  1. Mental illness is the right frame, but even within that, there are a lot of different things going on, and it is useful to try to distinguish them.

    Quite aside from anything else, the American people today have an emotional age of three seconds, because no one (in any role, at any time) has taught them anything (at any level). As such, they are consumed with revenge for the birth trauma.

    Quite aside from anything else, the American people have been decompensating since the Kennedy assassination, and today that decompensation is essentially complete.

    Quite aside from anything else, ideology is an addiction, and addicts can only perceive, and can only formulate intentions, through the filter of the addiction.

    Those are the Big Three, and there are other strands as well. Rx chlorpromazine, SR, 300mg q 4h; consider benzodiazepines as adjunct therapy.

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