Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 4:46 am | Mostly Cloudy 64º


Tom Purcell: Frigid Winter SAD for Anti-Trumpers

Boy, it’s cold across America.

It’s so cold, politicians are picking their own pockets, people are flocking inside the U.S. Capitol just for the hot air, and the outlook for anti-Trumpers has been downgraded from miserable and bewildered to hopelessly depressed.

Here’s one reason anti-Trumpers are especially down this winter: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

According to About.com, this woeful malady is triggered by overcast winter weather. Lack of exposure to sunlight can cause low levels of melatonin and serotonin. Low levels of both cause depression-like symptoms.

Lots of people are affected by SAD at this time every year, but, according to Dr. Norman Rosenthal — who, reports Newsweek, was the “first to describe the syndrome” — anti-Trumpers are especially susceptible to SAD symptoms this year.

That’s because stress exacerbates SAD symptoms, and anti-Trumpers are under severe stress.

“You know, people are worried, then you hear that the president is going to annihilate North Korea,” Rosenthal tells Newsweek. “I think these stressors definitely do register more powerfully.”

Anti-Trumpers must also contend with a sizable list of Trump administration accomplishments.

President Donald Trump successfully appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, a solid conservative, to the U.S. Supreme Court, and is the first president to have 12 appellate appointments confirmed by the Senate during the first year of his presidency.

He signed into law the largest tax-reform bill in 31 years — a bill that makes conservatives happy as it makes anti-Trumpers sad.

“In addition to slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 (percent) to 21 percent, the landmark legislation cut individual rates for all income tax levels, doubled the child tax credit to $2,000, and dramatically increased the standard deduction,” the Washington Examiner reports.

Trump is slowly dismantling Obamacare, which drove up premiums and deductibles for millions of middle-class Americans. The individual mandate was repealed as part of Republican tax reform.

Repealing the individual mandate is a big first step toward replacing Obamacare’s complexity with more creative health-care reform strategy that addresses the elephant in the living room: massive costs.

That can be accomplished, in part, by introducing a variety of market-based options that give patients more control over the insurance they choose, the dollars they spend and the health-care decisions they make with their doctors.

Another step toward reducing premiums and deductibles — toward extending high-quality insurance and care to the uninsured and needy — is to tackle massive complexity, and there is growing optimism that Trump may succeed in doing so.

Trump is undoing a variety of costly regulations imposed on the country during then-President Barack Obama’s administration — many of these regulations impeded economic growth.

According to the Examiner, the Trump administration has “canceled or delayed more than 1,500 regulations in the first 11 months” and “ultimately cut 22 regulations for each new one enacted (last) year, saving taxpayers billions of dollars over the coming years.”

In any event, some of Trump’s “conservative” successes may be a pleasant surprise to conservatives and libertarians, who were not big Trump supporters (I am in this group), but they are extremely unpleasant to progressives — particularly during this bitter-cold winter.

Their SAD symptoms include increased anxiety and irritability. They are eating less and having difficulty falling asleep. They are craving carbohydrates and packing on weight, eating junk food.

So I empathize with you, my Trump-loathing friends. The only hope for you is that Trump’s tax and regulation reforms work so well that America’s economy enjoys 4-percent growth again.

We’ll be so busy depositing our economic windfall in the bank, nobody will have time to suffer SAD symptoms.

Tom Purcell, author of Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood and Wicked Is the Whiskey: A Sean McClanahan Mystery, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist, syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @PurcellTom. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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