Since the 2016 election began, Trump voters have come up with nearly every excuse in the book to dismiss their president’s disdain for American democratic institutions. Now that he’s actually president (Yes. Really. Pinch yourself. Best of luck waking up from this nightmare), their excuses are exacerbated every time a big new scandal hits the news and makes it to Facebook (which, let’s be honest, is several times a day).
Most recently, Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey has hit the Facebook community pretty hard. Non-Trump supporters scream, “I told you so” on deaf ears that keep talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails even though she, you know, isn’t president and has literally zero power right now.
“To outsiders, it seems like a strange deflection,” said psychologist Ray Ericson in his office at UNC-Chapel Hill. “People ask me: ‘Why do they keep going back to Hillary and her emails when she has nothing to do with the situation at hand?’”
It’s something that Ericson and his community have deemed “BHE (But Her Emails) Syndrome,” and he has a few different theories for why Trump fans are so adamant in bringing up the long-gone scandal.
“Some of them, I’m sure, must see the writing on the wall. They have to know the guy they chose is a nutj – uh, is not what they were looking for. But people have trouble admitting to their mistakes. People hate being wrong.”
Others, Ericson believes, are so far down the Trump rabbit-hole that they truly believe every word that comes out of his mouth. “They’re used to their president deflecting to Hillary, Obama, or insert-random-Democrat-here, so they kind of do the same thing he does.”
If you come across someone with BHE Syndrome on Facebook, Ericson suggests ignoring them completely. “You’re not going to get through to them. An internet argument is probably just going to make them angrier, and they’ll inevitably call you a snowflake who needs a safe space. You kind of just have to hope real life kicks them in the ass and they realize the error of their ways.”
We dug up a particularly angry and grammarless Facebook post of someone with BHE Syndrome so you can see its effects and know how to avoid it.
Edward Miller III of Stockport, Ohio: “I bet soros (sic) payed (sic) off comey (sic) to not be loyal to PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP! Glad we don’t have LYING Hilary (sic) those emails would of (sic) led us to world war 3 (sic)!!!”
According to Ericson, people with BHE Syndrome tend to throw out the names of liberals and Democrats they hate with little to no context. “They love to say George Soros pays off everyone, so that’s something you want to look out for. They also tend to refer to President Obama by his middle name, use too many exclamation points in their posts, and have inexcusably atrocious spelling.”
To avoid the stress of BHE Syndrome by proxy, Ericson says it’s a good idea to unfollow people who post pro-Trump rhetoric on a regular basis. “It’s never a good idea to trap yourself in a bubble where everyone thinks the same way you do, but reading too much of that drivel – I mean, rhetoric – is enough to drive you crazy.”
As with everything in life, balance is important.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
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