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Kanye West’s bipolar disorder trivialized for political points

November 20, 2018

After the conclusion of every election cycle, even political junkies like myself are ready for a time out. However, shortly before the election there was an egregiously nasty media eruption that needs calling out in the worst way.

Back on Oct. 9th, CNN’s deplorable Don Lemon sank to a new low moderating a panel discussion on Kanye West’s rather non-traditional Oval Office visit with our President.

The giggling, low-IQ panel mocked West like the post-adolescent bullies that they are until their token black (never Trump) conservative Tara Setmayer napalmed the village with the following:

“This is ridiculous. And no one should be taking Kanye West seriously; he clearly has issues; he’s already been hospitalized. Not to trivialize mental health issues but Kanye has taken a turn in a very strange way.”

Um, Tara, you did trivialize mental illness to score cheap political points.

West was hospitalized early in 2016 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Earlier this year he stated that he wanted use his celebrity status “to change the stigma of mental health.”

The civic toxin that has poisoned this conversation is identity politics.

In his book, “The Victims’ Revolution,” author Bruce Bawer described identity politics as an analysis of Western civilization “viewed through prisms of race, class, gender, and is hailed or condemned in accordance with certain political checklists.”

Consequently, the emphasis on maintaining elements of a common culture has declined leaving a patchwork of squabbling factions of the aggrieved jockeying for position on the hierarchy of neediness.

Both electronic and print media entities have thrown in with the #Resistance affirming the primacy identity politics in civic/political life.

Kanye West’s public behavior is often, in today’s parlance, “extra” as is the case with many celebs. However, when he introduced his Twitter followers (currently 28.8 million) to conservative activist Candace Owens and the brilliant Libertarian Economist Dr. Thomas Sowell, that was a bridge too far for the #Resistance. A high tech lynching was in order.

I’m particularly appalled by the ridicule of West’s condition because in 2003 I voluntarily committed myself after becoming suicidal. After six days of hospitalization and a two weeks of intensive outpatient care, I had spent many hours in treatment with people afflicted with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, I saw instances where family members of these people weren’t terribly invested in the arduous recovery process of their loved ones.

On Oct. 11th, Glenn Greenwald reported the following on his website, The Intercept:

“Mental health professionals, particularly those who specialize in the effects of social stigma on individuals with mental illness, have told the Intercept that the kinds of comments on CNN often prevent patients from seeking the treatment they need due to the shame associated with these conditions.”

Earlier this year, we got an example of this when multi-platinum selling recording artist Mariah Carey went public with her struggles with bipolar II disorder.

She was initially diagnosed in 2001, but refused to face the reality of her condition. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” Carey said. She sought treatment only recently after “the hardest couple of years I’ve ever been through.”

Bipolar disorder isn’t the byproduct of poor lifestyle choices. It’s devastating, challenging to treat and those impacted by it deserve better than ridicule from partisans inside the Fourth Estate.

In his Nov. 14th column, former Republican congressman Bob Barr summed up the Democrat agenda in one sentence: “The Party’s agenda consists of nothing other than reflexive, incoherent hatred of Donald Trump.”

Likely House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi recently said there would be collateral damage from her party’s economic policies. Collateral damage to our culture from identity politics already runs deep.

In this case, those with mental illness have been cast into the volcano for the gods of secular progressivism. Another generation of sufferers is deemed expendable for political gamesmanship.

Liberal journalist Peter Beinart wrote in The Atlantic Monthly, “Liberals must take seriously Americans’ yearning for social cohesion.”

Identity politics serves the opposite purpose by fraying the social fabric while holding out a quasi-messianic government as the ultimate source of redemption.

There’s nothing moral, redeeming or patriotic about any of this. Nothing.

Todd Peterson is a resident of Washington Depot.

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