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The Left and the sudden outbreak of MTDS

In the first eight years of the past decade,  observers with any hint of objectivity were bemused by the appearance of a strange mental aberration among people whose politics were somewhat to the Left of Center.

"Bush Derangement Syndrome," it was called. Its chief symptom was a fanatical, seemingly uncontrollable and wholly irrational hatred of George W. Bush and all his works by otherwise normal and reasonable people. They could be perfectly sane on every other subject. But let Dubya be mentioned, and the fire of fanaticism would appear in the eyes of victims, and they would begin to foam at the mouth. No matter what the subject, and no matter how trivial the matter, they would begin to rave and curse and carry on about Laura's hubby and hurl all matter of malicious nonsense about him in all directions. It was often quite embarrassing for bystanders.

Later, some observed a similar phenomenon called "Obama Derangement Syndrome." The differential diagnosis in each case was simple disagreement with the policies of the incumbent president. The diagnosis of BDS or ODS could be made, however, on the basis of the vehemence,  irrationality and outright malice involved, often coupled with a contrast with the ordinary personality of the victim.

As the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta approaches, a similar phenomenon has appeared on the Left. If ever there was an icon of selfless and heroic service to the poor, it was that remarkable nun who worked in the slums of one of the world's most impoverished cities. But suddenly, an epidemic of Mother Teresa Derangement Syndrome has broken out.

While there's been some carping about the "haphazard" quality of the medical care she provided to those who otherwise would have had none, the actual vector of MTDS seems to be her opposition to abortion. Imagine: a Catholic nun opposed to abortion! Imagine: the Roman church about to canonize somebody who upheld its teaching on the subject!

Imagine: somebody daring to hold an opinion at odds with the orthodoxy of the totalitarian Left! But as Richard Hutchinson points out, her actual crime was repeatedly confronting the hypocrisy of people who liked to think of themselves as Catholics or Christians or even people who were basically humanitarian with the incompatibility of abortion with anything remotely humane or even human.

One the Left cannot forgive is being forced to face up to its own phoniness. But in the spirit of Mother Teresa, let's be charitable and say that  it's to the credit of at least some of them that their hearts remain sufficiently uncalloused that they feel the need to be defensive about it.

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