Trump Derangement Syndrome is highly contagious, especially among groups who have weakened immune systems from an inherent political bias.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re elites or artists, politicians or bureaucrats, soccer moms or corporate executives — leftists are particularly susceptible to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Take iconic horror writer Stephen King, for example. He has a new novel out, and it’s dripping with TDS. The novel is titled “Holly,” and, unlike King’s previous work, it is blatantly political.
Before the book hit the market on Sept. 5, King said he was readying himself for a flood of hate. In an interview with Rolling Stone, King said, “I think that a lot of people are not going to like it. I think that a lot of people — particularly people on the other side of the COVID issue and the Trump issue — are going to give it one-star reviews on Amazon.”
Why would King jump to such a conclusion unless the novel was intended to taunt conservatives who were suspicious of the government’s COVID measures and supported Trump? Either King is paranoid or he knows what he is doing.
Whatever the case, he’s not worried about offending a large swath of potential readers.
“But all I can say to those people is, ‘Knock yourself out,’” he told Rolling Stone.
According to NPR, the main character, Holly, has to deal with not only the COVID-19 pandemic but with her mother’s recent death. Holly’s mother, you see, was a COVID denier and refused to get vaccinated. COVID killed her.
King’s message is implicit but clear: Those who questioned mask mandates or the hastily developed vaccines deserve to die.
In the novel, which is set mainly in 2021, King not only takes on COVID but racism, homophobia, the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion and Trump’s “effect on the country’s zeitgeist and political discourse,” according to NPR. “King has never been shy about his politics, but ‘Holly’ is one of his most political novels to date, and it’ll surely anger all the right people.”
The “right people” are the people on the right. Yeah, we get it. King’s theme is clear as a freshly polished mirror: Trump supporters who had any reservations about school closures, mandatory vaccines and other government COVID measures be damned.
That’s a lot of people!
The New York Times‘ reviewer Flynn Berry sums it up nicely:
“From vaccinations to the Capitol riot, ‘Holly’ charges into the thorniest contemporary debates with gleeful recklessness.” The writer might have added that King should no longer be considered as a novelist. He’s now a full-blown political activist for the progressive left.
I guess King’s already made his fortune and doesn’t care as much about how many books he sells as he does which side of the political spectrum he appeals to. So much for “art for art’s sake,” where art is independent of any and all political functions.
One could argue that King is not an artist anyway, and never has been. He’s more of an entertainer, and he used to be good at it. Who can forget “The Shining,” “Carrie” or “Cujo”– all of which translated quite well into film? But that may be the problem with calling King an “artist.” The really great novelists — like Dostoevsky, Faulkner or Flaubert — produce works that are almost always better than the inevitable film renditions.
Judging by reports, “Holly” is so laden with political bias from the outset that it’s difficult to see how anyone could mistake it for anything approaching good literature.
When the reader first encounters Holly, according to Rolling Stone, she’s attending her COVID-denying mother’s funeral via Zoom. King’s bias shines forth in the details. It would have been one thing for Holly to attend the funeral of her mother who died from COVID, but King chose to throw in the COVID-denying context, which gives away his political bias early on.
Those suffering from TDS will swallow the bait like a large-mouth bass sucking down a worm and keep on reading. King takes a real chance, however, with mentally healthy readers, or even those with milder cases of TDS. Let’s face it, a lot of Americans on both sides of the political divide don’t feel like wasting their leisure time reading fictional accounts of COVID that are politically skewed.
It doesn’t help that King’s anti-Trump bias is already well-known. Many will see “Holly” as King beating a dead pony. In one example among many, King went on record in 2022 as saying, “Trump was a horrible president and is a horrible person,” according to Yahoo Entertainment.
“I think [Trump] actually engaged in criminal behavior and, certainly, I felt that he was a sociopath who tried to overturn the American democracy not out of any political wish of his own but because he could not admit that he had lost,” King, then 74, told the U.K.’s Sunday Times.
King is entitled to his opinion, of course, and he’s welcome to do interviews to voice them. When his political obsessions about Trump start leaking into his novels, however, he may be embarking on the road to oblivion. His body of work doesn’t have the staying power of Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft and the shift into overt political activism will only weaken his reputation.
“Holly” sounds more like a progressive rant than a novel, and that does not bode well for King or his loyal followers.
King’s getting pretty old and it’s showing. It’d be nice if he went out in style, but it isn’t looking good. At the rate he’s going, Stephen King is just going to be another casualty of Trump Derangement Syndrome. History won’t treat him well. He might get an obscure footnote or two, but that’s about it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.