Wednesday letters: Obamaphobia gripping U.S.

June 12, 2013 

The American Psychiatric Association has recently published the fifth edition of its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” (DSM V), updating the diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders. I haven’t seen it yet, but no doubt phobias — fears not based on realistic threats — are still a diagnostic category in the new edition.

Phobias such as acrophobia (fear of heights) and arachnophobia (fear of spiders) are well known, but I suspect that the most prevalent current phobia in this country is Obamaphobia. It seems to be an epidemic among conservative Republicans, due to a media campaign by fear-mongering pundits and propagandists.

Symptoms of Obamaphobia include the belief that President Obama (1) is an illegitimate president, because he wasn’t born in America; (2) is secretly a Muslim; (3) is an America-hater who wants to take away our freedom; (4) is secretly a socialist or a fascist, like — take your pick — Stalin or Hitler; and (5) has a secret agenda to disarm all gun owners.

I characterize these beliefs as “phobic” because they’re fear-based and have no proven basis in objective fact. If you have one of these beliefs, I think there’s a good chance you qualify as an Obamaphobe. If you have two or more, you definitely meet the diagnostic criteria.

But don’t worry about the cost: People afflicted with Obamaphobia might find that their treatment is covered by Obamacare.

Jeffrey C. Koob


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