I have been thinking a lot lately about oppositional behavior, which at its worst is known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). We have seen quite a bit of this behavior among certain politicians over the past few years, Ted Cruz being a perfect example when he shut down the government for 16 days (and read “Green Eggs and Ham” in a 21-hour Senate speech) in 2013 in his anger over Obamacare.
Sid Miller, agricultural commissioner of Texas and a possible pick for US agricultural secretary by President-elect Trump, is another good example. Mr. Miller, who by his own admission does not mind bending the facts, has been a frequent poster of fake news on his FB page, where he has thousands of followers. For instance:
Does Mr. Miller throw repeated temper tantrums, or deliberately act in a way that will annoy others (as in the list of ODD symptoms above)? I don’t know, but since he has no scruples about promulgating fake stories, I’m not sure how principled I feel about discussing the finer details of Mr. Miller’s oppositional personality disorder problem. Here is a man who thinks it would be just great to serve children deeply fried foods and sugary drinks in their school lunches. Since we all know that A) sugar is a root cause of inflammation in our bodies, and B) there’s a huge problem with obesity in this country, we have to wonder: Is Mr. Miller crazy and/or uneducated, or does he simply have a bottomless need to draw attention to himself any which way he can?
President-elect Trump is another one who suffers from ODD. Look at his opinions about climate change. While scientist after scientist has pointed out the endgame dangers of rising seas and spent soils, Mr. Trump claims climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. He spends a great deal of time at his South Florida Mar-a-Lago estate and has to be aware of the ravages of sunny day flooding (or maybe not? Maybe he’s blind as well as dumb and crazy?) But what does he do while ocean water invades basements and cascades over the streets? He chooses Scott Pruitt, a noted climate denier to head the EPA, and announces he’s going to go ahead and drill, baby, drill regardless of the health of the planet and the hardships his grandchildren and ours will encounter when it’s just plain too friggin’ hot to live here and there’s nowhere else to go.
What’s that about? I’d say our next president has a big case of ODD.