There are spirits in history on which John Fetterman can draw. They saved a nation. They saved the world. Maybe we give them all a little time. https://t.co/axFerhWim1
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 17, 2023
All of his friends thought him gloomy. Some of them thought him dangerously so. His “melancholy” was an accepted fact about him, the way his gifts for oratory and ribald humor were. A painter engaged to paint him recalled that,
There were days when I could scarcely look into it without crying…his hands behind him, great black rings under his eyes—a sight so full of sorrow, care, and anxiety as would have “melted the hearts of the worst…adversaries.”
With all of this, Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War and saved the American republic.
… So, maybe, we all cut Senator John Fetterman a little slack. From the Washington Post:
The senator voluntarily admitted himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington at the recommendation of the attending physician of Congress, Brian P. Monahan, who on Monday evaluated the senator and on Wednesday suggested inpatient care, Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement.
“While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Jentleson said. “After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”
Our understanding of depression and the therapies that have resulted from that understanding have each advanced a great distance since his history of electroshock therapy knocked Senator Thomas Eagleton off the 1972 Democratic ticket. Millions of Americans—this one included—have heard the baying of the black dog in their lives. Nevertheless, it still took cojones of a considerable size for Fetterman to go as public as he has with his condition…
There are spirits in history on which John Fetterman can draw. They saved a nation. They saved the world. Maybe we give them all a little time.
Also worth sharing: Senator Tina Smith, in the Daily Beast:
I’ve only worked with Sen. John Fetterman for a short time, but in the last two months, I’ve been struck by his resilience and heart. Everyone’s experience is different, but John is doing exactly what everyone should when they’re facing depression: seek help and take the time to get better.
For people who have experienced depression, seeing someone else suffering can take you back to your own experience. If you are seeing the news about John, it may bring up old feelings for you. It did for me.
I can’t speak to John’s personal experience, and I’m not comparing my own struggles with depression to what he’s going through, because everyone is different. But I’ve learned that there’s a lot of good that comes from people like John and me speaking openly about our mental health challenges.
I first experienced depression in my late teens, and then again in my thirties when I was a young mom. For me, depression drained hope away, and the promise that I’d ever feel hopeful again. I couldn’t feel joy or love or contentment, and I couldn’t see a way I’d ever feel that way again.
The worst part about depression is how treacherously it saps your capacity to function—treacherous because depression can feel like a personal weakness rather than what it is: a malfunction of the brain.
So, I want to say that, if you or someone you know is feeling this way, there’s help, and you can feel better. You can reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 988.
It takes courage to ask for help, but you can do it…
… I ask you to join me. Speak out. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health challenges, don’t let anything get in the way of getting help, any more than you would resist getting help if you had the flu or a broken arm.
My experience taught me how important getting help can be. And I also remember the experience of slowly emerging from depression: a little more energy every day. A little more capacity to pay attention to the people and things I love. The colors of the world came back.
I’m thinking of John and his family and wishing him the best. He has a terrific team around him in D.C. and back home in Pennsylvania. And while I can’t wait to see him back in the Senate, working on issues he cares so deeply about, I know he is doing the right thing—taking care of himself.
too many sociopaths in national media https://t.co/kHQTMhTEHo
— world famous art thief (@CalmSporting) February 16, 2023
Good opportunity to highlight the difference between us and them.
They can cry in their milk for the next 5 years and 10 months.
Howie Kurtz, he’s still around? That sucks.
Amazingly enough, Kellyanne Conway chose this moment to attack Mrs. Fetterman, calling her a narcissist. Apparently it’s because so many positive articles are being written about her, including one in Vogue. The implication is that Mrs. Fetterman hasn’t been doing enough for her husband. He seems to feel differently.
Jimmy Carter has entered hospice care.
They love attacking Dem women.
Best wishes to John Fetterman and fuck Fox News stooge Howie Kurtz.
Depression is a liar, a cruel, manipulative liar.
@Betty: Also, Republicans have made Giselle Fetterman into a special boogywoman and are pushing the idea that Democrats will put her in her husband’s Senate seat
That seems a very unlikely scenario to me but Republicans are going to milk the prospect for all its worth.
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness is a memoir by American writer William Styron about his descent into depression and the triumph of recovery. It is among the last books published by Styron and is among his most celebrated.
First published in December 1989 in Vanity Fair, the book grew out of a lecture that Styron originally delivered at a symposium on affective disorders at the Department of Psychiatry of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Through the employment of anecdotes, speculation, and reportage, Styron reflects on the causes and effects of depression, drawing links between his own illness and that of other writers and public figures.
@Betty: What about Mrs. DeSantis and her damn cape, Kellyanne–narcissist/not a narcissist?
Not sorry she quit to spend more time being yelled at by her kid.
@Geminid: Well, she is pretty popular in Pennsylvania. Maybe she can take Casey’s seat when he retires for the first husband and wife team in the Senate.
@Geminid: She’s got a funny Twitter account and is suspiciously Latina, so clearly the next AOC.
@Betty: If he has suffered with depression on and off throughout his life, I have no doubt Giselle Fetterman is a great part of how he got through it.
Also, Ms Fetterman is not one I would wish to provoke. Ms Conway is poking a bear on this one.
@Betty: That’s possible. But Casey won by over 600,000 votes in 2018 and as far as I know he’s running in 2024.
James E Powell
This is the story of my life.
@trollhattan: She came to the US as an illegal immigrant. She is very open about it.
@Geminid: That’s why I said when he retires. He definitely is running in 24.
I did not know that. I also don’t care that much. I really don’t care about politicians’ spouses all that much, if they aren’t doing anything governmental.
I’m so happy people are becoming comfortable talking about depression and seeking help.
Hopefully this prompts people to seek help before their condition spins out of control.
@Betty: Now I see. Sorry.
@James E Powell:
Depression also can make a person feel like they’re the only ones having a problem, while everyone else is strong enough not to get depressed.
Prominent people getting treatment hopefully gets people to not feel so alone in their depression.
Jason Kander is another up and coming Dem who was open about needing to seek treatment for mental health issues, in this case PTSD. I hope that he ends up coming back and becoming a star in the future. And, further, I hope we allow people to get treatment as needed and then let them resume their careers the way we would if they had a broken leg or high blood pressure.
Statement from The Carter Center
@James E Powell: I hope it is better for you now and that you fully accept that it is not a weakness, just a very challenging medical condition.
I am sure that there are plenty of people — the vast majority of whom didn’t support Fetterman previously — who thinks that this proves that he isn’t capable of being a Senator.
Fuck them very much.
If he genuinely can’t do the job, I have no doubt that he’ll resign on his own terms. Until then, everyone can step off.
I was ruminating on this because of SuzMom. In 2007, she contracted encephalitis and was hospitalized for a week and almost died. She recovered, but has been left with some mild impairments, which of course don’t seem mild when it’s you. And coupled with getting laid off the following year and having her home foreclosed on the year after that, she got severely depressed and suicidal, and I had to have the police take her out of her house and she was put in an inpatient facility. She moved in with me shortly after that. And now she is on anxiety meds and she gets to be a full-time grandma, and life is much better (and I am helping her get a weed card, so I am hoping that that will further improve the situation!). But, like, health scares are depressing. It takes some time. It’s okay. I would hope everyone would give Fetterman the same grace and space.
That man is the embodiment of grace. Jesus will be waiting for him with a fruit basket.
Fond farewell to Raquel Welch.
(Didn’t know she’d died this week until five minutes ago.
@Suzanne: I think the people saying that Fetterman should not have run are Republicans. At least that’s what I’m seeing on Twitter. The Democrats I’ve seen who wanted someone else in the primary got behind him when it was over, and still back him today.
@Omnes Omnibus: Hmm, I’ll just leave it here
Why PTSD made Army Vet Jason Kander Leave Politics
I’m surprised at how sad the Jimmy Carter news makes me. Like, I know he’s had a great run, and he’s got to fail sometime … but it’s still way under my skin.
Over on twitter his name is trending, as is Kissinger’s. Someone pointed out that every time a good person leaves us, twitter gets annoyed because Kissinger is still around. He won’t be for long.
@James E Powell: yes, yes this. Depression and anxiety plagued me most of my life undiagnosed. When I finally sought treatment 7 years ago my life irrevocably changed. I still have both. They don’t go away but with counseling, practice, and in my case, meds, I’m as mentally strong as I’ve been.
Rep. Jared Moskowitz. At least one good thing to come out of Florida when it comes to politics.
I am a depressive. I don’t have it bad. SWMBO is also a depressive, but she has it much worse than me. If we didn’t have each other, neither of us would still be alive.
@Jay: After we split up my ex went into a serious clinical depression. I was trying to help her and our mutual friend said “you need to get away from here, the last thing she needs is for you to save her, she’s go to save herself”. Our friend was right.
@raven: That was interesting reading. Thanks.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yea, I thought it was too. I’ve always had the same definition as he does, maybe I need to reconsider.
Depression is a very tough subject for many of us. However, this video, “Hi Ren,” deals with mental illness in a most brilliant and stunning way. Ren has a wonderful grasp of how to deal. And if you don’t believe me, the video has generated hundreds of response videos and has gone viral in the best way, getting millions of hits. Brace yourself. It will leave you speechless, in tears… and hopeful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_nc1IVoMxc
@HumboldtBlue: Sad, but not unexpected. Jimmy Carter is probably disappointed TFG will out live him; my Dad really hoped to outlive TFG – he passed in 2018 at 99.5 yrs. It will be five yrs next Sat.
Dad admired Jimmy Carter immensely, and never forgave Reagan for secretly dealing with Iran to not release our American hostages until after he was inaugurated into office. Carter most likely forgave him and was just happy American hostages were released.
May his final days be peaceful with Rosalynn holding his hand.
“…soon be back to himself…”
This is the wrong frame. “Normal”, even “normal for me (, him, you)”, is the wrong frame. Depression is not a deviation, it is not a failure, it is not a deficit. It is not a “disorder” because there is no order to contrast it with. The fact that it can have morbid consequences does not make it any of these things. It is a manner of reacting to reality, and no one has the yardstick with which to say that anyone’s manner of reacting to reality (including their own) is better or worse.
No human can accept reality. In the hard-wired layers of our brains, it is still many thousands of years ago, and there are no steam engines, no radio, none of the things whose implications are incomprehensible to us at the neuronal level. Evolution, at its own pace, would take hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of years to adapt to the changes that we have imposed upon ourselves in the past two and a half centuries. Every human is necessarily overwhelmed with cognitive dissonance. Most retreat. Some break. Some are spurred to vast freaks of achievement. Dare we judge any of that? By what standards; by what right?
John Fetterman is himself: he is, today; he was, last year; he was, aged 6. He does not need to “come back to himself”. He never left. His circumstances have changed — as have each of ours, from time to time. So: stress; then what do we do with it, and whom is that good enough for, and whom is it not good enough for, each time?
The rationale for language is the notion that experience is transferable. That notion is far from self-evident, and that in turn is one reason why language (along with civilization) is losing its fan club. We say, reflexively, that we can learn something from an experience such as the one that John Fetterman is going through; but what if that very idea is just one more self-sprung trap, for him as well as for us?
Gina Lollabrigida, Raquel Welch, Stella Stevens — it’s been a bad few weeks for the sex goddesses of the ‘50s and ‘60s. I hope Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot are in good health.
@Joax: William Styron’s daughter wrote a book about living with her father and his depression.
@raven: A book you might find interesting is My War Gone By, I Miss It So. A memoir of a British officer of my vintage who ended up as a war correspondent in Bosnia.
@NotMax: I noted that out loud at work, and then had to explain to my estimator (he’s 34) who Raquel Welch was.
SWIMBO has saved me several times, I have “saved her” as well. Sometimes, ( bills) it’s just a reason to get up an go to work, sometimes it’s somebody noticing the start of the cycle, and talking about it with you, sometimes it’s “enforcement”, (self care, taking meds, etc.), and sometimes it’s the guilt over what checking out would do to the other person.
The Ex never understood or cared for the cycles, never understood, just turned on me when I was “down”.
@SiubhanDuinne: Brigitte has issues. Not age related, but she’s a but of a nut.
Dorothy A. Winsor
I’m glad it’s Biden and not Trump who will be leading the national mourning for Jimmy Carter.
Rethuglicans are – I don’t think I should type what I think they are. They are no longer opposing politicians because what they oppose is an actual working government. One that doesn’t actually let them suck off their wealthy benefactors looking for more personal clout and greenbacks. I have an idea where they are getting the concept of how they’d like us to be and that should get them the label of traitors. In my almost 3/4 of a century all rethuglicans have ever been is – selfish, haters, racists, thieves, and it’s only getting worse. I have no idea how to make anything better, they really seem to want to shoot themselves in the genitalia, just for the concept of revenge. It makes no sense that they have brought the BS lock, stock and barrel as it is fully against their best interests. I guess money can at least buy stupid.
One thingI remember about Jimmy Carter
* In 2000 he and his wife publically by way of a letter to the Atlanta newspaper left the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Convention of Delegates that year passed a new Faith and Message statement that formally stated that God requires that woman be subordinate to man who is the head of the family and of the church.
As I understand it, this was sort of implied but never before stated explicitly as something all SBCers were to believe
Principle and class.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
I also hope the remembrance leads to a fresh critical look at Reagan.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
I think Biden was the first to endorse Carter when he ran for President.
@Baud: That would be a pleasant surprise.
James E Powell
Exactly. I could not get rid of it, I had to figure out how to exist with it & not let it destroy me or those I cared about. Meds did not work for me, but I found a psychologist that helped train me, helped me acquire the tools I needed and although he said bullshit I really do think I owe him my life.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes, Jason Kander is great and am glad he has been so open about his PTSD.
@HumboldtBlue: That was great and so on point.
We have so many fantastic, well-spoken people on our side. Such a nice contrast to the Republicans.
@Omnes Omnibus: I read that and thought it was very good.
And so it begins. Florida prof in a private university threatened by leadership for teaching about race.
Every human being is capable of depression. Some people get the skills early to recognize depression and how to, well, not run down that path. Many do not. It is a natural human reaction to part of living. What you have both learned are the keys/skills to recognize it early enough to change your behavior, expectations and responses. And everyone has or needs the skills to do that because all of us are capable of being depressed. Some have greater needs or greater need of learning to recognize earlier, the signs and how to work through the recovery. When I was in the navy, I spent 2 months in a navy hospital and sat with a number of mostly marines with what we now call PTSD. Which to me is a form of depression that has severe repetitive stress as a trigger. It can be from a one time event or a series of events, such as armed combat, or a severe accident. We all can and will have different reactions to severe stress or to long term repetitive stress. Depression is one of those reactions.
@Frank Wilhoit: I normally manage to avoid responding to your overblown philosophizing, because it doesn’t do any harm. However, in this case I’m just going to say that you’re full of shit and you have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe you mean well, but you are not doing anyone any favors by pretending that people suffering from major depression, such as myself and others here, are just “reacting to reality” and that there’s no reason to wish for a better condition. It’s certainly true that depression is not a thing to judge someone badly for, but if you think that the only other option is this kind of faux-equanimity bullshit, you are wrong. It’s actually an extremely harmful and callous point of view.
Based on your general manner online I think arguing with you on any subject is probably pointless, so I won’t engage further, but I had to say this.
Speaking of Raquel Welch:
@gene108: This! As a depressive American, it makes me happy when public figures come forward with their struggles. It is a disease. Like cancer. None of us asked to have a brain disease and it’s not a weakness. It’s a disease.
Jacqueline Squid Onassis
It’s awesome that Sen. Fetterman was able to check himself into the hospital in order to get the help he needs. It would be more awesome if everybody had the financial security so they could check themselves in and get the help that they need.
@Omnes Omnibus: thanks
@Jay: I didn’t mean to imply the situations were the same. I was part and parcel of her depression and she needed to climb out on her own. She did.
@Omnes Omnibus: This is as good of a book on the subject I’ve read.
Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam
@Ruckus: What you say is true but is also only a part of the over all story. Please understand I’m not trying to argue with you but just add context. I believe you know it is a real disease and not just mal-adjustment.
I’ve had two torn rotator cuffs and I often make the comparison between my depression and social anxiety. In some cases physical/mental therapy is enough. Therapy retrains and strengthens the inherent body’s abilities. Sometimes it requires more. I had to go under the knife twice for my shoulder. I need meds for my brain. I do self therapy for both and continued counseling for the depression and anxiety.
People keep writing Casey off because he’s being treated for prostate cancer. A cancer which my John was treated for a decade ago. When he was diagnosed, his doctor said it’s the best cancer to get because it is usually such a slow growing cancer that John would die from old age and natural causes even if the cancer wasn’t cured by treatment. There are exceptions but it is not usually the most virulent cancer.
She’s a pretty exceptional woman. Runs a great non-profit free store in Braddock and has joined the Braddock VFD. She posted some great pictures from her training and was encouraging people to join their local VFD, especially women. I love her.
it’s a genetic disease caused by the body’s inability, (for some people occasional, others up to constant), inability to create or regulate hormones critical to some aspects of brain function.
For those of us who are occasional depressives, it can be triggered by life, seasons, health, etc, but it’s not the “cause”. At times when my life was going great, I went into spirals of depression.
Others, require a daily course of medication, (eg. SWIMBO) to maintain “normal”, but can really spiral out at times, irrespective of “life”.
Some people do better when they “come to grips” with the disease and engage in self management. Some fail. For some, we have people in our lives aware of our condition, and push, prod, poke, interfere, when we screw up on self management.
Being unencumbered by the thought process … and too impaired by alcohol to go and research this … it’s my esteemed opinion that politicians on the left side of the political scale are more honest, or at least honest enough to admit they need help.
Whereas those on the political right are frightened of not being perceived as “manly enough” and will conceal their disabilities.
@geg6: I had not heard about Casey’s medical situation. But I was not reading the commenter correctly. They were talking about Casey retiring after his next term.
@MomSense: @James E Powell: I think of it more as an insatiable, insensate, draining force, less an entity than a phenomenon, sort of like the cold in winter.
@gene108: or even if it doesn’t spin out of control. Even if someone thinks s/he has it more or less managed, or that s/he has adapted to it, it’s still debilitating and there’s every reason to treat it. Consider if you had a low-level infection that made you tired and irritable and reduced your capacity (or of course a major one that left you bedridden), and day to day it didn’t get any worse but it didn’t get any better, would you just roll with it? Or would you say, fk this antibiotics are good!
@gene108: this. Role models are important. And for someone as powerful and accomplished as Fetterman — someone who is doing things “I just can’t make myself DO” — to acknowledge it publicly is enormously important. People will go get the “antibiotics” if they see prominent people doing it.
@Baud: and they’re not above attacking their own, albeit less openly. Eg, Nikki Haley’s ostensible play for the nomination.
Absolutely. Was not trying to imply or say that depression doesn’t hit us differently, it absolutely can.
What I’m saying is that depression is not in any way abnormal, every single human being can become depressed. Some learn how to deal with depression early and/or better. Some learn through having depression more in the forefront of their lives or living through a very depressive situation and some need help to deal with depression, sometimes both mental and medical help.
What I’m saying is that depression is actually normal, it’s the level and response to depression that some need help with. And some need that help when it gets unmanageable by the person alone.
I was trying to point out that we are all capable of being depressed and for a lot of reasons. Some people have the tools to manage depression, especially some have tools that let them recognize depression early enough to either not need help unless the issue that depresses them is too much.
I was also trying to make the point that depression is not something to be ashamed of because ALL humans can get depressed to the deepest level. Not all will because we do react differently to various things that cause us to become more depressed and or we have some of the tools which a number of people here have been taught, however we got them or our personalities lend them to respond sooner and better to depression and therefore they don’t get as depressed as others. Just like any other human skill we all vary at how we learn about them and how we use the tools to deal with them. Depression can be one of the harder skills to learn to deal with and it is often that when one really, really needs to learn how, that’s the hardest time to do so. Hence the stories of some of us here.
@HumboldtBlue: Damn. I’ve been fearing this kind of news for a while, but it still hurts.
@SpaceUnit: Lol. [at the Pearly Gates]: “Name? Carter? First name? Oh! Oh Mr. Carter! Sorry didn’t recognize you! Probably still have all those 70s images in my head, hahaha. Anyway, go on in through the VIP gate there, yes to your left, around that cumulus. That’s it, great! Welcome, nice to see you, have a nice eternity!”
This was extremely intelligent and brave of Fetterman, especially as he and we knew the clown vultures would be out in ravening force. I’ve always had what’s basically intractable clinical depression, even without a stroke, and understand the issues too well, but I meander along. I wish him the best, and I’m certain he’ll be back and better. Thank goodness, as we need him.
@Hob: Thank you. No one needs that kind of nihilistic “up is down? no up, no down; language and meaning and external reality are out of fashion for good reason” bullshit — least of all people struggling to find worth and meaning hour by hour.
@Skepticat: Brave people are Democrats!
With Biden, the stutterer beat the bully, as they say.
I see Fetterman as another in a long line of decent people being courageous. When they do the bold and right thing, seek treatment, talk openly about their situation, they give others that are not as bold permission to seek help, to have their needs met, to be fully human and not just a label.
Not sure I really believe in heaven or hell. But there’s a part of me that wants to believe in heaven just for the sake of people like Jimmy Carter.
Why is Politico such hot garbage?
I saw reference to yet another Koncerning Kamala Kritique, and got reminded of such
@Jackie: On the other hand, once Carter dies, he’ll never see nor hear of TFG again. Because there’s no way they’re ending up in the same place once TFG finally dies too.
@geg6: There are plenty of different forms of prostate cancer, from “only 10% make it 10 years past diagnosis even with heavy treatment” to ” you’ll likely die of something else many years from now”. It’s a category of cancer, not a single form. I’m glad your partner has the latter!
I had my first major depressive episode at age 10 and I’m on medication that seems to work though I still fall into it occasionally. I realised recently that the building depression I fell into last summer lifted when I quit doomscrolling the bird app after the apartheid princeling took it over. I can’t imagine my being able to survive my teens and 20’s in the current era of social media, it simply wouldn’t have been possible for me.
There is depression as a normal human “condition”, and then there is depression as a medical condition. My sister was treated for over 2 decades as a “depressive”, when in fact, she was manic depressive, with all the drugs (at the time for depressives), contra indicated for manic depression.
So her marriage “blew up”, I had to haul her ass off the Lions Gate bridge, moments before the cops showed up, park her in my condo, (my stuff lived there, I lived with SWIMBO and had 2 drawers in a 4 drawer bureau she bought for me), and got her to my Doctor, ( who correctly diagnosed her), while running both interference and support with Rick, her husband.
There is the “human condition”, and then there are mental diseases.
@Jay: Your sister is lucky to have had you there at such a critical point in her life. Best wishes to you.
thanks, still alive, despite the odds,……
@raven: Great read. Thank you.
Props to Tina Smith (a wonderful person and great senator) for writing this and speaking clearly about her own experience with depression. Every person who talks about this without shame and like it’s the medical condition it is (complicated and challenging, but also treatable) the better off we all will be.
Still a lot of people that think depression is something to be ashamed of or that you can just “tough it out” and either refuse to get help or look down on those who do. We’re still battling in the union with managers who don’t think sick days should be used for mental health.
I want Scott Kelly to run for Sinema’s seat. He’s Mark Kelly’s twin brother. Two identical Senator Kellys from Arizona? Think of the high-jinx!
@raven: Late as usual, but thanks very much for posting that. I’ll read Kander’s book too. Thinking a lot about how PTSD interacts with gender issues; maybe I can eventually write something about that subject. (I need to search the clinical literature first.)
@Betsy: I have very little patience for Wilhoit but I wouldn’t call him a nihilist. Having read a fair amount of his posts in recent years— because he likes to hang out at some of the same places I hang out, and there are certain kinds of conversations where he is guaranteed to weigh in— I think he does care about things and has an ethical sense. I did at first consider using the word “nihilist” to describe his comment here, but decided not to because I’d rather save that for people who really don’t care at all.
However, he’s also the kind of contrarian/crank who can’t resist reducing every phenomenon to exactly one underlying principle, and then holding forth on that in a way that assumes it’s a thing nobody else has ever thought of. It’s appropriate that the thing he’s known for by name these days, “Wilhoit’s Law”, was a claim that there is literally just one idea that explains all of “conservatism”— and, when people quote this “law” they invariably quote just the pithy part and leave out the rest of the very verbose comment that it appeared in, where he also stated that conservatism is literally the only political philosophy that exists, because nobody (but him) has correctly defined it well enough to oppose it. When one gets in the habit of thinking in absolutes like that, and develops a rhetorical style that’s entirely manifestos, any attempt to describe things like human psychology and emotional experience is bound to go very far wrong.
Churchill struggled with his “black dog” most of his life.