Die-hard fans of President Donald Trump have a term for the tendency to criticize everything he does, reflexively — "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

And you don't have to look far (the comment section of New Jersey 101.5's or any other NJ outlet's Facebook page will do nicely) to find people equally reflextive in their criticism of Gov. Phil Murphy. Maybe MDS is a thing?

But Jim Gearhart, watching both the Republican president and Democratic governor get hammered by critics (of different stripes) for their respective handlings of the novel coronavirus crisis, wonders if a little more empathy might be in order.

"It's like knee-jerk reaction, with anything that's unpleasant," Jim Gearhart says in the latest edition of the weekly Jim Gearhart Show podcast and Facebook Live show.

Jim and his podcast partner, Bob Williams, remember a time when New Jerseyans were a little more free-flowing (and free-throwing) with their toilet paper — when they tossed rolls of the stuff at the State House to protest then-Gov. Jim Florio's tax increases (which, Jim notes, look tame by modern New Jersey standards). Jim and several other New Jersey 101.5 hosts gladly piled on to every criticism of the governor.

But he wonders how much of the response — including his own — was just a general-purpose frustration with politics and politicians, not the decisions made by any one leader.

"I think people had gotten tired of the system," Jim says. "I think Jim Florio was a victim of the system. ... We did it without thinking. It was kind of knee-jerk. If you didn't do it, if you said anything positive about the governor, then your peers would go after you."

How much of that are we seeing with Murphy and Trump today?

"You get carried away so you do not think outside that particular box ... and it's a small box," Jim says.

Be sure to tell Jim and Bob Williams what you think next week: The Jim Gearhart show is LIVE on Facebook every Thursday at 10:30 a.m., at Facebook.com/NJ1015. Got an idea for an upcoming installment of Jim's show? Meet Jim at Facebook.com/NJ1015 to suggest it in the comments, or email Jim@nj1015.com.

The Jim Gearhart Show podcast is available every week on New Jersey 101.5 and in the New Jersey 101.5 app. You can also subscribe with your favorite podcasting app for iPhonesAndroid devices or your computer:

That's just part of what Jim and Bob Williams take on in the latest installment of his show, also available as a podcast. Check out the full episode to hear the rest.

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