My PJ Media piece yesterday wasn’t linked by a single blog (except this one) and yet, it garnered more than 150 comments. My guesstimate would be that 95% were extremely negative — abusive, belittling, and dismissive. I fully expected this, have come to expect it, whenever I write anything for PJM or other conservative websites.
No one likes to be called a paranoid, but frankly, I can’t think of another word that describes the divorce from reality that has been finalized by so many on the internet right. Theirs is a unique world where logic and reason have gone on permanent vacation, and the fantastical has been substituted for rationality.
The question can be rightly asked; why do you do it if it breeds such contempt from readers to point out the error in their thinking? It certainly isn’t advancing my writing career which, despite claims that I am doing it because it garners praise from liberals, or will get me a job with a Beltway conservative publication, has tanked in the last year. I’d like to say I have bravely gone henceforth into the breach carrying the standard of reason on high, but the opposite is true. No one likes to be unpopular, but beyond that, no one takes my writing seriously anymore. This has made me a little gunshy in writing about anything, much less the mortal danger posed to conservatism by the paranoids.
I have also discovered that I am not a very persuasive writer, probably doing more harm than good to my cause by chastising the right for their blinkered view of reality. It is a fact that few like to be told they are wrong, much less crazy wrong. I should probably have recognized this early on and tried another tack, but would that really have mattered? Besides, crazy is as crazy does, to paraphrase Mr. Gump, and any attempt to minimize the distance between what many conservatives believe about Obama and liberals in general and the real world would probably have been met with similar resistance.
When I began to question cotton candy conservatives like Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin, I actually believed that applying a little logic to the irrational things they were saying might convince some on the right to abandon this shallow, unserious flirtation with pop conservatism. The ease with which these charlatans “explain” what Obama and the liberals are up to by ascribing the worst possible motives to them should be a tip off for any rational observer who values reason. Gleaning motives, or intent, from results is backasswards. It beggars belief that any thinking person would fall into this logic trap.
Allow me to explain: The entire basis for “Obama wants to destroy the country,” Cloward-Piven, and even Rules for Radicals as a gameplan for Obama rests on the results of policies enacted by the administration — unemployment, massive debt, government “takeovers,” etc. From there, the paranoids walk their assumptions backwards to a supposition, i.e. Obama wants to destroy the country. “What else could it be but that Obama is evil and deliberately wants to bring America down?” is the question they ask.
Well, you have offered as much evidence that aliens are telling Obama what to do as you have proven that Obama is evil and wants to destroy the country. In short - zero, nada, nil, nothing. Not one shred of evidence that Obama initiated these admittedly idiotic policies except that the results of those policies were bad. No evidence of meetings where Obama and his advisors mapped out the destruction of America. No paper trail that shows that this was the administration’s intent. No tape recordings of Obama or his advisors plotting America’s downfall. No insider tell all book detailing how the president and his men sought to destroy the United States.
How then, can anyone with an ounce of reason or logic draw the ridiculous, paranoid conclusion that because Obama’s policies have resulted in near economic ruin (a dubious supposition given the previous administration’s profligacy and nearly 30 years of continuous deficit spending with an expanding state), that the only possible explanation is that he is evil and trying to destroy us?
The problem for the paranoids is that they start, not with a supposition, but an assumption. By assuming evil intent, the only possible supposition is that Obama is trying to destroy us. But what is easier to believe? Occam’s razor would teach us that beginning with the supposition that Obama is incompetent would lead to the exact same results that the paranoids believe proves Obama is evil! Is it easier, more rational, more reasonable to believe that Obama is a horrible chief executive or a Machiavellian president who has been able to hide the proof of his intent to destroy us - except from the eyes of those chosen few who claim special knowledge not in evidence of the president’s intent?
When looking at Obama through this kind of paranoid prism, all manner of evils can be attributed to him. He doesn’t “love” America. He wants to weaken us so that the Mooooslims can establish Sharia law in America. He is conniving to turn our capitalist economy (such as it is) into a socialist, or even a Marxist one.
Obama’s words are twisted beyond any reasonable definition of intent in order to “convict” him out of his own mouth. The president’s redistributive rhetoric, naive liberal idiocies about America’s role in the world, his juvenile, Keyenesian view of economics, his dangerously expansive view of constitutional principles all point to Obama being a far left liberal, out of his depth, who is seeking to “remake” America into his vision of of what a “socially just” nation should be.
He is not the first American who has had these ideas. He’s just the first president who has been elected to try it. How’s it working out? Not very well and it’s getting worse.
Wrong not evil. A poor leader, not Satan. A misreading of the country, not an extra-constitutional authoritarian. Isn’t it more reasonable to believe the former and not the latter of all of those assumptions?
I am not a psychologist so getting to the bottom of many on the right’s paranoia about Obama and the liberals will have to be explained by someone else. In the meantime, I will continue, as best as I am able, to try and inject logic and reason into the debates of our time, while leaving the witless paranoids to stew in their own conspiratorial muck.