Several years ago I wondered in a blog if a significant part of our country had simply gone insane at the reality of an African-American President. That was at a time when tea baggers were parading around with blatantly racist picket signs and all manner of apocalyptic warnings if Health Care Reform was passed. It was as delusional and as consistent with the paranoid presidential election nonsense we had to go through. You know, the ones saying Obama would confiscate all guns, was not born in the United States and the one big lie that scared the daylights out of many “Christians” – namely, that Obama was not a Christian. You remember how so many Republican rank and file were so passionately opposed to a “President Obama” because the fist non-Christian president would usher in the “Great Tribulation”? Of course, objections to Obama had nothing to do with him being a “non-Christian”, a fact proven by the acceptance of the first verified non-Christian as the Republican nominee. It really was about race all along. But if racism is the fuel that runs the very personal and hateful attacks on the President and his family, there is another more fundamental problem dividing the two Parties, and it has to do with insanity.
Insanity, defined as the failure to perceive and respond to reality, has to include a recognition of facts. The current G.O.P has a platform rejects economics, science, and even some of the most mundane facts of life (such as rape leads to unwanted pregnancies). Paul “Lyin’” Ryan has been caught lying about such insignificant things as his time running a marathon. Are Romney and Ryan simply unable to acknowledge the truth, even when confronted with the facts? Or are they simply a more extreme variation of the sociopath as politician? I don’t know, but what should worry us even more is the fact that so many rank and file Republicans are willing to overlook the lies (such as the welfare reform, the GM plant closing, apologizing for America, etc. etc. etc.) simply because of their hatred of the black man in the White House. Ryan continues to lie about the GM plant closings in his district even after the facts were widely publicized. Ask a Republican how they can tolerate a candidate lying even after he has been proven to be lying, and they will simply go on to attack President Obama. It was as though the Eastwood “speech” became a metaphor for the whole GOP: a confused, angry old white guy talking to himself.
We can’t have a solution to any problem when one side simply refuses to admit to reality. Solutions happen when both sides agree on facts, define the problem and are willing to explore solutions. When someone is so consumed with fear and hatred that they cannot cope with reality, it creates a delusion, and that delusion makes it impossible to begin to solve our problems.