The Denial of Reality

I was looking for a scholarly article on denial, and came across this in Psychology Today:

There’s another meaning of ‘Denial’ in psychoanalytic theory, where it is a psychological defense we all use at times to reduce our anxiety when it feels particularly disturbing.

Finally there is a peculiar type of ‘Denial’ we are witnessing nowadays, whereby seemingly intelligent and sane adults vehemently deny truths despite a body of irrefutable data.

Finally there is a peculiar type of ‘Denial’ we are witnessing nowadays, whereby seemingly intelligent and sane adults vehemently deny truths despite a body of irrefutable data.

This Denial is akin to Stephen Colbert’s “Truthiness,” in that these deniers adamantly refuse to accept verified scientific facts because they get in the way of their own rigid ideas.

Here are just a few examples of their beliefs:

1) There is no such thing as man-made Global Warming…

2) There is nothing that we can do to improve our climate…

3) Most immigrants are a drain on social services, schools, hospitals and other public resources…

4) Many immigrants are criminals, rapists, dealers or terrorists…

5) Availability of guns has nothing to do with the uniquely American epidemic of shootings…

6) Gun deaths rates have not dropped in countries with gun control legislation…

There’s more at the link. This is not a scholarly article, of course, just one guy’s opinion (albeit a common one). And Psychology Today is not a scholarly journal. But I thought it was interesting that a psychiatrist would couch political disagreement in terms of defense mechanisms.

The Nile River at Aswan

Tax reform?

I’ve gotta make a comment.

I am not in the tax brackets being discussed, and I am not a big Rush fan. But, as Rush says here, I reject the premise that the government is “giving” anyone a tax break.

It begins with a phony premise that all money is Washington’s. The second premise is that Washington gets to decide who gets what based on Washington’s definition of who needs what, and also based on Washington’s definition of how they can most benefit by way of votes, by quote-unquote “giving” this money back. When in truth, what’s really happening here is that the end result of the tax rate reduction is that people are “allowed” (there’s that word again) to keep more of what they earn, because the money is theirs.

The money is theirs to begin with, and everybody who earns money should have the same right to the money they earn. You shouldn’t have any right to somebody else’s earnings, and nobody should have the right to some of yours. But that’s the way we structure policy now. In cutting taxes, we’re gonna say that some people have a claim on the earnings of others, and other people do not have a claim on the earnings of others — and then, even worse, some people don’t even have a claim on their own earnings!

The pure and clean way to do this is to do what you said during the campaign: Announce an across-the-board tax rate reduction to stimulate the economy, to allow people to keep more of what they earn because that’s the just and moral thing to do. It’s their money. And then you get out of the way for all the new money rolling into Washington, because doing all of that is going to create new jobs, because new businesses will form, existing businesses will expand and need new employees, which means additional taxpayers paying taxes.

A parable for today’s world

There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade

There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw.

Geddy Lee, “The Trees”


President Who?

If only it were not such a big deal who wins today’s election.

From Ol’ Remus’ Woodpile Report:

The best presidents were guys like Tyler or Polk. They just did their presidenting job and let the historians cobble up a “legacy”. Ideally, the president would be a time-serving bureaucrat like the Second Assistant Director of Weights and Measures. He’d assure the laws were being faithfully executed, then it’s off to lunch and maybe a ribbon-cutting, or perhaps a reception at an embassy where he’d speak briefly. The guests would ask who he was.

Next morning he’d again assure the laws were being faithfully executed. A meeting and a checklist. If he had to go somewhere he’d drive or take the train, no armored car or praetorian guard necessary, no one would know or care who he was. He’s just a guy doing his job. And after he left office no one would remember his name. As it should be.


Let the Convention Do Its Job

What are political conventions for? Jonah Goldberg explains:

The current debate about the GOP nominating process (It’s rigged! It’s undemocratic!) is largely hogwash. If it’s rigged, it’s rigged in favor of the front-runner, which is why Trump’s share of delegates is higher than his share of votes.

The nominating system was set up not as some reality-show contest to see who can get the most delegates. It was set up to see who can unify the party. The primary system was introduced to give voters the first whack at that task. (But they didn’t always have the final say: Robert A. Taft got more votes than Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, but Ike got the nomination.)

If Trump fails to get 1,237 delegates – still the most likely outcome – that will mean the voters collectively failed to find a unifier.

That failure is the alarm that calls the firefighters – i.e., delegates — to duty. Whether they pick Cruz or Kasich or someone else, it will not be some undemocratic “theft.” It will be their effort to do their job: unify the party. I wish them luck.