The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle has a post titled, “Who’s Crazy Now?”, in which she writes, “Liberal rage at right-wing loonies is starting to sound, well, a little loonie.” She cites comments by the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne and the New York Times’s Frank Rich and asks, “Why are so many journalists losing basic touch with reality?”
It’s a good question. After all, liberals have the man they viewed as a secular savior, a “sort of God,” in the White House. Democrats control 60 seats in the Senate and a 257–178 advantage in the House. This was supposed to be their time. Yet if you go to the Left’s most important internet outlets and its cable news station of choice, MSNBC, you find anger, rage, and fury. This has become, I think, very nearly a permanent state for many of them. Keith Olbermann, the ESPN-sportscaster-turned-rabid-commentator, embodies this as well as anyone. His show is all about channeling hate. For years it was hate directed against Bush; today it is hate directed at others. It appears to have consumed him and turned him, and the guests who appear on his program, into comic figures. Olbermann’s show is interesting, then, not as a political program but as a sociological and psychological phenomenon. Perpetual anger and dissatisfaction is interesting to watch — for a while. Then it gets boring. And then it gets clinical.
In a post shortly before the November election, I wrote a piece titled, "Win or Lose, the Left Will Remain Dysfunctional" in which I argued exactly the same point, except that I already understood that this perpetual state of rage on the part of the left was a clinical syndrome:
Taken as a whole, they are evidence of an ongoing and determined refusal to face reality--because it is a reality that threatens the belief systm of a whole section of the American population. Without the delusions and conspiracies concocted by the always creative political left, their whole house of Marxist cards will come crumblin down.
Some have said that Unwillingness To Face Reality And Its Consequences is the most serious mental illness of our time; and that is most certainly true.
Look, I have never pretended that lunacy is confined to one side of the political aisle or the other. Clearly it is not. Traditionally, the political party that is not in power tends to fall into what Richard Hofstadter called " The Paranoid Style in American Politics". When Hofstadter wrote compellingly about this issue, he was primarily concerned with the conspiratorial fantasies of the politicl right.
Our present political climate however, offers much support for those who, like myself, have come to appreciate that this same paranoid strain now is permanently a part of the DNA of the political left.
Consider the facts that Wehner lists--i.e., that the left now has achieved practically everything they could have wished for in order to foist their politices on the American public: a leftist President; a leftist majority in the House and Senate; a leftist media; and so on; and yet, even having an overwhelming amount of political power, they remain a rich source of unremitting projection, paranoia, and hate. What gives?
There is a simple psychological explanation for this. The left may have won the November election; they may have won a majority of seats in Congress; they may even really believe with a religious fervor that their time has come and that hopenchange is about to irrevocably alter American society, but, but...the problem with all this is that the left's "time" came and went in the last century; and their ideology utterly failed so horribly and miserably, that there is no way, short of bending the very fabric of reality--via the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of postmodern philosopy--that any living person with all brain circuits intact could believe somehow it would work this time around. Freud referred to such cognitive short-circuiting as a "repetition compulsion."
It has really been over for the political left for more than two decades now; but like all the undead zombies and blood-sucking vampires of literary fame that they resemble, they simply can't let go of their empty, souless and tyrannical policies. Instead, they mindlessly walk among the living and the free, knowing full well that they are dead, and that their only recourse is to to suck the life out of those still living; hoping to transform everyone into the voracious monsters they have become.
Psychologically, it is very difficult to abandon paranoia and projection; and almost impossible to face an unpleasant and unpalatable reality, when you have bet everything--EVERYTHING--on an ideology whose nonsensical ideas have never worked in the real world. The creative delusions that must be generated; the hate that must be constantly stoked, all serve many purposes; not the least of which is keep their dashed hopes alive.
But, they are raging against reality. And reality doesn't care about their utopian fantasies.
To survive even as undead, they must provide a scapegoat who can be considered racially, sexually, physically, or intellectually inferior; someone or some group onto whom their own fears can be projected; it would be horrifying and untenable to look inside one's own heart and soul for the source of the fear.
The left is suffering from clinical political zombism. On some level they know their ideology is dead and will not work; but they are determined to ignore reality even if it means the destruction of everything and everyone; even if it means marching mindlessly--and suicidally--onward.
ONWARD MARXIST SOLDIERS!