Friday, January 14, 2011


Wretchard quotes Victor Davis Hanson on the left's unreasonable expectations that the handouts should continue no matter what:
He likens the former Golden State to the entitlement addicted pressure groups of Greece who cannot believe the party is over because it has always been going full blast for as long as it can remember. But it can’t be over. The party must continue, but it’s really a Rage Party, Hanson argues; as in Rage Against Reality.
the Greeks are furious at “them.” Furious in the sense that everyone must be blamed except themselves. So they protest and demonstrate that they do not wish to stop borrowing money to sustain a lifestyle that they have not earned—but do not wish to cut ties either with their EU beneficiaries and go it alone as in the 1970s. So they rage against reality.

The same is true of California. Our elites liked the idea of stopping new gas and oil extraction, shutting down the nuclear power industry, freezing state east-west freeways, strangling the mining and timber industries, cutting off water to agriculture in the Central Valley, diverting revenues from fixing roads and bridges to redistributive entitlements, and praising the new multicultural state that would welcome in half the nation’s 11-15 million illegal aliens. Better yet, the red-state-minded “they” (the nasty upper one-percent who stole from the rest of us due to their grasping but superfluous businesses) began to leave at the rate of 3,000 a week, ensuring the state a Senator Barbara Boxer into her nineties.

Yes, we are proud that we have changed the attitude, lifestyle, and demography of the state, made it “green,”and have the highest paid public employees and the most generous welfare system—and do not have to soil our hands with nasty things like farming, oil production, or nuclear power. And now we are broke. Our infrastructure is crumbling and an embarrassment. My environs is known as “Zimbabwe” or “Appalachia” for its new third-world look that followed from about the highest unemployment and lowest per capita income in the nation. Again, thanks to the deep South, our schools are not quite last in reading and math. So of course, like the Greeks, we are mad at somebody other than ourselves. Californians are desperate for a “them” fix. But who is them? “Them” either left, is leaving, or has been shut down.

Dr. Hanson’s observations about the Left’s unreasonable expectations are probably true. But what does he hope to achieve by stating them? Does he hope that against all odds the Left will come to their senses? Perhaps, because that’s the logical thing to do. But history suggests that logic doesn’t always prevail. Historically doomed societies never come to their senses. That’s why they were doomed. Their feedback loop was permanently disconnected; not simply unplugged but bricked over.

The little children who make up the left side of the political spectrum have never learned that reality exists separate from their own wants or desires. They still want what they want when they want it no matter what. And they are prepared to stage a temper tantrum if Mommy or Daddy--or Reality, in this case--say, "No!"

You can ignore reality, but reality will not ignore you.

There are going to be consequences for the wild spending spending spree that states like California and others have been on for some time now--see what's happening in Illinois, for example--and raising everyone's taxes by 60% or more is only going to guarantee MORE disastrous consequences, accelerating the downward spiral:
John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan research group dedicated to free-market principles, says the tax increases could cost 268,000 jobs over the next three to five years.

"When you raise the cost of doing business," he says, "people vote with their feet."

Reality must be faced. The gravy train cannot continue forever. But the left pretends they can continue to suck the blood of those who are productive, so that "progressives" can keep their utopian fantasies intact.

In the vacuous recesses of their own minds, those who deny reality manage to convince themselves that they are "reality-based". One might justifiably ask them why they have an almost obsessive need to so aggressively tout their connection to reality, like some sort of celebrity name-dropper expecting to increase his stature in the eyes of the world: "Oh, by the way," they smirk, "did you know that I'm reality-based?"

Sadly for them, just because one repeatedly claims a close connection to the Big R, does not prove anything one way or the other; nor does it absolve the boaster of providing the requisite evidence to back up their claim. Feelings won't do, I'm afraid; though it is often to those arguments of emotion that the denier will ultimately resort when impeded in his quest to avoid reality.

As a psychiatrist, I would be the last person to suggest that even a primitive and immature psychological defense mechanism like denial didn't have some positive results for the individuals who use it. Obviously, if it resulted in the outright death or dismemberment of the person using it, denial would probably not last long as a viable strategy in the real world; nor would it be particularly helpful for the species as a whole.

As I have said before, denial is used because denial works--at least for a short while--and that is why it is so often resorted to in extremis.

Some of the positive consequences of psychological denial include:

• In the short-term, psychological denial can help a person maintain their sanity--which would be threatened by awareness of a painful truth or reality
• In the short-term, denial can help a person function day to day
• In the short-term, denial can prevent a person from having to acknowledge painful thoughts, feelings or behavior and help them maintain a world view threatened by an unacceptable reality or truth

The operative word in all of the above is "in the short-term." In the short-term, even the unhealthiest of defenses--such as denial, projection, paranoia-- may be creative, healthy, comforting, and coping. And, while their use may strike observers as downright peculiar at times, in the short-term, they may be transiently adaptive.There is even a place for fantasy in a healthy person's psyche.

In fact, psychological denial is a way to integrate one's experience by providing a variety of filters for pain and mechanisms for self-deception. It creatively rearranges the sources of conflict the individual faces so that the conflict becomes manageable.

But the "short-term" of the left's denial has come to an end.

Today's political left are the hands-down, gold medal winners in the Denial of Reality Sweepstakes. Watch them spin, lie, distort and finally resort to personal attacks on their critics without any debate on the facts--and learn all you need to know about their creatively dysfunctional coping.

Reality is coming for them. The spectacle would be interesting if only they did not intend to drag the rest of us along with them into the abyss.

They can rage against reality all they want. It won't change anything. But I imagine that getting all those intense feelings out will be sufficient for the children of the left, since that is the only 'reality' they care about or understand.

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