Had I been asked to deliver the State of the Union address, it would not have delayed your dinner plans:
“The State of our Union is broke, heading for bankrupt, and total collapse shortly thereafter. Thank you and goodnight! You’ve been a terrific crowd!”
I gather that Americans prefer something a little more upbeat, so one would not begrudge a speechwriter fluffing it up by holding out at least the possibility of some change of fortune, however remote. Instead, President Obama assured us at great length that nothing is going to change, not now, not never. Indeed the Union’s state — its unprecedented world-record brokeness — was not even mentioned.
In his usual dry, humorous manner, Steyn goes on:
...[A]ny historians stumbling upon a surviving DVD while sifting through the ruins of our civilization will marvel at how his accumulation of delusional trivialities was apparently taken seriously by the assembled political class.
An honest leader would feel he owed it to the citizenry to impress upon them one central truth — that we can’t have any new programs because we’ve spent all the money. It’s gone. The cupboard is bare. What’s Obama’s plan to restock it? “Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary,” the president told us. “Asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”
But why stop there? Americans need affordable health care and affordable master’s degrees in Climate Change and Social Justice Studies, so why not take everything that Warren Buffett’s got? After all, if you confiscated the total wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans it would come to $1.5 trillion.
Which is just a wee bit less than the federal shortfall in just one year of Obama-sized budgets. 2011 deficit: $1.56 trillion.
One of the things I spend a lot of time doing in my work as a psychiatrist is encouraging patients that I see--patients whose lives are characterized by repeatedly making bad choices; by projection (blaming everybody else for the plight they find themselves in); and by delusional thinking (not necessicaril to the point of frank psychosis, but delusional nonetheless when it comes to their situation)--to slowly learn to appreciate the distinction between the internal world and the external world.
This is called "reality testing".
The ability to appreciate that external reality is NOT the same thing as what might be going on inide your head is a critical task of development. This task is made much harder these days because the dominant philosophical model, Postmodernism, basically asserts the opposite--i.e. that there is no distinction, and that what you are thinking or feeling IS the same as, and even superior to, external reality.
This philosophy is dominant in educational circles; and itunderlies most K-12 and college curricula.
This is why so many supposedly intelligent people develop such misbegotten notions about the world. This is why so many of them end up coming to see people like me when their fantasies and delusions pop like bubbles when they eventually run into the brick wall of reality. And they always do run into that wall, sooner or later.
The accumulation of "delusional trivialities" in one person's life can and will eventually lead to significantly negative consequences for that individual at some point. When the delusions are shared by the leaders of a nation, all of its citizens will eventually suffer the consequences.
In the case of our own country, our leaders appear to be only minimally interested in the reality of our debt situation; and their trivial "fixes" are like putting a bandaid on a wound where one's lifeblood is being pumped out. Instead of stopping the bleeding, they seek new and better ways to transfuse the patient to stay ahead of imminent collapse and death.
Where are we going? We are being led down the psychopath to economic destruction by the empty-headed promises of hope and change, made by people so blinded by the enchanting delusions clanking around inside their heads, that they have been able to ignore reality for a very long time.
Reality, however, will not be ignoring them for much longer.