The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Fantasy Thinker

I watched the Bill Maher - Elon Musk interview last week on HBO. Overall, Maher was fair, asked meaningful questions, and was generally respectful of his guest. Musk acquitted himself well.

When the interview was over, I was about to grab my remote when a new discussion with two other guests began. The topic was Joe Biden's ability to conduct a campaign in 2024 and then continue on as President from 2024 to 2028. 

The same Bill Maher who had shown intelligence and insight in his interview with Musk, responded to concerns from his (left-of-center) guests about Biden's ability to execute the duties of the presidency. Like almost everyone in the media, the guests used the euphemism that Biden was "old," rather than a more honest statement that Biden is old and exhibits all of the indicia of a man who is cognitively disabled.

Maher was immediately defensive about any implication that Biden is not capable of executingh the duties of his office. He stated unequivocally that Joe Biden, was old, yes, but that didn't matter because he was a spry and vital 80-year old whose experience and "wisdom" allowed him to make intelligent decisions on matters brought to him as President—and besides, Biden had many, many "important achievements" already.

One guest brought up the Afghanistan debacle and suggested that it was one of the decisions that may have caused Russia and China to act aggressively in the year that followed. Maher laughed off the concern. He introduced the tired leftist trope that Biden was constrained by Trump's Afghan policies (odd, because Biden was not constrained by any other Trump policy—negating them all in his first months in office, but never mind) .

I sat quietly and shook my head. Did an alien take over Maher's body between the time he interviewed Musk and the time he commented on Biden? Did Maher honestly believe that Biden was spry and vital and could make "wise" decisions. Did he truly think that Biden made a good decision to leave Afghanistan in the manner he did—against the advice of his military leadership?  

Maher is an interesting guy. He is, in some ways an independent thinker who rejects some of the Left's most outrageous narratives (and there are many outrageous narratives), but he remains a progressive in his world view. For that reason, in the case of Joe Biden, he is a fantasy thinker, joining many on the Left in an era that has normalized fantasy thinking and the often insane conclusions that result. 

Fantasy thinkers reject facts that conflict with a leftist narrative that they fervently believe, seeing the world through a distorted lens. That lens transforms obvious failures into successes (think: Afghanistan); converts objectively bad decisions into good ones (think: COVID policy in 2021 and 2022); recasts profligate spending into "investments" (think: Biden's massive inflationary spending); questions the morality, integrity and intelligence of those who point out the fantasy, and most important, leads to authoritarian tendencies and censorship as necessary actions to "save democracy." 

That's why Maher can label Joe Biden as spry and vital even as the president looks and acts like a person suffering from first stage dementia,* a man who is the puppet of an anonymous group of handlers, a man who should NOT be president regardless of his politics.


*  A more detailed discussion of Biden's condition can be found here. A recent example of his behavior (along with a number of unfortunate mean tweets about it) can be found here. In the latter video clip, a visiting football team is presenting Biden with a jersey, an autographed football, and a helmet. No hard questions or detailed response required. Biden takes the jersey, but then wanders off (dementia patients do this frequently) before the football or the helmet is presented. A small incident ... yes, but if you believe this behavior is normal and don't feel a combination of discomfort and sadness as you watch this video snippet, you are a fantasy thinker.