Gutknecht: The Problem with Pretending

The Left has been living in a fool’s paradise on a host of issues for a long time.

Nancy Pelosi

Let’s all pretend that our friends on the Left love our country as much as we do. Pretend that they really want a strong economy and more jobs, especially for women and minorities. That the last thing they want is a recession which would hurt millions of working families. We can imagine that secretly they are pleased that we finally have an American President who is standing up to Chinese trade abuses. A President who is actually fighting for our interests. 

It is easy for us to believe that they actually knew all along that the Russian collusion narrative was just a joke. They knew there was no evidence. Right?

They know in their hearts that Republicans aren’t racist who want to cut Social Security and throw Grandma off the cliff. And that man-caused global warming claims are a hoax, designed to scare Americans into surrendering more of their rights. 

Pretending allows us to escape reality. In our imagination, things turn out the way we want. It can lead to delusional thinking. Reality, however, has a way of kicking down the door. A wise man once observed, “You can ignore the truth. You can even deny the truth. But in the end, there it is.”

The Left has been living in a fool’s paradise on a host of issues for a long time. They pretend that the federal government can more efficiently run the healthcare system. That the Soviet and Venezuelan systems collapsed, not because the system doesn’t work, but because they had the wrong people managing it. They continue to pretend that guns, not the perpetrators, are responsible for senseless acts of violence. They espouse the belief that people who enter our country illegally should not only be allowed to stay, but that they should be given free healthcare!

They have somehow convinced themselves that they are the rational ones, it is Trump and his supporters who are demented. They pretend to support free speech while they work mightily to silence all who disagree. They even seem to believe that the Betsy Ross flag is somehow a symbol of some white supremacy conspiracy?

They pretended that Hillary Clinton was a great candidate. That her handling of official, even top secret email on an unsecured server was no big deal. They convinced themselves that there was no way a Donald Trump could win. They thought they could hound or investigate him out of office. They were sure President Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election. They had no doubt that the once respected former FBI Director Robert Mueller would deliver the knockout punch. 

All of it proved to be painful self-delusion.

Rather than face up to reality, they simply deny the truth and march on. Ignoring the results of three years of investigations, they push forward with impeachment proceedings. Pretending that if they just investigate long enough, they will eventually find something. They may be delusional but not completely crazy. They will proceed without forcing their vulnerable freshman to take a floor vote on the matter. 

Remarkably, nearly three years in, they still cannot even bring themselves to admit that Donald Trump actually won, let alone that his policies are working. 

Psychiatrists sometimes define the difference between neurosis and psychosis this way. A neurosis is when people create imaginary castles in the sky. It becomes a psychosis when they move into them. Some have described the bazar behavior of  many on the Left as Trump Derangement Syndrome. Perhaps it could be better described as a psychosis. 

You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to know that this is not good. 

It’s not healthy for them. It’s not healthy for the country. They need help. At one time, there were strong leaders and people in the party who could talk them out of these delusions. There were real journalists who asked tough questions and followed-ups that forced them to rethink.

No more. Today they all march in the same parade. 

Help may be on the way. Inspector Horowitz and former U.S. Attorney John Durham are wrapping up their investigations. Maybe their findings and the ensuing indictments will serve as shock therapy, jarring our friends on the Left back into some sense of reality. We can only hope. 

Gil Gutknecht served six terms each in the Minnesota and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gil Gutknecht

Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota.