Whose reality?

The issue of reality and observable fact is a meme that carries weight. As such, it can be picked up and used in a way that should raise questions about whose reality is real, anyway? Eugene Robinson says it is As Different As Day (Obama) & Night (Cheney). His examples provide clues about how to distinguish between someone in an alternate reality and someone in the world as it actually does exist.

Which reality do you inhabit, Obama World or Cheney World? If it’s the latter, remember that storm clouds are always gathering. Don’t forget your umbrella.

In Obama World, it’s always morning. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the pollen count is low. In Cheney World, it’s perpetual twilight. Somewhere in the distance, a lone wolf howls at the rising moon.

This lead should raise some questions. They are answered later in Robinson’s essay.

In Obama World, objective fact matters. The failure to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is significant. The absence of any link whatsoever between Iraq and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is relevant.

In Cheney World, facts are based more on conviction than evidence. If it’s possible to imagine “nuclear-armed terrorists,” as Cheney did in his speech the other day, then they “exist” at least as a concept — and this conceptual existence justifies torture, among other abuses.

The issues presented have a history. They are distortions created for political convenience. They have been repeatedly deconstructed. The reality espoused by Robinson is contradicted by such things as the Congressional resolution to engage Iraq (no longer posted on the White House website). The events of 9/11 are not matters of conviction but rather matters of 3,000 dead and several buildings destroyed. Both the previous and the current administration have supported the view that there was no torture by legal definition.

Yet, despite written record and observed events, the alternate reality is presented as the existing one.

The adage that “seeing is believing” should be a warning. What you see in politics is what politicians want you to see. You believe it at your own risk – and at greater risks to the country. [Sowell]

How can you tell?

There are some characteristic patterns shown by Robinson. One is the matter of judgment of the person (day versus night). Another is the generalizations that delve into motivation and intent (“it’s fun to scare people”). Then there is the unsupported dismissal of such things as “nuclear armed terrorists.” These are the sorts of things that Dr, Santy registered in her listening and she notes some others.

Next time you listen to the Obamessiah’s speeches, listen to what he doesn’t say. Listen to the vagueness, the vacuity. Listen to the lack of specifics and the blatant emotional manipulation. Listen to the cognitive dissonance between what he is saying in his seductive, sedating style; and what he is doing with his deliberate, statist national policies and his foreign policy that not only demeans America by apologizing for her very existence; but severly handicaps her ability to act in the future. Watch how he badmouths the previous Administration, then surrepticiously implements the same policies that kept us safe over the last 8 years. The only problem with this last is that by simultaneously denouncing the security policies he is embracing, he is making schizophrenics of all the honorable people who are working hard to keep this country safe.[Dr. Santy]

What is worrisome is the natural tendency of people to believe and to trust; the natural tendency not to listen carefully to what is being said and how that is influenced by feelings and circumstances to create perception. These natural tendencies create an opportunity to sell. If you don’t want to be the sucker, then consider:

For one thing, it is much easier to know that you are uninformed than to know that you are being misled. [Sowell]

It is, or should be, indeed scary that so many are creating rationalizations and distortions of reality as far fetched as the Robinson example here.

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