Kellyanne Conway – Donald Trump’s staff Crypt Keeper lookalike – famously said that Trump World preferred “alternative facts” to actual facts. That was a remarkable statement when Kellyanne made it. We still hadn’t gotten used to the idea of Trumpanistas always saying the quiet stuff out loud. But, that’s what Kellyanne did: she articulated a core truth of the “modern” Republican Party: magical thinking rules.
Why is the Republican-controlled House out to impeach President Joe Biden? Well, to be fair, there’s a huge dose of revenge in it. Tit for tat. Not that Donald Trump’s tit in any way equals Joe Biden’s tat. The Democratic-controlled House did not impeach Trump twice for political reasons. They impeached him twice because he flat out violated his oath of office in large part by trying so desperately to hang onto that office.
“Both Sides Do It” = Magical Thinking
The GOP isn’t the only group vulnerable to magical thinking. Our news media has been “thinking” that way for a while now. What is “both sides do it” other than magical thinking. By “it”, our press means “do everything for entirely political reasons”. That assumes that when a Republican actively suppresses a Democratic voter, that they’re behaving politically. For the record, Democrats do not – pretty much EVER – actively suppress Republican voters.
The act of suppressing another American’s vote isn’t a political act, it’s a criminal act done for a political purpose. It’s a criminal act first and foremost. The politics is just ugly icing. When the Democratic voter responds to their vote being denied, refused, cancelled or uncounted, they’re not being political either. They’re the victim of a crime reacting to being victimized by a criminal.
A great deal of magical thinking is geared toward justifying bullshit. Toward aggressively bamboozling others with bullshit.
Pick a subject from climate change to abortion access to civil rights to racism to gun control to crime. Whatever the subject is, Republicans don’t offer thoughtful problem-solving. The answer to gun violence? More guns! The answer to climate change? Burn more fossil fuels! And, where women are concerned? Republicans can only think in terms of magic.
Where Ooga Meets Booga
But then, what can we expect from people whose whole understanding of the world and now it works – why it even “is” to begin with – rests upon a foundation of magical thinking, juju and ooga-booga? If the Old Testament’s authors (all human) had had access to the internet, to microscopes and telescopes, if they had known, as they sat down to write, about germ theory and string theory and chromosomes, would they have written the same texts?
Of course not!
They wrote what they wrote based on what they knew. If they had known more, obviously they would have incorporated that into their understanding of the world. That would have informed their view of creation and everything that followed. But, because they didn’t have access to all the information to which we have access, they assigned magic to all the questions they couldn’t answer otherwise.
The God Of The Gaps
The great thing about that god – from a believer’s perspective – is that he never has to justify, explain or rationalize anything. He never needs receipts or any way to reproduce his results. His emotional state is how the world is. When he’s angry, bad things happen. When he’s happy? The sun shines!
Alas – as the rest of us know – that ain’t how the world works. Magic potions are worthless. Incantations and prayers? Wishful thinking on steroids. Ever see magic turn back a wild fire, hurricane or earthquake?
Trumpism is pure, unadulterated magical thinking. So’s thinking that Trump will get out of this. Trump’s collaborators and co-conspirators are all running into the same wall – the one where their magical thinking dead ends and criminal justice begins.
Want to know what kills magical thinking dead? Lawyer fees. There’s nothing magical about ’em. But – as more and more Trumpanistas are learning the hard way, it was magical thinking that Trump would ever loyally stand by any of them.