Roger L. Simon

Smollett and AOC: Dems Reach New Heights of 'Magical Thinking'

What’s with the left? Why have they so abandoned logic and reason that not only do they contradict virtually everything they stood for ten years ago (secure borders, etc.), their spokespeople have gone so far off the deep end as to embrace the incoherent proposals of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (no high-paying jobs for Long Island!) and to encourage the extraordinarily bizarre and increasingly hysterical narrative of Jussie Smollett?

It is as if the Democratic Party has decided, once and for all, to adopt the psychological concept of “Magical Thinking” as its modus vivendi.

Good Therapy defines magical thinking as “the belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. A four-year-old child, for example, might believe that after wishing for a pony, one will appear at his or her house.”

MT pops up in various guises from a child believing in Santa Claus to adults adhering to numerous utopian cults, secular and religious. That communism would result, as Marx declared, in the “withering away of the state” was one form of magical thinking. Political correctness, in essence, is also magical thinking because there is no such thing, nor should there ever be. It’s almost as oxymoronic as “settled science.”

Democrats (liberals and progressives in general) have been headed in the direction of magical thinking for some time and, in fact, have been well over the line since the advent of Trump. Remember, moments after the inauguration, thousands of women marching through the streets of our major cities wearing pudenda hats because something terrible was about to happen to their sex? Nothing did.

That was only the beginning. That was followed by a raft of accusations that Trump, the most pro-Israel president in memory, with Jewish grandchildren, was an anti-Semite and to blame for some isolated swastikas. He wasn’t. And it went on from there.

Calling this Trump Derangement Syndrome is an understatement because it’s more psychologically disturbing than a mere political catchphrase can capture. With Smollett and AOC, this actual psychopathology — because that’s what it is — has reached new heights, in an apotheosis of magical thinking.

In the case of Smollett, it was not only assumed his “attack” was a “hate crime,” it was actively wished for as such. Many on the left seriously willed it to be hate to validate their imaginary (i. e. magical) conception of the other side as evil and racist. They were fairly chortling all over Twitter — or offering Jussie their sincerest condolences for the unforgivable offense. An amazing number seemed to have known or met him.

Of course, it’s becoming obvious how wrong they were. But look back at the numerous tweets that appeared, many from famous liberal celebrities, none questioning even for a second what had occurred, even though the facts were always at the very least suspicious to even a casual observer. That Smollett would believe he could get away with such an outlandish hoax speaks not just to his own unbalanced psyche but to the zeitgeist. A wildly biased media could be relied upon, he undoubtedly thought, to back him up on almost any absurd claim where Donald Trump was even remotely concerned.

He was almost right. The media are that enmeshed in their own version of magical thinking. The Smollett affair burst on the scene only days after the supposed racism of the Catholic boys (Covington kids) against a Native American was disproven, but that message was apparently forgotten in an instant, assuming it was ever received. As the Loving Spoonful asked years ago, “Do you believe in magic?” Only this time, it’s not in a young girl’s heart. It’s, as The Shadow used to say, in evil lurking within the hearts of men (and women) who make the claim of being liberal, whatever that means. They should examine it.

In the case of AOC, her Seventh-day Adventist-style “end times” warning of a world ending in twelve years should have been met with a bit of skepticism (or possibly a guffaw) considering it was exactly twelve years ago that Al Gore made myriad similar predictions in his An Inconvenient Truth documentary, not one of which came true. Gore himself got filthy rich from the endeavor (will AOC?), even though the documentary was deemed propaganda in the UK. As Patrick Moore, the former president of Greenpeace, put it, “There is no definitive scientific proof through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of global climate which has occurred during the past 300 years.”

That AOC wants to completely revamp the U.S. economy — and undoubtedly impoverish the working class in the process for this chimera — is not amazing, even though she comes from a working-class neighborhood herself (go figure). There are useful idiots in every generation and doubtless always will be. What is scary is how many people want to believe her, how many are so invested in this form of magical thinking they are willing to abandon their critical faculties.

Unwinding this is not going to be easy. The therapeutic community is, alas, awash in the same manner of thinking and then some. But the left may have gone so far into the magical realm this time that the old silent majority, what Kurt Schlichter calls “the Normals,” may be shaking their heads and starting to act. Things are beginning to backfire, sometimes with surprising speed.

Keep on shaking. Meanwhile… do you believe in magic?

Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — was once a donor to the Black Panther Party Breakfast Program. He got over it. So can you.