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Gut Check – 2015: The Year in Denial

If there’s one overarching theme you can stamp all over the ass of this exiting year, it’s denial.

We saw experts denying political phenomena, politicians denying apocalyptic threats, activists denying facts (replaced by mob-approved figments), students denying their own adulthood, in favor of infantile regression. In sum, 2015 was a horrible year, mainly because we denied what was making it so horrible.

And so, I list the denials, in no particular order.

RADICAL ISLAM: The most venomous deniers on the planet, they see affirming cultures blossom around them—creating opportunity, better and longer lives, a plethora of newfound freedoms. And instead of drawing inspiration from such advances, they decide to deny it all. Progress is something to be stopped, even if one uses the tools of progress to stop it. Hence we have the biggest danger known to modern man: terror married to technology (If you haven’t read the book, “The Future of Violence,” by Wittes and Blum, then you’re living in the past, too).  This leads, of course to the next dangerous denier of 2015…

PRESIDENT OBAMA: His stubborn refusal to acknowledge the threat of radical Islam, in service to his belief that it’s just mean to point out the truth, has left this country in a leadership lurch. After San Bernardino and Paris – we saw a new but somehow familiar landscape take hold, one that demanded a powerful leader for these uncertain, disturbing times.  Obama became hopelessly irrelevant in his slow-footed, moping reaction. His ineptitude has a root cause: academic brainwashing makes it impossible to take the security of a country seriously when you’ve already spent decades embracing an ideology that denigrates said country. It’s why he prefers to focus somewhere else…

THE PARIS CLIMATE SUMMIT: To believe climate change is a more urgent threat than terror is a pernicious form of denial: for not only does it deny a threat at your doorstep (Islamism), it compounds the threat by steering resources and mental energy to something far less urgent. It’s a double whammy of denial: it magnifies our vulnerability through the self-righteous noise of academia, media and government, which then drowns out the actual alarms we should really be hearing. The denial is personified in John Kerry. During a time when the country is under terror attack, our secretary of state is more obsessed with Celsius.  Yikes.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Consider their three horrifying candidates. For Hillary to run for president, she has to deny the obvious flaws we see so clearly. She lied to the Benghazi families. She lied about her emails. She lies like you and I breathe. And she has to deny that a lot of bad stuff happened under her watch. In sum, she denies the fact that she doesn’t deserve this job. She’s not entitled to it, just because she stuck around. She deserves the Presidency like her husband deserves an intern.

For Bernie to run for President, he has to deny a century of misery created by socialism’s toxic tentacles. Wherever socialism spread, misery followed – and still follows. You don’t even have to look to the past: see the remnants of Chavez’s Venezuela. Yet, here is Bernie, running…as…a…socialist. And he’s got traction! From celebrities! What a surprise!

Then there’s Martin O’Malley, a denier of his own incompetence. How anyone with his resume and stilted phony persona thinks he has a shot tells you how bad the alternatives are. Jim Webb, come back.

DONALD TRUMP CRITICS: They tried to deny that he mattered, but he knew better. Eschewing jargon for plain language and crass humor – he treats the campaign like a Comedy Central roast – attracting throngs of both the curious and the devoted.

Creating a fan base of both fervent feelers and fanboys, Trump magnificently played off many fawning commentator’s insecurities – using the deep desire to be liked or noticed by Trump as a method to keep their criticism of him tamped down. If you’re saying something nice about him, maybe he’ll pat you on the head, on Twitter!

Trump has manufactured the first ever Celebrity Immunity Bubble – rendering him incapable of offense, no matter whom he offends. It’s brilliant. Imagine, of course, if candidate Obama had said derogatory statements about McCain’s service in 2007. The same people who would gladly defend Trump would have torched the White House. Which leads me to…

DONALD TRUMP FANS: This kind of denier requires a carefree chutzpah. Dismissing the McCain smear was a tell – for that slander was excused for reasons of political purity (who cares if he was a tortured POW – he’s a RINO!). I thought only liberals did that! But no matter, once that road was crossed, you were okay with every future snark you’d normally crucify a leftist for: mocking a woman’s face, a guy’s disability, a dismissal of journalist murders, jokes about shitting and schlongs. It’s all good! Which reminds me of my next denial:

FACTS AND THOUGHTS: Hands up don’t shoot. Climate change created ISIS. ISIS is using Donald Trump to recruit. Hate crimes are on the rise (the kind that seem to disappear under investigation). Cops are killing more people. College students are under attack by words.

This year we saw a denial of facts and an embrace of impulse and emotion.

Many of these exaggerated claims get a free ride, of course, depending on whose side you’re on. Meaning a hate crime turns out to be a hoax, but the media lets it slide, because they want it to be true. Meanwhile, a rightie will condemn Hillary for the Trump/ISIS exaggeration, but not Trump’s exaggeration about cheering Muslims. Both are based on assumptions one feels to be true. Even if it’s not true there – it’s true somewhere. Numbers don’t matter, or location. It’s not unlike the leftist response over hate fabrications. It doesn’t matter if that swastika or noose didn’t really happen at that precise location at that time – it likely happened somewhere.

Both Trump and Sanders are connecting on both fronts of anger and frustration – impulsive rancor is a satisfying strategy for the apolitical apoplectic. It’s a recipe for a battle, but not for the war. Granted, it feels great, but it elevates feeling over fact – a big no-no for people like me who make fun of libs who do the same thing.

When people talk about Trump, they wonder where his “floor” is, in terms of support. Then they mention if he’ll hit the “ceiling.” What they don’t mention are the “walls.” The walls are the guardrails that keep him on the right path – steering him toward substance, rather than sentiment. Without the walls, we have nothing in life.

THIN SKINS: Why does the most blunt candidate, Donald, have often the most sensitive fans? They see Trump’s slams as honesty, but they blow a gasket if you criticize their guy. His fans interpret criticism of him as a criticism of themselves – reminding me of Obama supporters who saw Barack as savior and demonized anyone who didn’t.

“You’re a racist,” they would cry if you said Obama lacked experience. “You’re a RINO,” cries a Trump supporter if you say you’re for anyone but Trump. Yet many calling others RINOs fail to realize they support a full blown RINO in Trump. (It’s what I like about him: he seems devoid of ideology. Perhaps that lack is what makes him a deal-maker: you can’t be ideologically rigid when doing business – you have to give, even as you take).

But while I admire Trump drawing in fed-up people who don’t wear khakis, I wouldn’t mind a little respect for the people who helped shape the modern conservative movement. If you can call anyone names, without knowing how many smart righties made it easier for you to call those names, then that’s also sort of a denial, too.

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