Posted by: bkivey | 2 January 2017

Alternate Reality

“This must be what going mad feels like.”

Simon Tam


Firefly 2002

I didn’t know the result of the Presidential election until the afternoon of the day after. I’d cast my vote, and so cast what influence I could. After that it didn’t matter. The results were going to be whatever they were. Judging by the lack of riots and fires I’d figured Clinton had won, and was a bit surprised to find out otherwise. So the dire predictions of the Left hadn’t (yet) come true.

I’ve refrained form commenting on the election because I wanted to see how the Left would handle rejection. As expected, not well. First they went into deep denial, then sought to blame others for their failure. This is all pretty normal for people facing a loss, but what sets the aftermath of this election apart from others is the degree to which the Left has denied reality. They not only refuse to acknowledge the failure, but are so convinced that they are right that they can’t admit any explanation other than the evil Others have taken what is theirs. There is only One True Way for a society to behave, and anything else is the very incarnation of all that is wrong with people.

Progressivism has always been about the cult of personality. There is a Progressive ideology, but it’s the Rule of Man, and so is fractured and inconstant. Progressive leadership consists of those who most loudly proclaim the current Party line while using the modus operandi of manufactured conflict to best advantage. These folks enjoy massive public exposure from the morphing of the Fourth Estate into the Fourth Branch and the near-total takeover of academia and entertainment by the Party. Those who wish to remain in the Party’s good graces must loudly proclaim their support. In the absence of a unifying philosophy greater than the individual a person hoping to improve their lot must curry favor with those increasingly closer to the center of power. It’s very much about who you know, or to whom you profess allegiance.

The subjugation of self to another is the foundation of cults. Cults seek to immerse their followers in an alternate reality dominated by a figurehead. Some, like the more moderate religions and the military, are useful and necessary, but most cults are varying degrees of harmful to their members and society. Fortunately most cults are small and so the damage is limited.

What I was unprepared for after the election was the degree to which half the country appears to be living in an alternate reality. A reality they think is concrete and actual. I saw glimmers of this after Bernie Sanders was ousted from the race. People were actually distraught because they’d put all their eggs in the Bernie basket and now it wasn’t going to happen. Yes, you still have to pay your college loans. But there weren’t a lot of these folks, so I didn’t pay it too much mind.

Then after the election, a lot of pieces like this appeared:

I had been living for less than 48 hours with the knowledge that Donald Trump would be our next President, but the whole year had already been so horrible, I had been taking refuge in ambient house music for months.

The airport was crowded. I’ve flown out of PDX countless times, and was surprised at how many international travelers were departing that morning. Had they all rescheduled their flights to get out of here as soon as possible, before they were all rounded up and deported, or worse? What a mad time to be visiting the US, or to be watching the US, or to be the US.

I felt paranoid, and not without good reason. I tried to peer into the mind and soul of every strange face I encountered. For whom had they voted? Were they friend or foe? I can see no stronger line in the division of this country than one’s feelings about a Trump presidency. Some are feeling a powerfully enabled joy; others, a crushing, defeated sadness. I reside firmly in the latter category. The sadness I feel, and hopefully the anger as well, will dissipate. But in the anti-Trump camp I will reside, until I die. I’m not visiting.

The flight was a blur. I drifted in and out of consciousness, sounds and images from my sleepless night swirling in my head like a dream: Birdo in the Super Blooper. Tracy Does Conan. “Little Fluffy Clouds.” I opened my eyes to see Delta was showing this year’s Ghostbusters remake on its tiny screens. I wondered how, in this culture of swelling misogyny, were we ever going to elect a female president? This country, overpopulated with crying, hate-filled manbabies, couldn’t even deal with women ghostbusters. I closed my eyes, hoping that when I awoke we would be in New York, or back home in Portland, or it would be January 2021, and Bruce Springsteen or Taylor Swift was about to be inaugurated.

We landed at JFK around two in the afternoon. I thought of JFK, then thought of Trump again. I wondered if Trump would have a presidency similar to JFK’s: short, with an exciting ending. We took a Lyft to our Airbnb in Williamsburg. We ate pizza, played pinball, and watched Guardians of the Galaxy on cable. I finally crashed around nine, and slept for about 15 hours.

New York is the city that never sleeps, but it’s the first place I got a good night’s sleep since hearing the worst news of my life.


Hutch Harris is a guest columnist for the Portland Mercury and this piece appeared in the 23 November issue.

“I felt paranoid, and not without good reason.”

Nearly half the country is of similar mind. Without their leader in power they have nothing. Or believe they do. Perception is reality to the extent that when actual reality happened they couldn’t cope. Now the self-righteous fueled projection of the Left is out in full, accusing their opposition of the very things they’ve publicly said they’d like to do. It is mass media incited mass hysteria. It’s irrational and mad and it’s damned frightening.

There are perhaps a couple of glimmers of hope. The first is that the Left has shown itself for what it is. The second is that perhaps some of the more rational people will start to examine their allegiance to the Democratic Party. I’ve seen a few pieces where just such reflection takes place. One may hope the forces of barbarism are not yet completely ascendant.



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