Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"

Authored by Daniel Henninger, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

Public Theater should cancel its Trump assassination play... But it won’t.

James T. Hodgkinson, who on Wednesday shot Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and four others, posted this on his Facebook page March 22: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Sitting in the dying light of World War I, the poet T.S. Eliot wrote, “I had not thought death had undone so many.” What’s our excuse? Displays of political or social excess seem to be everywhere. Whatever once fastened the doors of people’s minds to something secure and stable has become unhinged.

Some thought the apotheosis of political derangement had been reached when celebrity Kathy Griffin posted a video of herself holding the bloody, severed head of Donald Trump.

But that wasn’t the end of it. We may assume that as Ms. Griffin was creating her video, the artists at New York’s Public Theater were rehearsing their production of “ Julius Caesar, ” the one in which Central Park audiences watch Caesar as a blond-haired Donald Trump, who is pulled down from a podium by men in suits and assassinated with plunging knives.

The news site Axios runs stories regularly about journalists who have been suspended or fired because of their unhinged postings on Twitter . After Donald Trump used a tweet to revive his long-running feud with the mayor of London amid the June 3 killings, CNN personality Reza Aslan tweeted that Mr. Trump was a “piece of s—.”

Some take comfort that these displays did not go unpunished. CNN wrist-slapped Ms. Griffin by dropping her as co-host of its New Year’s Eve show with Anderson Cooper. Delta Air Lines , American Express and Bank of America withdrew their sponsorship of “Julius Caesar,” though New York City’s Democratic Comptroller Scott Stringer said their pullout “sends the wrong message.”

Advertisers must wake up every morning wondering what political meteorite will hit them next. J.P. Morgan Chase pulled its ads this week from NBC News rather than be associated with Megyn Kelly’s prime-time interview with Alex Jones to discuss “controversies and conspiracies,” such as his notion that the Sandy Hook murders were a hoax. Ms. Kelly justified the interview in part on Twitter because Donald Trump appeared on Mr. Jones’s show and “our job is 2 shine a light.”

Donald Trump’s election has caused psychological unhingement in much of the population. But the Trump phenomenon only accelerated forces that were plummeting in this direction before the 2016 election.

Social media—a permanent marinade for the human brain—is causing a vast, mysterious transformation of how people process experience, and maybe someday a future B.F. Skinner will explain what it has done to us.

Impossible to miss, though, is how jacked up emotional intensity has become in American politics. The campaign rallies of both Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders often sat on the edge of violence. Reporters describe political town hall meetings as full of “angry” voters. Shouting down the opposition in these forums or on campus has been virtually internalized as standard behavior. Refusal to reason is the new normal. And then the unreason is euphemized as free speech.

Explaining away these impulses as a routine turn of the populist political cycle is insufficient. Something more permanent is happening.

I remain fascinated with the case of the 10 incoming Harvard freshmen who celebrated their achievement by posting a series of remarkably repulsive, violent photographic memes on Facebook. One said abusing children was sexually arousing; another described the hanging of a Mexican child as “piñata time.”

What those no-longer Harvard students had done was create a “private” Facebook messaging board, where they somehow felt free to mock and subvert current social convention. They aren’t alone. The website Reddit, which has about 500 million monthly visitors, became known for similar “anonymous” bulletin boards on which men, for example, exchange outrageous sexual postings.

We negotiate much of daily life now in tense, parallel universes: One is overflowing with individual political and social behavior that is deviant—flights from the norm—at a time when broader norms of political and social behavior are enforced with a vengeance. Today you can get shamed, sued or fired for almost any conceivable offense.

In reaction, millions of people—including the president—seem to regard social media as a kind of wildlife refuge, where they can run naked against society’s dammed-up personal and political opinions.

The possibilities for psychological dislocation are limitless. Kathy Griffin justified her beheaded-Trump stunt by arguing, “I’ve dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life. . . . This is a woman thing.”

We know that political anger and violence can become mystical in its attraction, especially at the margin for people like political shooter James Hodgkinson. This is a good moment to dial it back. The Public Theater’s management could cancel their staged Trump assassination in Central Park. But they won’t. Like so many others with political disorder syndrome, they no longer can.


Killtruck CRM114 Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:11 Permalink

It's not just that they are unwilling to reason, it's that they completely reject reason as a means to truth. Because there is no truth. Therefore your attempts to reason are just attempts to exert influence over them, to establish power over them...probably as a result of your patriarchical worldview. We're talking about oil and water. These worldviews cannot coexist. They reject reason. They reject logic. They reject free speech and demand that you only use language they approve of. They reject the individual - only the group matters - and the more "oppressed" the better. They are the exact opposite of everything that we hold dear and cherish, everything you've ever known or loved. They don't believe in good or evil, or the worth of the individual. These are the same people who reduce you to a number and march you into a pit where they bury you alive. They will reduce you to an unperson, and they will eliminate you as soon as they get a chance.  

In reply to by CRM114

Endgame Napoleon Stuck on Zero Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:10 Permalink

A lot of the debate by the MSM focuses on the careerist power struggle of elites at the top. That is not what brought Trump to power, nor is ideological purity of any kind the reason, although college students at elite universities may be motivated by ideology. Many people who voted for Trump said they had not bothered to vote since Perot. That was the last time serious economic issues were addressed head-on. There were many cross-over voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere, voting for Trump because their party, when not focused on one more layer of welfare/taxfare for single moms, focuses on racism, sexism and xenophobia.....

....in a "racist" era with a twice-elected Black president, where many government agencies have 80% Black staff and managers

.....in a "sexist"' era where more than half of the MDs are women, as are half of the managers, in general, when wealth has never been more concentrated due to assortative mating

....in a "xenophobic" era, where even illegal immigrants are treated much better than millions of citizens, leading to $113 billion per year in welfare/taxfare expenditures for the illegal immigrants alone, not counting all of the freebies for 1 million legal immigrants admitted per year, particularly for those who reproduce

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

CheapBastard CRM114 Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:23 Permalink

<<Without morals or rational discourse it is just a power struggle. Nothing more.>>That's why milions and millions were killed by or under Meow, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. Power, not logic and certainly no morality there. This emptiness is also the Hallmark of the DNC and lefties nowadays.

In reply to by CRM114

Killtruck CRM114 Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:30 Permalink

Very hard to say. You could point to the student activism of the 60's, and those commie weasels raising kids. You could point to the fall of the Soviet, for sure. Somewhere along the line, Americans became so damned happy and fat that they stopped reading books and we stopped teaching history in schools. We stopped paying attention to the fact that Marxism sounds great on paper but it's a vicious, world-ending ideology that runs on blood and forced labor. Growing up, I always assumed that the Red Scare was just overblown scaremongering, but now I see it as a necessity. This cultural Marxist bullshit will be the end of Western Civilization if it's not stopped in its tracks, and I fear it to be too late to stop it intellectually and without bloodshed. It's grown too much. We've indoctrinated the youth with it, by subsidizing commies in our schools. Wasn't it Lenin that said he could change the course of a nation if he was allowed to teach the young? Well, they damn well did it here, and no one said shit about it. But now look at us. The Hammer and Sickle worn at Berkeley. Fuck. That.I think it's too late for words, personally. I hope that I'm wrong, and I hope that this current generation starts reading some damn books and starts speaking up about what's true. Maybe the commies will listen. Historically, that hasn't been their strong suit. No, I think eventually this will have to be rooted out and destroyed. Blood will be spilled on both sides before it's all over. If I were to place bets, I would say the right-wing will win. Chomsky had a quote of some kind that basically said that once things turned physical, the left would lose, because viciousness was not their forte. Perhaps he's correct about that. I don't know. Commies have shown themselves to be pretty vicious in the last century. Regardless, I feel that it is too late for words. Postmodernists are dedicated to tearing down all of Western Civilization, and they will not stop until it's completed - it's why they embrace the headchoppers and livereaters. They must be rooted out and removed, and that takes guns...you can't do that with words. Although I genuinely do hope that I am wrong about that one.  

In reply to by CRM114

Killtruck Normalcy Bias Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:33 Permalink

True. Reason, logic, rational discussion...they don't believe in any of it. They completely reject the Enlightenment and any semblance of Judeo-Christian principles, the likes of which all of Western Civilization is founded upon. Perhaps most dangerous is the principle that the individual has worth. That's something that they reject. Only the group matters. Well, when you look at it for what it is...that kind of ideology has genocide built right into it. Which is why they are so damn dangerous. Ideas like that are a virus.  

In reply to by Normalcy Bias

Laddie sixsigma cygnu… Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:13 Permalink

The Liberals are BACKED by the (((Media))) and the government.

Whites don't even KNOW what is really going on.
They ALL know about TRAYVON and the GENTLE GIANT and on and on but how many knew about this woman?

Was this on NPR? Did ABC, CBS, NBC headline this?????
As his pal films it, the assailant is 25, the victim is 45 and last I read was in critical condition this occurred in Atlantic City, NJ. This was NOT a "hate crime" you see, must have been a "LOVE CRIME"

White Woman Gets KO'd By black man
Atlantic City man arrested after posting facebook video-of-himself

You see the Media Bosses don't want you to know what REALITY is... and THEY control what the masses KNOW and THINK.

New Nation has been online since 1995, the bodies pile up in mounds, but no attention is given:
http://newnation.org/ http://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com/

In reply to by sixsigma cygnu…

nmewn VWAndy Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:37 Permalink

It might surprise you that I'm against asset forfeiture laws (which has nothing to do with left/right its collective-state/individual).So, what is/was your opinion of Obama going after UBS and Swiss bank accounts? Seems like the same thing to me, except on a global scale and an infringement on another sovereign nation...

In reply to by VWAndy

Bigly nmewn Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:14 Permalink

Grabby hands. Same deal, slightly different execution.All of asset forfeiture sucks. And for the 1 guy out of 100 who may actually deserve it, too bad. Most of it is complete shit, therefore all of is is complete shit considering cops are lying. How to know? So do none.

In reply to by nmewn

Mikeyyy nmewn Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:51 Permalink

You and your up voters prove how illogical the right can be even as the commenters above "prove" the left has no logic.  Trump fired Comey. That's a fact. And then told the Russian ambasssdor, "I faced great pressure because of Russia.  That's taken off." And that's a fact.  So when you dumbshits say, "there's no evidence," "no proof,"  blah, blah, blah...Now, clearly that's not proof positive.  But, nobody with a functioning brain can argue that's not some insight into Trump's motives and thought process, weak as it is.Now go ahead and twist yourself into knots arguing the facts...

In reply to by nmewn

nmewn Mikeyyy Fri, 06/16/2017 - 06:27 Permalink

As you say, statements of fact don't prove anything..."I faced great pressure because of Russia.  That's taken off."...the context of the quote and the meeting itself was the improvement of relations with Russia.Period.Full stop.Comey's (and the dimz) Russian witch hunt, where Russian witches ARE NOT FOUND, was in fact inhibiting the improvement of USA-Russia foreign relations. In fact Comey himself said Trump is not and was not the target of "Russian collusion", so the dimz purpose for the investigation had come to an end yet Comey refused to let it go. Which touches on Flynn and why (if we can believe a perjurer like Comey) Trump said "I hope you can let it/him go."Mike Flynn is a patriot in every sense of the word and would never conspire with the Russians or any other nation against this one. To say otherwise is to not know Mike Flynn or have ever read anything he ever said or published.The dimz don't have special rights to destroy people just because they don't like them or lost an election. 

In reply to by Mikeyyy

Tall Tom VWAndy Thu, 06/15/2017 - 23:39 Permalink

  What is not considered is Brain Chemistry and Neuropsychology. If someone is introduced to an idea that upsets his or her belief then nor-adrenaline is secreted. At that point emotions take over and that inhibits rational thinking. It is also true that when there is agreement and social validation then dopamine is released in quantities....which also inhibits rational thought. Of course most Humans, other than the ahedonistic, are Dopamine Junkies, as it FEELS GOOD. Some are Adrenaline Junkies as that FEELS GOOD for them.. There is a psychological reason for the arrows being included on this website...as well as many others. Most people become addicted to social validation and that is regardless if you are either a Red Team Member or a Blue Team Member. But it keeps many coming back here for more.

In reply to by VWAndy

ich1baN nmewn Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:29 Permalink

Gentleman, we've seen this script before... we all know who wins in the end and it's not the squabbling neo-Marxists for they are like those little dogs that yip and yap and nip and yack at your heels... yet We all know the first time you defend yourself or lash out after you've given them plenty of warnings, they calm down into the feebly weak kneed bitches that they are.

In reply to by nmewn