Just like we said before, Pollitics Today is now accepting submissions from other writers to help add content to our growing site. Today we can thank Robert Landrum for adding this piece to our website.
It was a rather strange and surreal sight to see.
Throughout the election night coverage on Fox News, the smirks and self-assuredness of a Romney victory gradually vanished from the anchors and guests. It was replaced with Romney fundraiser and Fox News pundit Karl Rove having a tantrum when Ohio was called for President Obama.
This forced Roger Ailes to call Executive VP of News Michael Clemente and instruct him to have Megyn Kelly take that now infamous walk to the decision desk. When Megyn was assured with “99.95% certainty” that Ohio would go to Obama because there were no more votes left from Republican districts, something remarkable happened.
Reality bit and bit very, very hard. But then you’d expect that from a “news” network where lies become truth and the truth becomes irrelevant. If you build a building upon a false foundation, no matter how bad you want it built, then you will eventually have a ruin.
But the GOP assumed that they could make reality in their own image. In 2004, a senior presidential aide to President George W. Bush told Ron Suskind, author and writer for the New York Times magazine, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality…we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
For a while, it honestly seemed like the Bush administration could honestly make their own reality and use it like a battering ram against their enemies; both foreign and domestic. But then reality happened. The Iraq War wasn’t a “mission accomplished” after all. The Afghanistan War turned into a quagmire.
Then Hurricane Katrina happened.
Then the ‘Housing Bubble’ burst.
Then Wall Street came within 24 hours of imploding the world’s economy.
Then Obama happened.
Then the Democrats took over Congress.
By 2008, the GOP realized what happens when you choose to, as Mythbusters’ Adam Savage would put it, “reject your reality and substitute my own.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow described the GOP as living inside “an information bubble.”
“And [President Obama] really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States… Nobody is taking away anyone’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.”
Who would believe otherwise? Well…
“I wouldn’t believe this lying piece of s— if she was hanging on a cross begging for forgiveness. She’s a liberal. Liberals can’t be trusted…Show me a liberal who doesn’t lie to protect their own rear-ends or to advance an agenda. You can’t, because there aren’t any!” – posted on Opposing Views website by Eric Haulenbeek, Linchfield, CT.
“So tell me how the hospital listed on his Birth Certificate from 1961 shows the name of a hospital that didn’t exist until 1978?” – posted on Opposing Views website under the handle ‘IKR’
“And by the way…can you imagine the hell to pay if any other candidate sat in a church, for 20 years, that spewed racial hatred and anti Americanism…The Benghazi incident and Fast and Furious will be just a couple more elements of Obama’s negative legacy. You can’t tell me he was not quite aware of what was going on.” – posted on Opposing Views website under the handle ‘baseman’
All the vitriol at Ms. Maddow for her views that Republicans need to wake up to reality have fallen on deaf ears to some. They have rejected reality a long time ago and substituted their own.
But there’s a price to pay for rejecting reality.
Henry Hamilton was a 64 year-old owner of Tropical Tan in Key West, FL who was “very upset about the election results.” According to his business partner Michael Cossey, he was worried about his business prospects and the possibility of higher taxes. Hamilton let it be known that if President Obama was reelected, “he wouldn’t be around.”
When he didn’t show up for work on November 8th, Cossey contacted police to do a welfare check on his business partner. They found his body and two empty prescription bottles sitting nearby. In addition, they also found his will near his body and written on it were the words “F— you, Obama!”
What happens when the reality you’ve created (or has been created for you) no longer matches the reality you see and feel? How do you cope?
For the now deceased Henry Hamilton, his substituted reality crashed down on him hard and fatally.
For Karl Rove, reality bit hard and embarrassed him in front of millions.
For Rove’s rich friends and campaign contributors, they realize now how many millions they’ve wasted trusting him.
For Fox News, it showed their loyal fans that it is not always correct and its credibility takes yet another blow.
It is one thing to believe something will go your way or have positive feeling about one’s beliefs. But unless that belief, that feeling, that thought is tempered with the facts and realities on the ground, even the smallest dose of reality will harm your substituted vision.
And reality ALWAYS wins.
Robert L. Landrum lives in New Albany, IN and is a graduate of Indiana University Southeast with degrees in both journalism and political science. In his career, he’s worked for newspapers such as The Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte, FL) and The News-Tribune (Jeffersonville, IN).