I don’t care how smart you are (or think you are). You no doubt commit logical fallacies with disturbing regularity.
You see, the human brain — despite its astonishing capabilities and amazing structure — is prone to weird glitches like extinction bursts and black-and-white thinking and confirmation bias and myriad other quirks that prevent any of us from being Vulcans.
Among the strongest of these is good old-fashioned denial. You no doubt are well acquainted with this one.
For example, we routinely convince ourselves that our pants are too snug because we just washed them, and not because we’ve doubled down on the breakfast burritos. Or we’re positive that the hot waiter/waitress is checking us out. Or we just know that millions of people read our blog posts (ahem…).
On a political level, both liberals and conservatives are indulging in heavy denial, which is clearly a self-defense mechanism brought on by the horrors of the Trump Administration.
For liberals, this takes the form of hyperbolic articles predicting that Trump is going to be impeached — any day now… any hour now… the hell with it, any minute now. Just you watch!
Now while it is possible that this buffoon will finally commit so many nefarious offenses that he will get his ass fired, it is highly unlikely. House Republicans have made it clear that they will support this toxic narcissist no matter what, and as we all know, articles of impeachment have to start with the House — currently under Republican control. Short of a smoking gun regarding Russian collusion, impeachment is not going to happen.
Personally, I find it more likely that Trump will quit in frustration than get removed from office. But I’m realistic enough to admit that this is also improbable, and we are most likely stuck with this malignant clown for 45 more months.
Liberal denial gets even deeper when we look at the Not My President movement. Of course, progressives don’t mean this literally. They are well aware that Trump is officially president… well, most of them anyway.
But saying Trump is not my president is more than just a protest. It is a soothing comfort, a reminder that I didn’t vote for him and neither did my progressive friends. And it means that the man is, you know, not legitimate (whatever that means), and that America doesn’t have millions of racists, and that the way I choose to view the country is more somehow more honest than the unpleasant truth that we don’t get to have individual presidents and that we are subject to the whims of uneducated, hate-filled people who live in electorally relevant states. Nope, he’s not my president (la, la, la, la…)
However, for the most powerful, awe-inspiring display of denial on a national political level, it is difficult to top our old friends known as moderate Republicans.
Ever since Trump announced his candidacy, old-school and sane Republicans have been shouting that Trump is not really a conservative. They point to his shifting opinions and absence of core principles and the fact that he once hung out with the Clintons.
Before the election, they said Trump was a stooge whom Democrats had planted to create havoc in the primaries, and that Obama had forced conservatives to vote for a xenophobic lunatic (the poor Republicans had no choice!). And authentic members of the GOP proudly declared that they were members of #NeverTrump.
Of course, most of those NeverTrumpers have now meekly admitted that their definition of “never” is actually “a few months,” as they sheepishly fall into line behind their mighty leader. The GOP has thrown away whatever principles it had, even supporting ideas they once opposed, in the interest of party unity. And Trump is pursuing an aggressively right-wing agenda that appeals to the GOP base and the most reactionary members of Congress.
None of this screams, “secret Democrat.” Plus, there is the fact that — and here I will try to be delicate — he is the fucking standard bearer of the Republican Party and its most high-profile member.
So spare us the No True Scotsman fallacy. Trump is every bit a real Republican. In fact, he is exactly what the GOP wanted, 100 percent their creation, and fully their responsibility.
No amount of denial can change that.