After explaining how the Left invented a detachment from reality, Kurt Andersen makes the laughable argument that the Left, not the Right, is reality-based.
A Leftist friend of mine told me that novelist Kurt Andersen’s article in The Atlantic, entitled How America Lost Its Mind : The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history, is a “must read.” Although the article is ostensibly about a movement that began in the 1960s, one that saw America abandon facts in favor of emotions and magical thinking, the article is really a very, very, very, very long effort to say that Trump voters are credulous and irrational.
Because I am a nice person, I will not ask you to read the article — unless, of course, you are a glutton for punishment and have endless amounts of time. Instead, I’ve worked my way through this magnum opus to distill the essential points in each paragraph. To save you the time of even reading my summation — which, while long, is still shorter than Andersen’s article — here’s a quick summing up of what he says:
During the 1960s and 1970s, America went crazy. It was mostly the Left that went crazy, especially in academia, where our colleges abandoned truth and, instead, settled for moral and cultural relativism, navel gazing, and Foucault’s “everybody makes it up as they go along” theory. This madness swept the land.
Fortunately, by the 1980s, the Left managed to distill only the purest and truest thought from this insanity. Conservatives, meanwhile, embraced the crazy because they believed in God and distrusted both Big Government and the media. They were aided by the end of the Fairness Doctrine, which allowed the crazies to hit the airwaves. First Rush and then the internet convinced conservatives that there is a God, and that both Big Government and the media deserve to be distrusted.
And that’s how we got Trump.
Andersen’s turgid, long, frequently ignorant, invariably condescending, and very nasty essay boils down to a variation of the saying that “Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe.” According to Andersen, “An unprincipled retreat from reality is always bubbling and burgeoning on the Left, but only reveals itself on amongst conservatives.”
That’s really what Andersen takes 117 paragraphs to say. I know, because I read all of them and, as noted above, I’ve set out below a precis of his wordiness, along with my interlineated comments: [Read more…]