How does a nation prosper, or even survive, when its leaders are delusional, seeming to believe things that are clearly not true, and then basing policies and actions on these delusions?

Merriam-Webster defines delusion as “a belief that is not true: a false idea.”  In other words, a lie. Believing in and acting as if lies are true will always lead to disaster.

Truths are what we need. Simple truths, which, as Albert Barnes pointed out, make their own way without needing extra fanfare or fancy wrapping.

We can see with our own eyes, and/or know from our own experiences, that the following are delusions:

  1. Our southern border is secure and no illegal persons or drugs or criminals or terrorists are coming across, so it is not an issue that needs any action.
  2. The withdrawl from Afghanistan was a little messy, but generally a success, and we don’t need to focus any more time or resources on the consequences of our withdrawl for the Afghanis, our allies, or us. Thankfully, it’s over and done. No need to revisit ever again.
  3. Requiring people to be vaccinated in order to keep their jobs, thereby losing some of the best, most experienced people in every industry and service in our country, particularly in first responders, is actually good for us.
  4. Inflation is not happening and the economy will be helped by printing and spending money that we don’t have.
  5. The size of the national debt is not important because interest rates will always remain low, and we can handle the payments.
  6. Some people do not succeed in life because they are oppressed by those with privilege due to their skin color or gender, not because they were deserted by their fathers, grew up without positive role models, attended a failing school, joined a gang, and/or cannot read or write.
  7. Systemic racism is inevitable and is everywhere. The only solution is government action and more laws and regulations to counter it.
  8. America is basically a bad place, full of oppressors who take advantage of the oppressed. Employers, landlords, whites, men, Christians, oil companies, straight people—the list is long, and our only hope is for the woke elites to be given more power, resources and control to counter these evil forces wherever they are found, particularly in our schools.
  9. It’s fine for large corporations and individuals to make huge profits, pay little or no taxes, and make large political contributions, so long as they are stridently woke, help the elite weed out oppressors, and aggressively support Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at every level.
  10. All the policies and programs of the previous Administration were wrong by definition, because Donald Trump should never have been elected, and so all of these policies must be ended. Oil pipelines, a border wall, Remain in Mexico, Iran policy—it doesn’t matter—they all must go.
  11. And finally, from a different perspective: The 2020 election was stolen by evil actors and corrupt/inept officials, including some conservatives who had nothing to gain by doing so, but let it be stolen anyway. Proof of Trump’s landslide victory is everywhere, but the courts are also corrupt. His personality and actions had nothing to do with the election results. His actions on January 6th were totally justified. To be a true patriot, before advocating any other position or policy, you must first swear allegiance to the Fact of The Big Steal. Unless you do, nothing else you say or do will matter—you are the enemy and must be defeated.

How can it be that so many delusions—lies—are supported and repeated by so many in Washington and in the media, when they are so clearly false?

In Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story “The Emperor Has No Clothes”, the leader embraces the lie—the invisible clothing fabric of the swindlers—because they tell him that the only people who cannot see their beautiful fabric are those who are stupid or who are unfit for their high positions. The “unwoke”. The non-elite.

As that “truth” spreads around, all of the Emperor’s advisers compete to tell him how good he looks, even though they can actually see nothing. They want to be inside, on the winning team, even if supporting many lies is the price.

The whole town knew about the cloth’s peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbors were.

“I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” the Emperor decided. “He’ll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he’s a sensible man and no one does his duty better.”

So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

“Heaven help me,” he thought as his eyes flew wide open, “I can’t see anything at all”. But he did not say so.

Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colors. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn’t see anything, because there was nothing to see. “Heaven have mercy,” he thought. “Can it be that I’m a fool? I’d have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can’t see the cloth.”

“Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it,” said one of the weavers.

“Oh, it’s beautiful -it’s enchanting.” The old minister peered through his spectacles. “Such a pattern, what colors!” I’ll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.”

Sadly, at the end of the story, even when the simple truth is spoken by a child, the Emperor continues with the lie—he has too much invested in it to change.

So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

There we are. Our officials, advisers, media and politicians are holding high policies and decisions which are lies, despite the actual truths being obvious to us all–and presumably to them.

The good news, though the transition may be painful, is that ultimately lies never succeed. The truth always does. Because God is Truth, and our Savior told Pilate, “The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

God will ultimately crush lies.

Surely there are conservative leaders in America today who are honest, intelligent, humble, creative, possessing a sense of humor, and ready to solve these issues by working with other people of good will to find truthful solutions, rather than by going deeper into dishonest delusions.

Where are the good men and women clothed in truth whom we can vote for? Please come forward now and speak up, even if the deluded attack you. As you speak the truth, you will be heard.

And the truth will prevail.

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