Even sane, smart people seem to be going nuts

One. George interviews Biden

Watching George Stephanopolous sententious interview of President Biden, I didn’t scream, I swear. But boy did I mutter.

Gee, minutes before the program started, I was thinking, well, Stephanopolous is a fairly smart guy, this should be OK. Yet he asked pejorative questions virtually exclusively, as if he were some sort of mental health professional. He regularly intoned, “That’s just a fact,” about things that weren’t facts. So weren’t facts, even I knew it without a Google search. Like the polls. Did he forget that polls aren’t factual?

But when he repremanded Biden for failing to realize the 2020 election was “really very close,” my mutters became hisses.

And then I had one of my revelations, when I thought, “This is utterly crazy, upside-down shit.” George’s questions were compiled for an interview with Trump, not Biden.

(BTW, I just saw on TAFKAT a White House release — you know, the kind of thing George was asking for — of a January Biden medical referring specifically to neurological matters. Biden’s sole neurological problem is peripheral neuropathy in his feet. Which is why he walks as he does.)

Two. My list of smart people is taking hits

My mental list of smart people is being seriously diminished.

I grew up believing the justices on the Supreme Court were among the smartest lawyers in the country. But reading Roberts’ “immunity” decision, I was, at the Brits say, gobsmacked. Not only wasn’t it intelligent, it was bizarre vis-a-vis our Constitution. SCOTUS isn’t supposed to make up stuff. But that’s what Roberts did: he made up stuff.

Three. Friends going nuts

Even people I know are going nuts, dragging irrelevant hostilities into conversations. Hostilities without verification, hostilities about not just Biden, but Jill Biden. (Jill Biden?!) And Hunter Biden: on TAFKAT I saw some weirdo tweet that Hunter is running the government.

But I do not expect to hear insane stuff like that from a smart friend. The best reprimand I could offer was, “You don’t know that!” Which is basically what I was muttering at Stephanopolous. A couple of gratutious racist remarks and on she went, trashing what she called Biden’s look during the debate, with his mouth hanging open as he listened to Trump. My mouth was also hanging open as I listened to Trump and wondered how the fuck anyone could hear this horrific display without wanting the Apollo Hook to come out and yank him off the stage and have him committed to a psychiatric facility. Which is where he belongs.

Finally I told her to stop. (She did; she’s not MAGA.)

Could this mass psychosis be a post-COVID virus for which no vaccine has yet been developed?

Four. Hysteria over the news media

Moreover, so many smart people have become hysterical (oh, I really dislike using that word but I must; they are almost entirely men) over what they call “the mainstream media,” most specifically the New York Times. Some courageous sorts have proudly announced they’ve canceled their subscriptions to the Times.

Bravo! Where do they intend to get their news now? From any of Rupert Murdoch’s rags? From the Washington Post, in a quiver now because of Bezos’s new hires out of the Murdoch stable of amoral “journalists”? From — I’m writing this while laughing — Elon Musk!?

As angry as I’ve been over many years about the timing and weight of some of the Times’ political coverage, I do know the difference between news articles and news analysis, and editorials and opinions. So I can get my news, i.e., my facts from the Times. I know how to read newspapers.

What seems to have tipped everyone over into a snake pit was a guest essay by Matthew Walther, a sad sack made dimwitted by his religious devotion, who offered his suggestion (along with a lie) that we shouldn’t vote because our individual votes make no different, and how he doesn’t vote. That was the lie part; the guy is so dense he seems not to know (or maybe care) that in this world of search engines, smart people will expose such lies. (Also, he’s so dim he brought up 2000 and Florida to illustrate how our votes don’t count.)

So everybody is yelling that the New York Times is saying nobody should bother to vote. No, they are not.

I have occasionally dipped into Walther’s essays, as I do with Ross Douthat’s and David Brooks’, because the defense of mindless religious devotion fascinates me, since I have no such devotion myself and am, indeed, an enemy of such devotees. An occasional read of a couple of paragraphs hones my lifelong belief that serious religion is destructive to humanity, especially to the half of humanity of which I am a member. The female half.

So why do I look at this nonsense? Because my fellow Times readers write comments in which they tear these guys apart with intelligence, knowledge and fine humor.

Five. Instead of going crazy en masse

Vote. En masse. It’s a greater power in this universe than any 900-page Project 2025 honey-dew list for despotism.




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