Fourteen-year-old Eggert Stolten’s mother was an ardent Nazi. She did not try to stop her son from listening to the BBC and Radio Switzerland, but instead maintained a withering commentary on the statistics given by the British for the distances the Allies had supposedly advanced, and the prisoners they had captured. “It’s lies, all lies!” said Frau Stolten. “Our numbers are the right ones!”
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany
The paranoid’s interpretation of history is in this sense distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he directs the public mind through “managed news”; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind . . .
The Paranoid Style in American Politics
The most striking feature of the current right-wing obsession with “skewed polls” is that it combines two of modern conservatism’s most pronounced tendencies: A complete rejection of empirical reality, and a deep conviction that said reality is in fact a conspiratorial plot by the enemies of America (a.k.a. the liberals) to poison public opinion—to win through deception what they cannot achieve openly.
Memories of the right’s insistence that all was going well with the bloody occupation of Iraq are hard to avoid—likewise the manufactured “debate” over the causes and consequences of global climate change, the imaginary role of ACORN and the Community Reinvestment Act in the subprime mortgage meltdown, and just about every other instance in which conservative ideology has had to come face to face with the cold, hard facts of life.
In each case, the kneejerk conservative response to inconvenient (and unfriendly) truths has been to mimic Adam Savage’s line from Mythbusters: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Except Adam was being ironic. They are not.
(Continue reading below the fold.)
Source: Daily Kos