By now you’re probably aware of Karl Rove’s on-screen meltdown at Fox News. The Fox Decision Desk had worked the numbers for Ohio, figured out that most of the uncounted votes were in primarily Democratic counties and Obama had a lead without those votes, and called the state for Obama, thereby putting him over the 270 mark and making him President. Karl Rove objected that it couldn’t be, and simply would not be mollified by those little “fact” thingies until he was beaten over the head with a two-by-four.
That was one of just many Republican meltdowns that evening as their most cherished beliefs ran aground upon the harsh shoals of reality. One of the most poisonous ideas that has invaded the Republican party is a nihilistic philosophy that there is no objective reality, that reality is created by their collective desires and wishes. I think that a number of Republicans in high places actually believe there is no global warming not because of anything to do with objective reality, but, rather, because they believe that if they state that 1+1=3 often enough and with enough sincerity, 1+1 really *will* be 3. If you do not believe there is an objective reality outside of the perceptions you create for yourself, then you cannot learn from objective reality. The aftermath of the current election, where Turdblossom could not believe that the Republicans lost Ohio and had a meltdown on national television, show the problem with that philosophy though — what happens when objective reality raises its nasty head and pokes through your self-delusions? Well, it is not pretty.
One of the reasons I’m going to take a week off sometime in the next few weeks and go backpacking into the wilderness is not because I’m all that fond of being cold, hungry, and tired. Rather, backpacking maintains sanity. Nothing like squatting over a cathole in near-freezing weather to keep you in touch with objective reality and squash any delusions of grandeur. Sure I enjoy visiting the historical sites and catching the views, but one big reason is because it not only gets me more in touch with objective reality, but I appreciate civilization that much more once I get back (hot water, in particular, is a marvelous invention… what I miss most in the outback is a nice warm shower). Unfortunately, most Americans never get any closer to objective reality than their living room television. Well, you can watch everything you want on your living room television, but the only reality in that scenario is your living room — hardly sufficient objective reality to really count. Which is sad. Because
Hmm, perhaps we can stage an intervention… kidnap Turdblossom, put a backpack on him, and force him to march a few hundred miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Aside from his losing 100 pounds of weight in the process, he’d get a close up and personal view of objective reality that simply can’t be spun. Alas, it isn’t happening… sigh.
– Badtux the Reality-based Penguin