It’s time now to clear the air, and the president’s speech this morning, delivered with a rare but justified level of righteous indignation, displayed his exasperation with the illogical irrational positions that some Republicans have staked out over the last few years.
“We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy,” President Obama said Thursday morning. “But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.”
And yet, listening to several Republicans, even after their complete surrender last night, it seems that they’re not just irrational; many are actually suffering from a form of delusional disorder.
First, there is grandiose delusion–a condition where an individual has an over-inflated sense of their own worth, power, and identity.
On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz remarked that “the American people the last few months have risen up in overwhelming numbers. We’ve seen millions of Americans all over this country working to change Washington. That has been incredible progress and this fight, this debate, will continue until collectively the American people can make DC listen…”
Sadly, while Mr. Cruz imagines that the nation is entirely behind him. In fact, an overwhelming 70% of Americans believe that Republicans like him have actually put their personal agenda before the interests of the country.
So that’s grandiose delusion. But then there’s the condition known as persecutory delusion, where an individual believes that he or his group are being deliberately targeted by those who only want to do them harm.
“I think what [President Barack Obama] has done over the last two and half weeks, [is] he’s trying to destroy the Republican Party and I think that anything we negotiate right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policies,” Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador said.
In fact, the president has repeatedly said that he will engage with any Republicans who have positive ideas about how to grow the economy. But sadly, Mr. Labrado appears overwhelmed by a form of persecutory delusion.
So what’s the remedy for this condition? How can these individuals break free from their delusion? The president did offer a possible solution, but it owuld mean that Republicans would have to stop listening to the very people who keep feeding their fears:
“All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids.”
In other words: turn off that bloviating misogynist on the radio, and your symptoms will improve.