The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

First Russia, Then Ukraine, Now a Virus — ‘The Walls Are Closing In’ on Trump!

Posted on | March 14, 2020 | 2 Comments


One symptom of mental illness is magical thinking, “the belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. . . . People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) engage in a type of magical thinking. . . . People diagnosed with schizophrenia and delusional disorders may also experience bouts of magical thinking.”

What drives the schizophrenic mad is a sense of helplessness, a lack of agency, the feeling that external forces are controlling their lives. In this condition, they resort to child-like fantasies of omnipotence, where they have the power to fulfill their desires simply by wishing the desired outcome into existence. Such delusional thinking is evident in the behaviors of those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The disappointment of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat had a traumatic psychological impact on Trump’s enemies, particularly in the media, who experienced the election result as a loss of power. Immediately, the anti-Trump media began seizing on anything — a scandal, a poll result, Russian “collusion,” etc. — that might rid them of this demonized figure whose political success symbolized to them their own failure. Thus was born the “walls are closing in” meme of liberal media fantasy, where the latest “bombshell” was always “the beginning of the end” for Trump.


Never mind that 63 million Americans voted to elect Trump, and never mind any evidence of his success in office, the liberal media cannot accept the possibility that they are wrong. No one they know voted for Trump. Everyone whose opinion they respect agrees with them: Trump is Hitler, everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, and therefore, in order that Good triumph over Evil, the walls are always closing in on Trump.

Consider this outburst from #NeverTrump intellectual Peter Wehner:

It took until the second half of Trump’s first term, but the crisis has arrived in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s hard to name a president who has been as overwhelmed by a crisis as the coronavirus has overwhelmed Donald Trump.
To be sure, the president isn’t responsible for either the coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19, and he couldn’t have stopped it from hitting our shores even if he had done everything right. Nor is it the case that the president hasn’t done anything right; in fact, his decision to implement a travel ban on China was prudent. And any narrative that attempts to pin all of the blame on Trump for the coronavirus is simply unfair. The temptation among the president’s critics to use the pandemic to get back at Trump for every bad thing he’s done should be resisted, and schadenfreude is never a good look.
That said, the president and his administration are responsible for grave, costly errors . . .
Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes.
The coronavirus is quite likely to be the Trump presidency’s inflection point, when everything changed, when the bluster and ignorance and shallowness of America’s 45th president became undeniable, an empirical reality, as indisputable as the laws of science or a mathematical equation.
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.

This is “magical thinking” in action. Because Wehner wants the Trump presidency to end in failure, the coronavirus must be a catastrophic pandemic, and therefore he and his anti-Trump friends are doing everything possible to incite public hysteria over a disease which, as I explained Friday, has so far infected only a tiny fraction of Americans, in comparison to the many thousands afflicted in China, Italy and Iran. As of noon today, the Wuhan coronavirus had caused 1,266 deaths in Italy (population 60.4 million) and 191 deaths in Spain (population 46.8 million), compared to the 49 deaths in the United States (population 327 million). The situation in Italy appears to be spiraling out of control, but the number of U.S. cases (about 2,400) is fewer than in either Germany (4,174 cases in a population of 83.8 million) or France (3,667 cases in a population of 65.3 million). How is Trump guilty of “grave, costly errors” when Americans appear to be so much safer from this disease than are people in many European nations? What happens if the coronavirus panic turns out to be overblown? What if, under Trump’s leadership, the impact in the United States proves to be much less severe than in those European socialist countries that liberals are always praising as superior to capitalist America? Isn’t it possible that the American people will figure out that Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) were deliberately trying to incite a panic for political motives?

Peter Wehner and his friends have not considered that possibility, because they are emotionally invested in the worst-case scenario as part of their “magical thinking” delusion. What they seem to forget — Trump Derangement Syndrome has impaired their memory — is that elections are a choice, and you can’t beat somebody with nobody. Does anyone really believe Joe Biden is the man who will save America from doom?

Spare a thought today for our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the press. They’re going through a lot right now. In 2016 they sacrificed what was left of their dignity to drag Hillary Clinton across the finish line, and she failed them anyway. Now they’re expected to spend the next eight months cleaning up after this doddering old fossil, who makes Hillary look like a paragon of competence and health. No wonder they’re so grouchy all the time!

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)



2 Responses to “First Russia, Then Ukraine, Now a Virus — ‘The Walls Are Closing In’ on Trump!”

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    March 15th, 2020 @ 9:58 am

    […] The Other McCain discusses Russia, Ukraine, and now Wuhan! […]

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    March 16th, 2020 @ 8:40 am

    […] tip to The Other McCain with First Russia, Then Ukraine, Now a Virus — ‘The Walls Are Closing In’ on Trump! He […]