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Western Elites Have a Reality Problem

Joe Biden’s cognitive decline exposes the basic problem Western elites have with reality: they deny it for the sake of their own agenda.

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Biden in black-and-white image walking next to a general, with Vice-President Kamala Harris behind and to his left

Joe Biden’s debate performance is not, and should not be seen as, a personal failure, but as another example of the systemic institutional breakdown that drives the populist revolt across the globe.

Normal people deal with reality in practical terms

By vigorously denying the president’s obvious decline, liberals in the legacy media tried to make us believe something that obviously was untrue. The people who claim to want to protect Americans from disinformation and American institutions from being destroyed actively worked in direct opposition to the truth and, in doing so, undermined faith in one of the nation’s most iconic institutions — the office of the president of the United States.

Most people engage with reality pragmatically, not politically. We focus on solving the challenges of day-to-day life functionally, not as an ideological construct. We don’t make believe, we make do. We exist in a real world filled with actual challenges to be overcome, and we use our talents and willpower to make our lives better and achieve our personal dreams.

Sometimes, we need experts to study, media to report, and government to address systemic problems we encounter. Increasingly, however, Western intellectuals, senior business executives, government officials, and media thought leaders are divorced from the pragmatic reality in which “make-do” people live.

Elites think they can reinvent reality

Elites are increasingly ideological and inventive. They seem to believe that their role is to make us believe what they imagine about us and the world around us instead of helping us deal with the actual reality in which we live.


Rather than making our lives better, elites are absorbed with making us better instead.

Consider what elites want to make us believe:

Unregulated immigration and open borders are not a problem. If you disagree, you’re jingoistic or nativist or “Christian nationalist” or some other pejorative term.

Police are bad and arresting criminals is white supremacy because criminals are disproportionately black – so “defund the police.” If you point out that fewer criminals in jail mean more crime in our neighborhood – racist!

Climate change threatens the very existence of human life on earth and is the number one issue facing humanity – more important than crime, drugs, hunger, housing, China, immigration, or anything else in your silly, miserable little mind. Anyone pointing out that it was warmer in the United States 90 years ago, or that in the 35 years during which this idea has captured elite imagination none of the apocalyptic forecasts has proven to be true, is a “denier” – as if disputing a flawed computer model’s projections for 90 years in the future is somehow akin to denying the appalling reality of the Holocaust 90 years in the past.


Critical theory

Sexual identity is a “cultural construct,” but gender is indelible – so a man can be a woman, and vice versa. Anyone who doesn’t accept this at face value is a hateful “transphobe” – or something.

Western culture is institutionally racist. If you dare ask – which institution is racist? – you’ve merely confirmed your own bias. Everyone must be trained in the new racism – and so every institution of any size must train employees in DEI ideology to learn that getting ahead on merit is a myth and they are inherently “privileged” and therefore undeserving of the fruits of their labor.

Hamas terrorists and their supporters in Gaza are the real victims, while the Israeli civilians they attacked, raped, and mutilated are inhumane.

The litany goes on, seemingly forever, but COVID and the elites’ authoritarian response laid bare for many the extent to which institutions fail to serve but instead seek to make us believe things that are often observably untrue. Consider all the make-believe aspects of the pandemic: The new virus came from a market, not the laboratory in the same city where the U.S. funded Chinese research into enhancing similar viruses. It was a pandemic “of the unvaccinated.” If everyone wears a cloth or paper mask, it will stop the spread; standing six feet apart will also stop the spread; cannabis dispensaries are essential, but attending church is not; and Anthony Fauci is science.

Elites sometimes corrupt the right as well

The divide between make-do and make-believe leadership does not correspond exactly to the partisan split between right and left. Across the ocean, Tories were crushed and Labour romped precisely because Tory leadership has been of the elite, make-believe variety – on immigration and COVID.


Ironically, Britain will veer deeper into make-believe with Labour, as the rest of the West experiences a course correction, thanks to the political engagement and revolt of those making do. A single election is not enough for Western institutions to return to reality, but it reflects at least a partial awakening.

Events such as the conceptually absurd pro-Hamas protests in Western capitals and at leading Western educational institutions have had the effect of shocking go-along-to-get-along pragmatists within our elites into observing that Western culture has developed a reality problem.

Ultimately, our culture needs courageous pragmatists among the elites to push back against their imaginative and ideological make-believe colleagues with resolution, reasoning, and ridicule.

Here’s a way to start: Be gentle to those who imagine things that are not true, but don’t play along just to get alongor to avoid being called names; question narratives, don’t parrot them; and only vote for those focused on making it easier for you to make do and achieve your own goals.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.

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National Committeeman (Illinois) at | + posts

Richard Porter is the National Committeeman from Illinois on the Republican National Committee.

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Linda Goudsmit

Bravo! Excellent article, and the specific reason why I was compelled to write Space Is No Longer the Final Frontier––Reality Is. We have arrived at a pivotal moment in history way beyond ideological and political differences. In the 21st-century, the ability to test reality has been weaponized. We have arrived at the moment in history when there is a battle for objective reality. If subjective reality prevails, all freedoms will be lost. Why? Because the enemies of freedom live in objective reality and are strategically and tactically manipulating the people with fear, in order to regress them back to childlike psychological functioning where they will believe the absurdities of subjective reality, and commit the atrocity of accepting unreality as reality. Why is this an atrocity? Because accepting insanity as sanity awards the government totalitarian control. Orwell knew it and wrote about it as fiction. I know it and write about it as fact.

Last edited 12 days ago by Linda Goudsmit


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