This article from Consortium News talks about the Bush administration living in some sort of religious parallel universe:
Journalist Ron Suskind relates a chilling conversation he had in 2002 with a senior aide to George W. Bush, who taunted Suskind for being a person from “what we call the reality-based community.”
The Bush aide said this “reality-based community” consists of people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” Suskind nodded in agreement and muttered something favorable about the principles of the Enlightenment, only to be cut off by the aide.
“That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” the Bush aide told the journalist. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to study what we do.”
The sheer arrogance of this guy- an aide! boggles the mind. It’s like they’re living in a seperate reality from the real world.
What appears to have happened is that a significant swath of the U.S. population has embraced a political mysticism which accepts Bush as a kind of cult leader. For these Bush supporters, it doesn’t matter that he has big gaps in his knowledge of the world or that he sometimes invents his own reality. They have come to see Bush as a messenger from God, an impression that Bush’s handlers – and Bush himself – have cultivated.
In the third presidential debate, for instance, Bush said “one part of my foreign policy” is that “I believe that God wants everybody to be free.” In other words, Bush was justifying the invasion of Iraq, at least partly, on the basis that it was what God wanted.
This notion that God has adopted a foreign policy that involves killing tens of thousands of Iraqis and imprisoning thousands more – in the name of bringing them freedom – may strike some theologians as bizarre, even grotesque.
But Bush’s comment had a pop religiosity that resonates with his fundamentalist Christian base. Many of these same conservative Christians also are fascinated by apocalyptic interpretations of the Book of Revelation and have made the end-time “left-behind” series major best-sellers. Reality – at least as the Age of Reason understood empiricism – has little place in this thinking.
We need to hand him his pink slip next Tuesday. Or our own reality will become much darker.
[Editor’s note: The NY Times article by Ron Suskind was also referenced in this entry a few days back.]