Fantasy Versus Reality

[ Posted Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 – 16:46 UTC ]

So it has come down to this. Do you want to live in a fantasy world for the next four years, or would you prefer reality? President Donald Trump's White House science office put out a press release today that should really go down in history right next to George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner. It lists Trump's accomplishments while in office, and prominently features the statement that Trump is responsible for "ending the COVID-19 pandemic."

Got that? It's over. A thing of the past. Nothing to worry about. The pandemic is finally behind us. We can all relax once again and throw away our masks forever, because our Dear Leader has conquered the virus once and for all. Rejoice!

Meanwhile, out in the real world, 70,000 to 80,000 Americans are getting sick each and every day. Around 1,000 deaths are also happening every day. Due to the coronavirus that has "ended." This is the actual reality, not Trumpian fantasy. And yet the president wants us all to deny it, to the greater glory of him.

Trump and his toadies are so far down the rabbit hole that they seem downright incredulous that anyone else is still paying attention to reality. According to Trump, this is all the media's fault. Television news is covering the pandemic solely to hurt his chances of being re-elected. This is not just narcissism, it is dangerous lunacy. Trump just predicted that "you won't hear anything about COVID" after the election is over, because the media is only covering it now to hurt him.

Barack Obama had perhaps the best take on this bizarre worldview. He taunted Trump in a recent campaign appearance, saying: "He's jealous of COVID's media coverage." That mockery is probably closer to the truth than you think. Trump lives and dies by television ratings, after all, and he has absolutely lost the ability to shape the media narrative on this crisis. Which has got to be annoying, to Trump. No matter how many times he promises "we've turned the corner," the reality just refuses to comply with his wishes. And Trump is really a one-trick pony -- because he is so incapable of understanding anything that cannot be bullied or shoved off the front pages with outrageous tweets.

Trump has tried to create his own narrative from the very beginning of the crisis. It "would go away" magically. Or maybe because the weather got warmer. Testing causes people to get sick, so maybe the answer would be to just not do so much testing. People are dying, but hey, people die all the time, right? It's just the flu, nothing to be alarmed about. Once Trump barred Chinese people (but not American citizens) from flying in to America, the problem was solved. It's only blue states that have a problem, because of course Democrats screw everything up. The numbers are looking really good. No need to wear masks, because that's just a political anti-Trump statement designed to embarrass him. Hospitals have everything they need. Children are immune, so let's open up all the schools. Everything can reopen, in fact, because the danger has passed. Or we just have to learn to live with it -- no big deal. And now the White House is brazenly claiming that the pandemic is over.

This is not just gaslighting, it is a dangerous break from reality. It is delusion, plain and simple. And it's coming from the very top. Trump doesn't want to hear about or think about coronavirus any more, so we are all expected to just shut up about all those people getting sick and dying. What we should be talking about instead is Hunter Biden. Or Hillary Clinton. Or how unfair the universe is to Donald J. Trump. Anything, really, as long as you don't mention the pandemic that is raging out of control across the nation.

Earlier, Trump's chief of staff flat-out admitted that the White House is no longer concerned with even attempting to get control of the crisis. We're all just supposed to wait until a vaccine is available, which will solve the problem (in a few weeks... or months... or maybe next summer). Until then, let's all just find something else to talk about, shall we?

The third wave of infections is happening mere weeks before Americans will choose who will lead us for the next four years. And the choice couldn't be simpler. Do we want a president who recognizes reality and tries to solve problems with concrete actions, or do we want to continue with a president who wants us all to just wish inconvenient problems away? Do we want someone in the Oval Office who actually listens to experts, or do we want someone who forces the experts to twist their statements to somehow fit his political narrative? Do we want to know where the hurricane is actually going to go, or do we want to draw on the map with a Sharpie because that's where Trump said it would go?

At times during his presidency, Trump's absolute denial of reality was rather amusing. When it didn't impact tens of thousands of people's lives, it was just something to laugh about while watching Saturday Night Live each week. Those times, however, are now behind us. Now it does matter -- a great deal -- that the president of the United States thinks the coronavirus pandemic has ended. It matters that hospitals across the Midwest are running out of beds. It matters that more and more people are going to get sick and die because the president absolutely refuses to even admit that there's a problem.

This is not just an act Trump is putting on for the cameras. You can tell, from every interview he does, that he truly believes that things are not just under control but actually getting better. Because of him, of course. "The numbers are down" Trump says, firmly believing it to be true. In reality, the numbers are heading through the roof, though, no matter what the president falsely believes.

This is why tens of millions of voters will be choosing Joe Biden. Not because he's the perfect politician, not because he is an expert on pandemics, not because he has all the answers. But just because he is a sane adult who admits reality even when it doesn't help him politically. That's all that's really necessary in a leader right now, but (sadly) it is what is sorely lacking in the leader we currently have.

Trump got away with only pretending to be in charge for three years. He got lucky, because America faced no enormous crisis during this time. But this year, his luck ran out. He was finally faced with a crisis so big that it dwarfed his ability to pretend it didn't exist. His fervent followers still believe his gaslighting, but the rest of us stand aghast at his delusional break from the reality the rest of us are living with.

Election Day can't come soon enough. Because America cannot survive another four years of having a president who is downright delusional. Personally, I'll be voting for reality over fantasy, and I urge everyone else to do so too.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


33 Comments on “Fantasy Versus Reality”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hear the fourth wave will be the worst. Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

    It is beyond sad, but I fear there will be many peaks and vallys and high level plateaus before America will ever crush the curve down to a low and manageable number of cases where y'all can have fun again.

    Even another lockdown to bring the case numbers down won't solve the problem unless you are prepared to do what is really necessary to get this virus under control - smart and quick turn-around testing, isolation of cases, tracing all contacts and quarantining contacts, cluster investigations and all of the other fundamental public health measures that need to be taken, both at a government and individual level.

    I really feel for you guys.


  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Keith Olbermann is BACK!!! ESPN was nice enough to let him out of his contract early so he could take back up the battle against Donald J. Trump’s administration. I, personally, missed his daily Resistance messages and was thrilled to see he has lost none of his trademark sharp wit and deadly cutting tongue. He’s calling the campaign “The Worst Person in the World”; which says it all. Enjoy!

    Here’s a link to today’s rant:

  3. [3] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Crap! I just realized that I should have asked you prior to promoting someone else’s site on YOUR blog. I am truly sorry for not seeking your permission prior to posting the above! I meant no disrespect and do not believe you should have to tolerate people pushing sites on YOUR blog that you do not support!


  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    A couple more from The Lincoln Project,

    Can't Trust Lindsey

    Bullock for Montana


    I like it that LP is cutting ads against Repug Senatorial candidates. Unlike the Obama-era idiot Democrats, LP knows we've got to get all three branches of government out of Repug hands if we hope to undo this latest Repug President's mess.

  5. [5] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    "At times during his presidency, Trump's absolute denial of reality was rather amusing. When it didn't impact tens of thousands of people's lives, it was just something to laugh about..."

    Well, OK. I didn't and don't find any of Trump's insanity amusing, whatever the immediate impact, and despite the soothing influence of the 'adults in the room' who shielded the nation from the worst of his irrationalities (so they assure us).

    The guy is president of the United States. How is "denial of reality" as working principle in directing the federal government amusing? Particularly if you don't watch Saturday Night Live, or other outlets that created a clown persona for him that actually shielded his disabilities from being taken seriously.

    President. Of. The. United. States. And out of his mind most of the time. Not amusing at all, ever.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well said, John.

  7. [7] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    You can tell, from every interview he does, that he truly believes that things are not just under control but actually getting better.

    Chris, I can't agree with that at all. Bob Woodward's tapes proved pretty conclusively that he doesn't believe the things he says. This is one of the things I hate when I hear reporters talk about him on TV. They say "He believes . . ." when they should be saying "He says . . ."

    He believes that he can convince us that his lies are true. That what he believes.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I concur.

  9. [9] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Wanted to add one more to the great ads you shared. This one got to me!

    Last Call from the Lincoln Project

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    That was part of a grip of them that I posted under CW's last column.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, an elephant and donkey are sitting at opposite ends of a bench when a middle of the road kinda chap comes along looking like a cross between an elelphant and a donkey ...

    Elephant, reading a newspaper: Is that an elephonkey?

    Donkey holding a coffee cup: Hmmm.

    Elephonkey: Hey guys! Is there room in the middle?

    Elephant and Donkey: No ... as they put the newspaper and coffee cup on the bench between them.

    Elephonkey: Okey, dokey.


    Well, it's going to be fun watching Biden try to bring America together ...

  12. [12] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    So it has come down to this. Do you want to live in a fantasy world for the next four years, or would you prefer reality?

    If Trump wins, that whole "fantasy world" thing gets a lot more compelling. Also, ether soaked rags.

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    one of the characteristics of a number of forms of mental illness is that one can concurrently have beliefs that conflict with one another.

    i.e. just because donald was able in a moment of clarity to state the truth doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't also believe his own lies at the time he told them.


  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Donald Trump is a strange animal, that I know.

    And, this goes out to the president and to all of his devoted followers,

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, everyone, I'm going to take this opportunity to let you know about a very special Pandemic concert tomorrow night, live from the Empire Theatre in Belleville, Ontario.

    Gowan will be performing live on stage Thursday October 29 at 8pm sharp. When I say prepare to be blown away, I am not exaggerating. Gowan is an entertainer extraordinaire who, since 1999, has brought brand new life to STYX and who also continues his illustrious solo career.

    Gowan is live streaming this phenonemal concert for free but donations are being accepted to support the live event community and venue.

    There will also be a live chat so I hope to see you all there - consider it an extension of our CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party!

    This performance will give you a taste of what's in store tomorrow night ...

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris has really jumped the shark with today's hallucination spam. He really should avoid characterizing the things other people say as fantasies. Level Orange Projection.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    He should just make music.

  18. [18] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Oh yeah?

    So who are you voting for, Death Harris? Neither? In that case you don't effing matter either way. Or are you going to vote for Trump after his negligence killed 200,000 Americans needlessly?

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    in new jersey, it's likely don's vote wouldn't matter anyway.

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear [3] -

    Don't sweat it. No harm done. Actually, people do it all the time and I find it very useful.

    Plus, I like Olberman. I believe he's the only TV cable host who has ever mentioned one of my articles on the air (back when they appeared in HuffPost), so he's obviously cool with me.



  21. [21] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M from Ct. [5] -

    I hear you, but there's a certain point where "Iffn I don't laugh, I thinks I'm a-gonna cry," if you know what I mean. That's more what I meant when I said "amusing." Like Trump acting like a five-year old when they invite him behind the wheel (still parked, of course) of a fire engine or semi. That's kind of what I meant.


  22. [22] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John From Censornati [7] -

    Well, it's always a fool's errand to get inside Trump's mind, of course, but the Woodward thing was back in Jan or Feb. I think that since then he's complained so much whenever people show him negative numbers that for the past few months or so they've been very carefully cherry-picking any stat they can find that makes us look good, or at least not as bad as all the other numbers show. Hence his obsession with... um... "mortality rate"?... whatever the one he always quotes whenever pandemic numbers is the question.

    I really think that he's not even getting the bad news anymore (because he gets so angry when they show him the real numbers), so he actually believes that "more cases just means we're doing great on testing!"

    I mean, he's lying about a lot, and "we're rounding the corner" is almost certainly a known lie (known to Trump when he utters it), but I do wonder about what exactly he even gets briefed on anymore.


  23. [23] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Bernie Sanders says vote for Biden.

    Elizabeth Warren says vote for Biden.

    AOC says vote for Biden.

    Noam Chomsky says vote for Biden.

    Ralph Nader says I’m not openly supporting Biden. You have got to oppose Trump. I think we can read between those lines even when he adds I believe people should only vote their conscience.

    There is no upside to allowing Fat Donny to win. The only message sent by voting for anyone but Biden is that you just don't give a damn and the vulture capitalists and white supremacists have won. Voting is momentary and not especially taxing for most of us. Activism is more work. The teabaggers used the primary system to transform the GOP into an overt hate group and death cult. Lefties need to change the Democratic Party. AOC is showing the way. So is BLM. Activism doesn't end on election day. Voting does.

    I would much rather vote for Hawkins, but once again, there is no upside to that this time around.

    The Death Harris position is absurd (and self-serving).

  24. [24] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    CW [23]

    I'll concede that he hears what he wants to hear, but do you think he's heard about the latest outbreak in his administration? I do. It's hard to believe that he believes that the pandemic is under control while that's going on. He's just lying.

    BTW - Timothy Olyphant's character on the new season of Fargo is nicknamed Deafy because he hears what he wants to hear.

  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    JFC [25] -

    Simon and Garfunkel put it best ("The Boxer"):

    I am just a poor boy
    Though my story's seldom told
    I have squandered my resistance
    For a pocket full of mumbles
    Such are promises
    All lies and jests
    Still a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest


  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    That song also has my favorite run-on sentence in song lyrics of all time:

    In the clearing stands a boxer
    And a fighter by his trade,
    And he carries the reminders
    Of every glove that laid him down
    Or cut him 'til he cried out,
    In his anger and his shame:
    "I am leaving, I am leaving,"
    But the fighter still remains



  27. [27] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Miles Taylor has revealed himself as Anonymous.

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Right on! Paul Simon/Simon & Garfunkel have always been my fave recording artist. I was more bummed about S & G breaking up than the Beatles.

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Great article from Politico on the likelihood of Trump making a run for the border when he loses. Written by former Brigadier General Peter B. Zwack who spent 35 years in military intelligence.

  30. [30] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    I really think that he's not even getting the bad news anymore (because he gets so angry when they show him the real numbers), so he actually believes that "more cases just means we're doing great on testing!"

    I believe it goes even further than this. I think they have told Trump that our tests are so much better than the tests used in other countries that THAT explains why we have so many more cases than the other countries. Their numbers would be much greater if they weren’t using such faulty tests.

    I also think that Trump believes people can be “only slightly infected” and those people are the ones who have it but never show symptoms or experience negative effects from the virus. Our tests, therefore, find anyone who is even slightly infected — unlike tests in other countries that cannot detect them. We have so many more infected because we test so many using tests that outperform other tests. If you focus only on how excellent our tests are, it starts to make sense what he is pitching!

  31. [31] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    JFC [28]

    Well, I lost money on that one! I was sure that it had to be Kelly Anne Conway. Oh well, guess I can go back to disliking her if she wasn’t working as a “double agent”.

  32. [32] 
    John M wrote:

    [11] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Well, it's going to be fun watching Biden try to bring America together."

    Sadly Elizabeth I don't think that is possible any longer even for Biden, for several reasons:

    1) The recent behavior of too many Republican politicians (with the exception of the Republican never Trumpers who have already jumped ship to the Democrats) who have sold their souls to Trump, and who vowed to make Obama a one term president. Bipartisanship is dead in Washington and America for the foreseeable future.

    2) The 40 percent of voters who support Trump, live in a different reality than the rest of us. They really believe that Trump is a patriot despite all the evidence that he's a traitor and a Benedict Arnold instead.

    3) The rising threat of armed militias intimidating voters at polling places on election day, something we never saw even during the tense Bush vs Gore debacle.

    The 60 percent of us (hopefully) need to make sure that Biden wins in a landslide and takes the Senate with him, and then have the Democrats play hardball from then on out, instead of trying to make nice with the Republicans who are only double dealing anyway and who no longer act like a loyal opposition.

    And I regretfully say all of this as a political science student and observer, not just as a liberal. The loss of a principled conservative political party and it's replacement by or with a divorced from reality and delusional cult of personality is not healthy for any democracy.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I did say 'try', didn't I?

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