For the denizens of the therapy culture 2016 was a very bad year. Most especially, the New York Times had a really bad year.
How bad was it?
It was so bad that it had to semi-apologize for slanting its election coverage and leaving its readers completely in the dark as to what was happening in the country… to say nothing of… in the world.
Now, the Times editorial board has offered up its therapeutically correct way to process what happened in 2016. Since this is the Times everything bad that happened is the fault of Donald Trump. Everything good that happened is to the credit of Democrats and progressive forces.
Strangely, the Times does not notice that throughout 2016 we only had one president, Barack Obama. It does, however, give Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama credit for inspiring people. We will not repeat our criticism of the Michelle Obama school lunch reforms, the ones that caused more and more American children to go hungry and that wasted astronomical amounts of food.
As for Hillary, she “inspired” women with an appallingly bad political campaign. She disregarded normal rules and failed miserably as Secretary of State. To top it off she was the primary enabler of her sexually abusive husband. If you ask yourself—as well you might—why charges of misogyny never stuck to Donald Trump, look at his opponent, and especially his opponent’s husband.
Funnily enough, the Times editorial is presented as a therapy session, a cosmic therapy session, at that. The title echoes the Beatles’s song: Hey Jude. What could be more cosmic than that?
One does not understand why anyone needed a cosmic therapy session, because the qualification makes no sense, but, hey, it’s the Times. Show some empathy.
The Times opens its editorial:
Let’s pretend we’re in some cosmic therapist’s office, in a counseling session with the year 2016. We are asked to face the year and say something nice about it. Just one or two things.
The mind balks. Fingers tighten around the Kleenex as a cascade of horribles wells up in memory: You were a terrible year. We hate you. We’ll be so glad never to see you again. The silence echoes as we grope for a reply.
This explains a great deal. It tells us that the Times editorial board has overdosed on therapy. It tells us, as I have been saying for longer than I care to recall, that some people in New York City have had too much therapy. They see human relations as therapy and they see politics as therapy. They live in what Saturday Night Live has called a bubble. Now we know that the bubble was created by therapy. If you did not believe me when I said that therapy is more about indoctrination than about healing, you need but read the Times editorial.
One notes that the Times, for all of the therapy its editorialists have done, has nothing resembling self-awareness. It whines about the fact that people in West Virginia voted in very large numbers for Donald Trump and tries to explain it away as a function of racism or sexism or whateverism. It does not question the fact that Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory in Manhattan was greater even than Trump’s in West Virginia.
Doesn’t it see that it has been promoting and enforcing groupthink? It should ask itself why all Times readers think the same thoughts-- all the while seeing themselves as free thinkers. You might think they need therapy. Now we know that they have had too much of it.
One would like to think that therapy teaches people how to evaluate their thinking and conduct objectively. You would be wrong. At least, the therapy that Times editorialists know about has provided nothing of the sort.
Where cognitive treatments teach people mental balance, an objective appraisal of the evidence, the Times therapy does just the opposite. It cherry picks facts that affirm its bias and ignores the rest. It wants to be part of the cause, even if it looks more and more to be a lost cause.
Speaking of therapy, consider the fourth of the famous 12 steps: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Some Times columnists, one thinks of Jim Rutenberg, have done said moral inventory. The Times editorial board has not. This tells you why 12 Step programs work better than standard insight-oriented therapy when treating addictions and alcoholism.
“Ask Polly” is bad enough. What do you make of conjuring up “a cascade of horribles” to describe the year 2016. Whatever its demerits, it’s rhetorically inept. Does it not remind you of the “basket of deplorables,” the absurdly insulting and contemptuous phrasing that made many Times readers laugh out loud?
Apparently, Times readers are now clutching their Kleenex and whining about the election results. Shouldn’t the Times have considered that the denizens of the therapy culture are acting like they are emotionally overwrought, morally adrift, dazed and confused. This does not attract adherents to your cause.
When you allow yourself to be overtaken by emotion, as Hillary supporters have shown these past two months, people are less likely to entrust you with power. You cannot argue that Trump is irrational when you are showing yourself to be even more irrational.
One recalls a Biblical injunction: Physician, heal thyself. Or, Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν.
But, the Times editorialists are in touch with their feelings. They are angry. They have learned in their cosmic therapy to express their feelings. In this case they hate 2016. I am sure that this is causing a great deal of pain to 2016. They seem to believe that there is a special virtue to acting like a petulant child throwing a tantrum.
As for the Times assertion that Donald Trump is “unfit for the job,” whatever made them think that Barack Obama had anything resembling a qualification for the job. Or that Hillary Clinton did, beyond a bunch of empty sinecures?
The Times does not cast the cool eye of reason on 2016. It casts a bucket of hot emotion. Having taken one too many baths in moral equivalence it tries to balance bad things from the right against bad things from the left, that is, bad things from the right against bad things by Muslim terrorists:
Yet so many bad things happened, from the unthinkable to the horrifying to the merely shocking. Things fell apart. Tyrants and terrorists trailed blood and rubble across the Middle East and Europe. Refugees drowned in the Mediterranean. Right-wing extremism and xenophobia were on the march. The American election let loose old racial hatreds. The planet got hotter; the Arctic went haywire. The world was burning or smoldering or blowing up or melting.
Note that the phrase “so many bad things happened” is infantile. It tells us that all the therapeutically-inspired regression has served a purpose. Not a good purpose, but a purpose nonetheless.
Who, pray tell, was in charge of America when all of these bad things happened, when things fell apart? That was not a trick question.
Like the Obama administration the Times will not name Islamist terrorism. It is happy to balance the appalling number of acts of Islamist terrorism against right wing extremism and xenophobia. The reason things fell apart, for those who care, is that the Obama administration chose not to fight radical Islam, chose to withdrawfrom world leadership with its tail between its legs and has directed its rancor at American Islamphobes. Thus, dividing the country
Given that Obama has been projecting weakness to the world for these past eight years, it makes sense that the Times editorialists want to project strength. As of now, the more Democrats protest about how strong they are, how tough they are toward Vladimir Putin, one cannot help but recall that these people had a chance to project strength and squandered it.
The Times tries to find reason to hope. It does not recognize that America was fed a diet of hope and empty promises for eight years and had decisively rejected it. But, the Times does not much care about reality. It cares about its favorite causes. It thrills to the fact that the minimum wage is increasing.
If you are looking for consolation, if you believe that your cosmic therapist will save your soul by giving you a pep talk about how all is not lost, and if you believe that you should be cheering in the streets because the minimum wage has increased, you need a lot more than therapy.
Think I’m kidding? Not at all. The Times wrote:
The most powerless of economic players, low-wage workers, kept pressing for a $15 minimum wage. Rallies across the country in November invigorated the cause, which is succeeding against long odds. More than two dozen states and localities have raised minimum wages as the movement has gone mainstream.
One might ask how many inner city youth are not going to get hired in a first job because they cannot contribute $15 of value to an enterprise, but the Times does not care. It is grasping at straws and it has found a rather thin one in the minimum wage.
Anyone with a fair sense of the problem with immigration would know that the Western world is being flooded with immigrants. A well-informed individual would also know that Europe is suffering a massive problem by the influx of criminal refugees.
Anyway, the horror of increased immigration has been extensively documented… on this blog, for example. The Times has no awareness of the fact that this horror is an important and salient political reality. And that it was not created by Donald Trump.
The Times does not understand that the Brexit vote and the Trump campaign have something to do with the fact that Western countries, beginning with Germany and extending to Obama’s America, have been absorbing too many unassimilable immigrants.
For the Times, reality does not count. Reality may bite, but therapy has taught its editorialists to opt for the right feelings:
The most frequent targets of the dehumanizing rhetoric of the Trump campaign — immigrants and refugees — found welcome in many communities. Families opened their homes to displaced Syrians. Churches gave sanctuary to unauthorized immigrants. Governors and mayors, teachers and lawyers, faith leaders and congregations vowed to resist any efforts to demonize the foreign-born.
For the Times the true fight is against intolerance. If only we were all nicer, the Islamist hordes would be better behaved. It’s the kind of thinking that loses elections.
And then the Times recites the usual litany of leftist causes. It thrills to the fact that the country is more conscious of the criminal behavior of white policemen, but ignores the less-than-heartwarming story, which it itself has reported, about black-on-black violence in Barack Obama’s home city of Chicago.
And then, of course, the Times wants the country to be more united than divided. It blames the divisions on someone who is not yet president. Thanks to therapy it has learned that the past eight years of the Obama presidency, a presidency that radically divided the nation, is for nothing when compared to the big, bad Trump.
It’s what happens to your mind when you have too much therapy.