Paranoia….a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. I dare say we have all been there in some part at some point in time. Today it is the cause celebre in many aspects of our lives. Geopolitics, class struggle, climate change, COVID.all have their villains and victims.
COVID 19 was and in many parts still is, a wellspring of fear. In the beginning we had no idea what was happening. Isolation was the best tonic. Mask up everywhere. The Chinese are out to get us. Fauci is a socialist. Beware of anyone and any contact with any part of humanity. Lockdown was our personna.
Then we got a vaccine. Maybe a light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, if everyone got on board. But wait, there are 1/3 of us(110million) who have forgone the “Get Out of Jail Free Card” to go it on their own. This of course is part of a government conspiracy to implant you with nano chips so they can spy on you. Crazy? Unfortunately there are as many as 20% of us that feel that way. Some have refused it, even on their death bed.
On the world stage, Russia has for centuries feared the worst from the evil west. China wants to regain their lost dominance in world affairs.We have been petrified someone will press the button to Armageddon since I was a kid. Look at the trillions we all spend on defense against the enemy. Look at almost any country and there is some sort of grudge or lack of respect to be assuaged.
His Hairness gets the Oscar,Emmy and Tony for best in class for his performance in “Stolen Elections”. His family and closest confidants to this day tell him he lost and yet he persists. There were 62 lawsuits, many overseen by Republican appointed judges that failed. And yet today there are almost 40 million of our fellow Americans who think he is right. His rallies have been laced with feelings of victimhood and stubborn refusal to accept a result. No wonder we had January 6 festivities.
Don’t get smug, lefties. There are any number of Dem whack jobs like Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff et al who can conjure up every conceivable theory to prove their point. Hilary said the election was stolen. Going back in time, the evils of communism or race have peppered our body politic. Joe McCarthy, J Edgar Hoover, Nixon. Facts become fantasy and the one who wins has stoked the most fear.
Richard Hofstedter penned an article in Harpers way back in 1964 on political paranoia. An updated version states,”The political paranoiac can’t stomach society as it is and thus seeks to destroy it under the guise of some looming threat, a deep state, antifa, migrant caravans, leftists, anarchists, an international pedophile ring … Those taken with the paranoid style channel their victimhood by believing the world is one vast conspiracy.” Yikes!
Enter the fourth estate. Hopefully we would just get the facts Ma’am. Sorry kids. Look at the evening news on any channel and you will be rewarded with a plethora of fears from school shootings to rioting to wars to floods. Social media has flourished with the firebrands of each side whipping us into a full blown frenzy. Gloom and doom pervades and no one has an answer. I am starting to scare myself.
Now you can tell me to take it easy and the pendulum or whatever will swing the other way. I am not so sure of this. Look at our contemporary world. We have privacy issues, identity theft, social media, lack of transparency in government, artificial intelligence, hackers and scams of all sorts. The end result is I question whether am I worrying too much or not enough?
The symptoms of paranoia are many. The ones that strike me as particular are, a feeling of helplessness, suspicions of all sorts, hypersensitivity to criticism, stubbornness and the best of all, delusions of grandeur. Do you feel helpless when you see our government and society today? Do you find it hard to accept anything other than your own credos? Do you think you really have all the answers and the world just doesn’t realize it? If we look hard at ourselves there is probably a bit of this in all of us. Or at least in this poor soul.
Now hopefully it is not terminal but after going through this exercise I realize I have a lot to do. I really don’t feel the world or anyone in it, is out to get me but I really should take more ownership of my life. I am doing the driving and should not blame the car. I should seek out more and more information on a subject. Look at all sides and not just the one Google or Facebook is steering me towards. Be able to bend if only a little.
Lastly, I have to realize the world is a crazy but interesting place. I can’t look into Putin’s soul or convince the Donald or Pelosi otherwise. I have to stay involved and not throw my hands up in disgust. Am I going to save the world? Of course not but I can try to change just a small part of it. That is my goal in speaking out and not my paranoia. I hope a few of you hear it.
Ted The Great
Paranoia goes back millennia. The Trojan horse. Et tu Brute. Kings and queens and yes even popes. One is constantly looking over one’s shoulder to see who is behind…and of course they are there to get me.
Reality:…the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
Reality is what actually happens. It is how we interpret it and either adapt to it or create an alternate reality drives so much of our lives. We rue the past sometimes and also create absurd expectations about the future . It is what it is.