(July 13) An attitudinal pandemic is poisoning the American body politic to the worst extent of our lifetimes.

The disease manifests itself in a widespread, unreasoning refusal by people on all sides even to consider that their chosen team or champion can possibly be wrong or that the opposing side might have a point, no matter what the facts are. This isn’t just ordinary “ confirmation bias ,” which is a largely subconscious tendency to interpret evidence so that it favors one’s already desired conclusion. Instead, this seems to be an extreme variant of confirmation bias that amounts to flagrant dishonesty, obduracy, or lunacy. Or a combination thereof.

What it is is a willfully alternative reality, spreading throughout American politics like the plague, exacerbated by a population now so poorly educated that large swaths of it have no idea how logic works or how to distinguish fact from fevered fabrication. It was evident Wednesday from both Republican and Democratic members of a July 12 House Judiciary Committee hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray, himself a greased-eel character slithering away from responsibility for copious sins of his bureau (about which I’ve written numerous times , but that’s a different subject).

The deplorable details of the hearing were just a symptom, not the disease, and thus bear no specific recounting here. More broadly, as mere examples of the large contagion, consider some things that adherents of one side or the other absolutely refuse to admit about Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Team Trump will not acknowledge anything wrong with his behavior or his performance aside from, well, “mean tweets,” even though if someone on the other side had done the same things, Team Trump would demand scalps…. Team Biden and his liberal media enablers, sycophants, and apologists, meanwhile, go to absurd lengths to hide his many decades of outlandish lies, to excuse or look away from his family’s obvious corruption, and to ignore what by now is massive, compelling evidence suggesting he know about and benefited from that corruption…. [The full column is here.]



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