"You'll believe a man can fly", that's how the advertising campaign went for the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve. After seeing the movie, I did damn near believed it myself, but I knew that it was just special effects. However, while I was watching the movie, I absolutely believed that Christopher Reeve could fly. That is because of what we call the willing suspension of disbelief. It makes movies, plays, books, etc., really any work of fiction more exciting. If we, as the audience willingly suspend our disbelief then we can go along on the journey of fancy being presented. Most works of fiction have plot holes big enough to drive a truck through and yet we allow them without too many questions because it makes the experience more entertaining. In every horror movie, the cast always splits up, instead of staying together. We all know that they would stand a better chance of surviving if they stayed together, but the characters seem to be oblivious to that fact. We, as the audience play along, because the experience wouldn't be as much fun if the characters acted like their real life counterparts would.
My co-conspirator here at Random Thoughts wrote a wonderful piece about the willingness of the American people to buy into lies and propaganda. My thoughts are very similar, but I think that the American people are more like that audience at the horror movies. They know what the outcome is going to be and yet they still watch the whole movie. They still choose (with their dollars) to go and see something that is filled with inconsistencies and usually extremely predictable. I think Mike Myers (of Halloween fame, not the Canadian comedian) was killed at the end of every one of his movies and yet there he always was, two years later, once again reeking havoc on another unsuspecting group of individuals. The same goes for Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th), or Freddie Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Street). The audiences always came back though.
We are now on the verge of a mid term election that could (and most likely will) return the Republicans to power in the House and Senate. How, you ask, could people who just two years ago resoundingly rejected the Republican agenda, once again think that the GOP is the answer to their problems? It's easy you see, they are engaged in the same type of mental gymnastics that are required to watch and enjoy a movie that makes no logical sense and is entirely predictable. We as a nation are now involved in a willing suspension of disbelief on a massive scale. The claims made by the Republicans and their supporters are entirely predictable. We all know what it leads to and how that story ends and yet it seems we are all going to be a party to a return engagement. We are going to sit down and pay our money and watch this show run it's course one more time. Lowering taxes on the rich will make eventually benefit everyone...loosening regulations on the banks will help to make money more accessible to everyone...Closing our borders will make us a stronger nation...Health care isn't so broke that a little tort reform won't make everything better...etc, etc, etc.
We've heard it all before. There is nothing new on the table and yet we, as a nation are willing to suspend our disbelief in order to see the show play out once again. There is a definition of insanity which is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. I don't believe that we fall under into that category, because deep down, I honestly believe that people know what the end result is going to be, they just don't care. We are willing to suspend our disbelief one more time because this show, the Republican Side Show, is just more fun than the Democratic one. The Republicans will tell you that everyone can be rich, if you just let them back into power. The Republicans will tell you that everyone will be happy, if you just let them back into power. The Democrats on the other hand are always trying to keep everyone grounded in reality. Well, as the people are about to tell them, reality is no fun. Where's the fun in hard work and sacrifice? Where's the fun in continued economic stagnation? Where's the fun in increased taxes?
So as November rolls around and unemployment stays high and disenchantment with the Obama administration continues to grow, get ready for a new horror movie that's going to be opening at a city hall and a state capitol and a Congressional office near you. Our suspension of disbelief will be in full effect as we sit down to enjoy, Halloween 2010: the Revenge of the Republicans. The problem is that we've already seen how this one ends.
Cross posted at Mad Mike's America.