Kool Aid Drinkers
If you read about politics at all you will have heard the term “Kool-Aid Drinker”. If you have any familiarity with the story of Jim Jones and his Jonestown Kool-Aid mass suicide you understand the implication. It refers to people who insert a wall between themselves and reasoned critical thought, and subscribe to a pattern of belief regardless, even, of mounting and verifiable contrary evidence. Most of these people aren’t geniuses.
Kool-Aid drinkers usually don’t put that much thought into their obsessions. They just want somebody that they can believe in who will do all the thinking for them.
What is it that compels people, past all reason, to believe in total bullshit? What is it about some people that allow them to cling to a fantasy long after it has died a public and gruesome death? And what is it about those people that, sometimes, make them cling even harder to the belief when it is at its rancid worst?
Today’s most obvious Kool-Aid Drinkers are those who believe in the gospel of George W. Bush. They are constantly turning to page 666 of the “Christians for Bush” handbook for reassurance each time their “Jim Jonesian” President makes another request for them to stay the course, and hunker down, and trust him.
It’s startling sometimes to realize just how much self-delusion is necessary to make it possible to believe in someone as inept as George W. Bush. The successes of the Bush administration are in galvanizing their base, not in accomplishments – normally the measure of a Presidential administration. The support this administration receives from the religious right is not based on Bush’s deeds, but on the fact that the religious right has a build in insulation from the truths and realities of the secular world.
To the extent that people strive to impose a fact-proof screen between their faith and the realities of the world, those people will be inclined to look at events like the Iraq war and not conclude that it was (at the very least) prosecuted incompetently, and based on a faulty (ever changing) rationale. Those people, we say, have drunk the Kool-Aid.
And when people who can look at George W. Bush sitting in that classroom with “My Pet Goat” opened in front of him after just being told that “The Nation is Under Attack”, and conclude that was the proper thing to do…
Those people have drunk the Kool-Aid as well.