By Robin of Berkeley
I'm pretty certain that a neighbor, Bill, stole something from me. This happened a few months ago.
A courier with a package for me knocked on his door for a signature when I wasn't in. Bill signed, and then somehow the package got "lost." I mentioned my suspicions to another neighbor, Kim, who lashed out at me.
"Bill would never do anything like that!" Kim was highly offended. Of course, in her eyes, Bill wouldn't behave this way. Because for her, appearances are deceiving.
Neighbor Bill is the quintessential nice guy -- warm, friendly, charming. He has a picture perfect family and an immaculate front lawn.
Like Kim, I was fooled by Bill too at first. But then I noticed cracks in his shiny facade; I started realizing that while his outside looked good, there was nothing inside but trouble.
I thought of Bill last week when I happened upon an article about a local doctor. Dr. Robert Kevess, a physician with the University of California at Berkeley, has been arrested for sexual misconduct with male patients. Apparently, Kevess confirmed the allegations in statements to police.
What the article doesn't say, in these politically correct times, is that the doctor was the health center's specialist in gay men's health. He also headed up their transgendered health department there. (Yes, there is a transgendered health department there, begun when the university's insurance carrier began paying for sex change operations for students a few years ago.)
I met Kevess once, so I knew him slightly. Upon first glance, he seemed like a decent fellow.
So I was shocked when I heard the news. I imagine that most people who knew him are stupefied. Kevess is a seasoned physician who has worked with thousands of students for 22 years. He was held in the highest esteem by his colleagues.
But did his colleagues miss some of the telltale signs that something was amiss? I can't say for sure, but my best guess would be yes.
Because in these situations, there are usually indicators that something isn't right, that someone isn't who he appears to be.
It's like those times when the police arrest a man who committed a heinous crime. When the neighbors are interviewed, they often comment that they had a sense that something was wrong, but couldn't put their finger on it: "There was just something about the man that I didn't trust."
It's a sixth sense, a gut reaction. It may take the form of queasiness when we're around the person or a sensation of being creeped out.
Sometimes the evidence is out-in-the-open, and yet people still turn away. For instance, what did we know from the get-go about Obama? We knew that he attended a Black Liberation Theology church for almost 20 years, and that his spiritual advisor, Rev. Wright bellowed, "G_d damn America." We knew that Obama had close ties to revolutionaries, including Bill Ayers.
But sometimes people will only see what they want to see because the alternative is too disruptive. It's the same reason why a man ignores clues that his new bride is cheating. Seeing would require facing the music and starting over.
Moreover, it can feel devastating to realize that one is wrong, whether about a mate or our choice of doctor or our pick for President. If we can't trust our own judgment, what can we trust?
Denial is rooted in the avoidance of truth because it would feel devastating. Reality will not only wreak havoc with our lives, but it may shatter our world view.
But as the popular adage goes: The truth hurts...but the truth will set you free. There is nothing quite as painful as a mega dose of the truth -- but there is also nothing as potentially liberating.
And here's some truth: People are not always as they appear to be. Sometimes the doctor is a predator, the nice neighbor a thief, and the beguiling political leader a wolf in sheep's clothing. And if we are not willing to take off the rose-colored glasses, we will put ourselves and everyone around us in danger.
But most people on the left choose denial, if not outright delusion. Why? Because, unlike conservatives, progressives don't just carry beliefs; they are their beliefs. Their ideology is their identity.
And stripped of this, what would they have left? Nothing, emptiness, being lost in an unfathomable universe. This is precisely why people create alternative realities...because the real one is too unbearable.
So the left attacks and intimidates the messengers, and they do this not just for political expediency. They do this to quell the doubts inside of them, the ones that threaten to break through their stealth defenses.