We all have delusions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most of our delusions are harmless and designed to make us feel better, like when we tell ourselves that we really are going to start exercising next week.
But some delusions are dangerous, because of the serious consequences of believing them — like many of the delusions now permeating the presidential campaign.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is delusional, if he thinks that he and his fellow Washington Republicans can control Donald Trump, that Trump will bear any resemblance to a typical GOP presidential nominee, or that Trump won’t continue to say things that would have disqualified any other candidate in any party in any other presidential election from being the nominee.
Trump is delusional, if he thinks that having every fiber and factor of his life inspected and investigated every which way is unfair. That’s part of the deal when you run for president. If you don’t want the heat, don’t make the run. And he’s just as delusional if he thinks that Hillary Clinton has not been subject to the same treatment. The difference is that Clinton has been microscoped for more than 25 years.
Clinton is delusional, if she thinks she has adequately responded to the email/private server controversy. Enough with what other secretaries of state did. How about a simple: I was wrong, I don’t know what I was thinking, in my desire to maintain control I stupidly put our nation at risk, and I will never do anything like that again. Call me deluded.
Bernie Sanders is delusional, if he really thinks as he said Thursday night that results have not yet come in from California and that anybody other than his most fevered followers think his campaign is “still standing.”
Democratic Party honchos are delusional, if they think encouragement from Sanders is all it will take to get hard-core Bernie bros to switch to Clinton.
Pollsters are delusional, if they think they have a steady handle on this election.
Trump’s TV toadies are delusional, if they think that his denigration of a judge of Mexican heritage is a way to fight back against identity politics.
Larry David is delusional, if he thinks he’s ever going to have a better gig than playing Sanders on “Saturday Night Live.”
Rep. Peter King is delusional, if he thinks that the only problem with Trump is that he says what’s on his mind without first thinking about what he’s saying. What’s on Trump’s mind is a problem, too.
Rep. Lee Zeldin is delusional, if he thinks that people are not going to hold against him his remark while defending Trump that President Barack Obama could be considered a racist for targeting disadvantaged groups like blacks and Hispanics.
Democrats are delusional, if they think the chaos swirling in GOP circles means they’ll have smooth sailing the rest of the way.
Republicans are delusional, if they think there’s going to be an indictment of Clinton for her emails. Would President Barack Obama have endorsed her if he thought an indictment was possible?
Americans are delusional, if they think the nation will come together after this election regardless of who wins.
Gary Johnson is delusional, if the Libertarian candidate who is on the ballot in all 50 states thinks that the rules will be changed to let him join Trump and Clinton on the debate stage in the fall. They should be changed, but they won’t.
The Republican and Democratic parties are delusional, if they think that after this contentious primary season they don’t have to alter the way they choose nominees.
We’re all delusional, if we think this is going to be an ennobling campaign focused on issues.
Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday’s editorial board.