10.30.2022 – He literally

He literally
willed what was in his mind to
be reality

He felt that victory required belief.

As a boy, friends recall, “he was always repeating” the salesman’s credo that “You’ve got to believe in what you’re selling”; decades later, in his retirement, he would say: “What convinces is conviction. You simply have to believe in the argument you are advancing; if you don’t, you’re as good as dead.

The other person will sense that something isn’t there.”

And Lyndon Johnson could make himself believe in an argument even if that argument did not accord with the facts, even if it was clearly in conflict with reality.

He “would quickly come to believe what he was saying even if it was clearly not true,” his aide Joseph Califano would write.

“It was not an act,” George Reedy would say.

“He had a fantastic capacity to persuade himself that the ‘truth’ which was convenient for the present was the truth and anything that conflicted with it was the prevarication of enemies.

He literally willed what was in his mind to become reality.”

He would refuse to hear any facts which conflicted with that “reality,” to listen to anyone who disagreed with him.

(Robert A. Caro. The Passage of Power (2012). Knopf. Kindle Edition.)

Is there something in the water at the White House?

Or in Washington, DC, overall?

The author Jim Harrison once wrote something along the lines of asking that when you consider the buildings and such in Washington, DC, how could elected officials NOT become pompous?

Mr. Harrison recommended turning the Capitol into a museum and setting Congress up in a pole barn in Anacostia and then watch how long it took for the Government to make things happen.

I second the notion with the added stipulation of no air conditioning.


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