Paul Krugman (Eagle op-ed, Sept. 5) notes that V.P. candidate Paul Ryan said he ran a marathon in under three hours. The record shows it was over four hours. Ryan claimed a simple error, but runners and Krugman say that’s not something a runner could get wrong "unless he’s a fabulist who imagines his own reality. And does suggesting that Ryan is delusional rather than dishonest make the situation any better?" Certainly not. To the contrary, delusions make it worse.
Delusions are unconscious concoctions you make up to justify being destructive. Ryan’s proposed tax and spending cuts will "fall far short of making up for the revenue loss." Romney’s plan will end by "exploding the deficit." The implication is that they are both financially delusional.
Delusional people don’t have a clue they’re being destructive. More often than not their judgment is suspended rather than being bad. They can potentially create great havoc with the absence of financial judgment if given the power.
Perpetrating lies is knowingly falsifying in order to manipulate. Perpetrating delusions is unknowingly destroying to satisfy some unconscious emotional need. Delusional candidates for high offices are a public well-being emergency in the making.
Krugman’s evidence indicates that the Romney-Ryan policies will have the effect of destroying government and not reforming it. It is clearly unethical to run for government leadership with a platform that will destroy government and it is likely illegal to do so because as a betrayal of the public trust it is inherently treasonous. Journalists need to pick up on the much graver consequences of delusions over lies.
AUGUSTUS F. KINZEL, M.D.