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by Dan Burns
Sep 26, 2019, 10:00 AM

MN-Sen: Is Jason Lewis Trump-level crazy?

Jason Lewis was in the U.S. House, for one term. He’s running for the U.S. Senate, in Minnesota.

Jason Lewis, a Republican running for US Senate in Minnesota, once said Republicans had “dual loyalties” to Israel, adding that support for the country was the result of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a “very strong American Jewish lobby.”

Lewis, who also argued that the Israel lobby controlled the Republican Party, said in a February 2013 radio show that many in the party viewed the country as the “51st state.” He claimed policymakers in President George W. Bush’s administration, including former UN Ambassador John Bolton, were dual citizens of Israel and the United States. (Bolton, who was fired last week by President Donald Trump, is neither Jewish, nor is he a citizen of Israel.)

Delusional disorder is a generally rare mental illness in which the patient presents delusions, but with no accompanying prominent hallucinations, thought disorder, mood disorder, or significant flattening of affect…Apart from their delusion or delusions, people with delusional disorder may continue to socialize and function in a normal manner and their behavior does not necessarily generally seem odd…

A person with delusional disorder may be high functioning in daily life.

Actual clinical diagnosis of delusional disorder is very rare. It’s believed to affect well under 1% of the population. Donald Trump may well be part of that <1%. Michele Bachmann, to name an example from relatively recent Minnesota politics, could be, too. But every time somebody says something that is, to put it bluntly, pretty insane, it doesn’t mean she has delusional disorder, any more than an occasional sneeze automatically indicates severe hay fever.

People believe and say a lot of things that do not remotely stand up to rational, fact-based analysis. It’s always been the case for many that the “truth” is whatever they want it to be. And it’s not hard to understand where they’re coming from. As long as there are no major, personal negative consequences from believing what you want to believe, why not? It generally feels better than trying to face things as they are.

With many right-wing politicians there is the added issue of to what extent they might actually wholeheartedly believe every word of what they’re saying, and to what extent they’re just pandering to the right-wing base. As Lewis used to be a right-wing radio kook, that could well be especially relevant in his case.

To paraphrase what others have said about other things, though I can’t precisely define “delusional,” like most people I generally know it when I see/hear it. Lewis’s remarks are delusional, and they’re far from the only delusional things he’s said or written. But, while he’s no more fit for public office than they were/are, they don’t put him in the same league as Bachmann or Trump. Yet.

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