Some people never learn. This is particularly true of liberals such as E.J. Dionne quoted in the Washington Post and online at RealClearPolitics.com. Very clearly his “real politics” are a combination of magical thinking and Kool-aid drinking.
Drinking Kool-aid plus cyanide is bad for you. Some readers may not be aware of the derivation of this Kool-aid connotation.
Cult leader Jim Jones founded his utopian, communism-inspired community, called the People’s Temple, in Indianapolis before moving to California and ultimately to Jonestown, Guyana. Reports on life there sound remarkably like Orwell’s 1984, with ‘Big Brother’ Jones broadcasting over loudspeakers day and night.
In late 1978, California congressman Leo Ryan went to investigate the commune — some members came from his district. When he tried to return to the U.S. with members being held against their will, he and a NBC film crew were killed. Ryan was the only U.S. congressman ever killed in the line of duty.
Fearing retaliation from the U.S. government, Jones convinced most of his followers to commit the “revolutionary act” of mass suicide. Vats of grape Flavor-aid were mixed and laced with cyanide. Babies and small children were fed the poison by their mothers. Those unwilling to drink were forced to do so at gunpoint.
On November 18, 1978, 912 individuals died from drinking the mixture, including 276 children. The actual powder used was Flavor-aid ®, not Kool-aid®. Unfortunately for Kool-aid maker Kraft Foods, because their product is so much better known, Kool-aid has acquired the negative association.
“Drinking Kool-aid” is thus code for doing something you know is wrong, but you do it anyway because someone convinced you that you should.
Believing that you can cut costs by spending $1 trillion dollars is… drinking Kool-aid. Blindly accepting that having health insurance guarantees that you will get health care is …Kool-aid drinking. Promising people they will get free health care even as you drive doctors out of medicine, well, that is lacing the Kool-aid with cyanide.