According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “Pollyanna” is “a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.” This described the original “Pollyanna” in the 1913 novel by Eleanor Porter, a girl who in the face of bad news played the “Glad Game” in which there was to be found a “silver lining” in even the worst of circumstances. This wasn’t exactly a “new” concept; Voltaire ruthlessly attacked the similar philosophy of “optimism” in the title character and his tutor Pangloss in the novel Candide.
Researcher Margaret Matlin has written that “Pollyannas” are more apt to “remember” their virtues (if any) rather than their vices, or ignore them altogether. In an essay in the book Cognitive Illusions: A Handbook on Fallacies and Biases in Thinking, Judgement and Memory, Matlin writes that as time goes by, memory of negative events fades much more significantly than memory of positive events, which studies found were more accurately recalled than negative events. Matlin also discovered that those infected with the Pollyanna Principle have a tendency to recall negative events in a more “positive” light as time goes on.
The principle is also observed in Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad:
Nearly one year has flown since this notable pilgrimage was ended; and as I sit here at home in San Francisco thinking, I am moved to confess that day by day the mass of my memories of the excursion have grown more and more pleasant as the disagreeable incidents of travel which encumbered them flitted one by one out of my mind--and now, if the Quaker City were weighing her anchor to sail away on the very same cruise again, nothing could gratify me more than to be a passenger. With the same captain and even the same pilgrims, the same sinners.
Twain went on to say that he didn't expect a different experience the second time around with the same "players."
Other researchers have found that people with this syndrome ignore negative factors, have an “elitist” perspective, do not acknowledge that what may seem “positive” to them may not be so to others, and that they often possess vague and illogical justifications for clearly negative outcomes.
Thus it shouldn’t be surprising that support for Hillary Clinton, often based on nothing more than reasons of gender politics, the cult of personality or a “personal” infatuation with Bill Clinton, suffers from the Pollyanna Principle. This “infatuation” is totally out of sync with the reality that the Clintons are probably the most corrupt marital tag-team this country has ever seen in politics. The first Clinton administration was one of the most corrupt in U.S. history, one scandal piled on another. The Whitewater investigation soon ballooned into an administration-long compendium of crime that sent dozens of Clinton associates behind bars, but the Clintons—protected by disciples who apparently looked upon them as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary—got away scot-free, despite the frustration of prosecutors and investigators over both Clintons long litany of proven perjury. As Twain observed, why should we expect a different result in another Clinton administration with these same people, especially when Clinton herself infected the Obama administration with virtually its only scandals?
Thus Hillary Clinton’s sudden genuflecting before Barack Obama’s policies have had a two-fold purpose: patronizing the black vote—and a bare-faced attempt to keep the Justice Department from opening an official criminal investigation and grand jury into the Clinton email server business, which is clearly a criminal matter. Revelations that among those 30,000 “personal” emails deleted contained “work-related” business in regard to Benghazi, clearly criminal actions in “migrating” the highest level of secret files from secure servers not just to her unsecure server but to that of Clinton Foundation’s, evidence that the Chinese tapped top secret files from her unsecure server, and Clinton’s willful and pathological perjury in denying any and all wrongdoing shows an incredible level of contempt for lawful or ethical behavior. The Obama administration inaction—obviously a “favor” to Clinton—has those inside the FBI exasperated, and previous classified files cases successfully prosecuted (such as that of Gen. Patreaus) have involved much less serious charges. The FBI is currently undertaking its own investigation into Clinton’s illegalities, but with the Obama administration playing possum, Clinton naturally feels invulnerable to any price for her crimes.
Tonight’s results turned out to be a “clean sweep” for Clinton, and her Pollyanna supporters have seemingly succeeded in sweeping away any price to be paid for her career of corruption, perjury, scandal, hypocrisy and contempt for ethical behavior. I have my principles; if it comes to that, I will not vote for her in November, and I hope anyone else who claims to be “principled” does not either. This person should not be in the White House ever again. Trump, Clinton, Cruz in November--what does it matter? All that will be proved is that 75 percent of this country is corrupt down to the cellular level.