RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Politics Of Symbolism. “The Obama administration might have failed at everything it tried, but it has achieved a whole series of ‘firsts’. We have the First Latina to head OPM, the first trangender official in the White House, the first renamed peak in Alaska, etc. . . . But not everyone is aware of the absurdity of the situation. Many people actually live in this fantastic world; laughing on cue, clapping with the laughtrack and buying into the narrative. They don’t realize they’re living in a political Matrix. One would think that living in a lie for any extent of time is impossible. In fact, it is quite possible to live inside an unchallenged fantasy for a long time unless we deliberately challenge it.”