Imagination is vital to politics – but the attack in Washington DC showed how easily dangerous fantasy can become reality
A common refrain one hears from both the left and right is that their foes are just “cosplaying”. The word is a Japanese portmanteau of “costume” and “play”, and originally referred to people dressing up as characters at comic book conventions. Now it’s used, more or less metaphorically, to mock anybody who seems lost in a fantasy world. Its cousin, “performative”, has become similarly popular as a word to dismiss actions being carried out purely for appearance’s sake.
Related: ‘She was deep into it’: Ashli Babbitt, killed in Capitol riot, was devoted conspiracy theorist