Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coping With Dissonance

How many of us consistently say to ourselves after reading or discussing someone’s opinions on an issue, “But that just doesn’t make sense!” I know I do it all the time, even though I think I understand.

When we look at ourselves as a whole, we know we comprise more than just two groups, so I’ll concede that up front. For instance, there are people who really don’t care about politics, or who are so uninformed that their opinions can’t possibly count. We know this one woman. Her daughter is good friends with one of our kids. She was on the phone with my wife one day, and said something about “these liberals” with more than just an air of disdain. Then she went on to talk about how we need socialized medicine, more money for education and higher taxes on rich people.

Among the educated and reasonably well-informed, I can see a clear delineation between two groups of people. One group tends be intellectually honest. This group wants to avoid cognitive dissonance. They want the world to make sense. They want their actions to be in congruence with their beliefs, and they want their beliefs to be in congruence with reality. In essence, they believe that truth trumps everything. If some new fact contradicts a current belief, they will change that belief. If the truth gets in the way of an agenda, they will adjust that agenda accordingly. This group generally comprises the intellectuals, the artists, the musicians, the scientists, the open-minded. The forward, free-thinking people.

The other group is the Republicans.

7 Comments:

Blogger cali said...

Isn't there yet another group of people who have checked out of politics or reality altogether? You know, those people who would struggle to name the current Vice President? Never registered to vote...etc. They are at low, low risk of congitive dissonance because of their lack of cognition in the first place.

Great post.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Ouch!

2:10 PM  
Blogger jemison said...

I think there are some Republicans out there that are appalled at the hijacking their party has undergone. Fiscal conservatives must be going ape shit over the current administration's spending. The problem is they see no real appeal in the Dem's agenda (to use the word loosely) nor is there anyone out there who excites them--Hillary just pisses them off.

It's frustrating really because I firmly believe there is strong support for moderate views across this nation but the caricatures getting elected feel its not in their interests to compromise.

6:00 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

I think there are some Republicans out there that are appalled at the hijacking their party has undergone. Fiscal conservatives must be going ape shit over the current administration's spending.

I'd like to believe that, but I never meet any of them. Some of the political pundits will sometimes mildy complain about them but always couch their criticisms. The ones I meet still say things like liberal media and socialism and bleeding hearts.

6:45 PM  
Blogger jemison said...

They're coming out. Check out Bruce Bartlett's new book "Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy."

10:57 AM  
Blogger The Heretik said...

Ha, I feel some dissonance coming on.

11:18 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Yep. If you haven't already seen
this, you will.

12:27 PM  

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