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Cognitive Dissonance and the 2016 Election

Updated on November 22, 2016

What is Cognitive Dissonance?


The definition of Cognitive Dissonance - the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. It causes uncomfortable tension when the mind has two conflicting thoughts.

Cognitive - meaning knowledge, and awareness, that's used when making decisions or having a bias about a belief, person or institution.

Dissonance - means a lack of harmony.

For example, Babe Ruth held the home run record for years. He was loved by baseball fans for decades. He hit a home run for a sick child. He was called The Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, The Babe. (The babe used in reference to the children's Paul Bunyan story - Babe was the cow) His career spanned 22 years.

The upstart, Roger Maris -a 4 year player of baseball, broke that record with 61 home runs. It caused a "cognitive dissonance" among baseball fans. Maris proved that Ruth was not the best home run hitter, which crushed the beliefs held by most baseball fans. The Babe was no longer the Sultan of Swat nor The Big Bambino. A little known guy by the name of Roger Maris had replaced him. Cognitive dissonance was so pronounced, that for years, Maris' record had an * by it, to show why he did not beat Ruth's record.

With the use of the *, baseball fans could accept that The Babe was still the Sultan of Swat, and Roger Maris exceeded the record because of special circumstances. Harmony in the minds of baseball fans was restored!

The story of Santa Clause is told to children. Santa knows if you've been naughty or nice. If you're naughty, you got coal. If you're nice, you got a present. As children grew up, at some point cognitive dissonance occurred when they found out that Santa Cause was a lie. It didn't cause much of a dissonance, but I can remember a bit of disappointment.

The same can be said about the Tooth Fairy and other stories to children. As children grew up, some of the beliefs they held were shown to be lies.

Think about it for a moment. You're a child who's been told to act nice, to get a present.(Your rewarded) You've also been told not to act naughty or you'd get coal. (A punishment) (Not saying that's good or bad, I'm sharing what occurred in my life and others)

You're told both stories are a lie. The story was used to get you to act nice. You now know a present is guaranteed, whether you act naughty or nice, at Christmas. The harmony is better because the lie shows you don't have to act a particular way to get a present!

Now, let's say you do something wrong. You get punished. That's different than the Santa Clause story! Why do you get a present whether your naughty or nice at Christmas, but get punished when your naughty at other times? Now, dissonance (lack of harmony in your thought process) occurs. A child has to resolve that conflict of knowledge. This is called cognitive (aware) dissonance. (Sometimes I get punished and at other times I don't - why is that? Two contradictory concepts) Harmony is out of whack until the conflict of ideas - sometimes get punished, sometimes don't - get's resolved in the child's mind.

Information, unless used, is worthless
Information, unless used, is worthless | Source

The Cognitive Dissonance of the 2016 Election

Let's look at a few of the facts that appeared during the 2016 election. These were contrary to the "facts" that citizens took for granted leading up to the 2016 election.

1) The DNC is an unbiased committee in charge of the primaries for the Democrat's Presidential Election Process. False

This was proven wrong by the Wikileaks information showing DNC chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, colluded to smear Bernie Sanders during the primaries.

2) Unethical behavior is not rewarded. False

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is forced to resign from the DNC chairpersons role and is immediately hired by Hillary Clinton

3) The FBI is a bastion of legal enforcement. Non-political and honest. False

After investigating the mishandling of emails by Hillary Clinton, the FBI concludes there's no reason for prosecution.

Here's an interview between Congressman Gowdy and FBI Director Comey, where he states that Hillary Clinton lied at least 7 times during the investigations into her mishandling of classified information over her private email servers

Congressman Gowdy's interview with FBI Director Comey

Do you feel you're open to new ideas?

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More Facts That That Would Cause Cognitive Dissonance

5) DOJ Director Lynch is unbiased. False

Lynch meets with Bill Clinton while his wife is under investigation by the DOJ's FBI Department.

Was there an offer of a bribe during the meeting? It was private, so no one knows what went on.

Remember, Bill Clinton lied under oath, while President of the U.S.. He's been under investigation numerous times for illegal activity.

One cannot "maintain" a friendship and say they are unbiased during an investigation.

6) The DOJ does not favor one side in the political process. False.

Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, gives a 'heads up" about current meetings and questions to Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta concerning Congressional hearings.

7) President Obama doesn't lie. False

President Obama stated he did not know that Hillary Clinton was using a private email server. This was proved false when Wikileaks released emails between President Obama and Hillary Clinton on her private email server.

8) The DNC is unbiased now that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is replaced by Donna Brazile. False

Donna Brasile steals questions for the CNN debate and gives them to the Clinton Campaign before the debate. Hillary Clinton has a chance to rehearse her answers to the debate questions.

9) The citizens are free to choose the Presidential Candidate in the Presidential Primaries. The choices they make will be adhered to by the leaders of the party. False

This is incorrect for both the Democratic primaries and the GOP primaries.

Wikileaks proved that there was collusion amongst the DNC leaders to issue propaganda that was intended to discredit Bernie Sanders.

The GOP leaders shunned Trump, the citizens choice within the GOP base. Romney, McCain, Ex-Presidents Bush, Cruz and many other GOP leaders endorsed the Democratic Candidate. Contrary to the desire of the people who make up the party.

Trust in the U.S. Government is at Record Low

Even though trust is at a record low, it does not mean citizens believe they're government is corrupt.
Even though trust is at a record low, it does not mean citizens believe they're government is corrupt. | Source

Cognitive Dissonance Summary

1) The belief that the law is equal, that there is no bias.

DOJ meetings with relatives of those under investigation, "heads up" notifications to Democratic leaders trying to sway Congressional hearings, FBI acceptance of defendants lying puts that statement into question.

The cognitive dissonance occurs when one realizes the basic precept of law is manipulated for the benefit of the elite.

2) That the people are free to choose and that their choice will be respected by the leaders of their party.

The collusion by the Democrats and the GOP deserting Trump, the GOP voters choice, proves that citizens have been manipulated and ignored in the election process.

The cognitive dissonance occurs when the citizens realize that the election process is rigged, and the U.S. is not a country where the leaders obey the citizens. It's a country who's elite tell the citizens how to behave. If they do not behave as intended, the elite are quick to desert them.

3) The Electoral College shows that we are not a Democratic Society, but a Republic of States. The purpose was to avoid having a few, well populated states choosing the rules and regulations for the majority of states.

To understand the cognitive dissonance:

The law is not dispensed fairly. It contradicts everything we have been taught in schools, what the elite and the news media tell us.

Citizens voices are not listened too. People in power want to direct, control and manipulate citizens, for "Powers that be" agendas . It proves that citizens desires are of no importance to those ruling the country.

The manipulation of the law and the election process, the desertion of the GOP leaders from their voters candidate prove that the basic beliefs, of most citizens, are wrong. This is tough to accept, thus the demonstrations in the street and the turmoil in both political parties. Cognitive dissonance at a level you're probably never see again in your lifetime.


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