Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cognitive Dissonance, Trump Edition

Per Wikipedia:

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a belief of a person clashes with new evidence perceived by that person. When confronted with facts that contradict personal beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction in order to reduce their discomfort.

Camera One: Donald Trump is a true alpha male genius. Accomplished businessman, astute at evaluating his opponents' weaknesses and his hangers-ons' motives and relentless in exploiting those weaknesses and motives to get the outcomes he wants. A steamroller of a human being who will Make America Great Again!

Camera Two: Donald Trump is a mewling, helpless blob of formless jelly, forced minute by minute to take whatever policy shape the sinister cabal of Deep State influencers he surrounds himself with demand of him. He operates from the of best motives, and truly does want to Make America Great Again! but is just too much of a moral weakling to stand his ground against a John Bolton or Mike Pompeo, and too much of a mental midget to understand that they're manipulating him.

The same people see Trump through both of these two cameras. Whenever he seems to be getting something done that they perceive him as having promised them, it's Camera One. When he seems to be doing exactly the opposite of what they think he promised them (i.e. "[w]hen confronted with facts that contradict personal beliefs, ideals, and values"), it's Camera Two.

In reality, Trump promised so many mutually exclusive things to so many different groups of people that he is constantly going to be "keeping" one set of promises while "breaking" another. He's neither a true alpha male genius nor a mewling, helpless blog of formless jelly. He's a lying, scamming, narcissistic, sociopathic con artist who's very good at creating the cognitive dissonance described above and getting quite a few people to see him as simultaneously both of two things other than what he actually is.

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