Surprising WND Articles with No Comments, Part 7: Cognitive Dissonance Among Liberals

Posted: December 16, 2013 in politics
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s been awhile since I’ve found a WND story that I both found mildly interesting and no World Net Daily commenter deigned to respond to. However, such a story was posted by Ellis Washington – who does do a regular “Commentary” on WND — and it was posted on November 29 and entitled, “Cognitive Dissonance and the Left.”

I found it a particular eye-roller, personally, because it’s something that I think many liberals would point out about many conservatives, or at least the ultra-conservatives such as those at WND. Now that I think of it, I would guess that many conservatives would also think that cognitive dissonance runs high among the Tea Party folks.

Since it’s the subject of the article and this post, let me just define the term to make sure everyone is on the same page. Cognitive dissonance is when one is able to hold to conflicting ideas and accept both of them. For example, if I think that driving directions don’t work but I happily print out a Google map direction to a location and use it, then that is a nice, contrived example of cognitive dissonance.

Here is what he considers to be cognitive dissonance, though he goes on to talk about other things in his actual copied Facebook conversation in the article:

Here is how the cognitive dissonance of the left is manifested regarding their Obama messiah:

A) Barack Obama is a historical, transformative and revolutionary political figure, to speak against him or his policies means I’m a racist or a right-wing fanatic; and

B) Barack Obama is a bad or deceitful person who is spying on me and those I care about while stealing my doctor and destroying my health plan through Obamacare.

Wow. Talk about a reductio ad absurdum (carrying an idea far beyond its intent to make it seem ridiculous on its face — something like a straw man in this case). Ellis Washington’s bio at the top of the article states he “is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global.” For someone who is an editor of a law review journal and a law clerk and a professor of law and ethics, one would think he would know his logical fallacies.

What he has stated is something I don’t think any liberal other than the most deluded actually think, though in this case I am speaking from my own personal viewpoint. For (A), I would agree with the first part, that President Obama – like almost any US President, is a historical, transformative, and revolutionary political figure, especially in contrast with George W. Bush. But, I don’t think speaking against him or his policies means that someone is a racist or a right-wing fanatic per se, so long as one does it because of the policies and not saying things like, “Obama’s policies suck because he’s black” or “because he’s a commie pig.” Then, yes, you are a racist or a right-wing fanatic and you are employing ad hominem attacks which are also non sequiturs.

For point (B), I think that some of the policies that President Obama has maintained, set up, and enhanced, are bad, and I think some of the ways he has implemented them are also bad. Obviously the “You can keep your doctor” under the Affordable Care Act and then the issues with keeping your doctor was a huge issue. The NSA spying, to me, is a big issue. Though I would point out that it was Bush who vastly expanded the CIA’s and NSA’s spying powers and programs.

With that said, I don’t think the views I hold represent cognitive dissonance. One can be both a transformative, revolutionary political figure and still have bad policies. Heck — one could look at Assad in Syria and point out that he is both transformative and has bad policies. It’s only when you carry the two ideas to a ridiculous extreme and set up a straw man that they become an example of cognitive dissonance.

But, the ridiculous argument that he set up, and the examples of left-wing ideas against which he argues, made me certain that someone would comment. It has gotten 3 ratings, however, and all were 5 stars.

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