“The Credo of Cognitive Dissonance,” by Eric Robert Nolan
Any news that I dislike is fake.
Anyone with knowledge that I myself do not possess is a liar.
Anyone criticizing my preferred candidate is a traitor.
Any election results that I dislike mean that the election was rigged.
Any civil servant with whom I disagree is a member of a criminal conspiracy against me.
Any member of a minority group who exercises the same rights that I currently have is demanding special treatment.
Any news source that reports things in a manner that I dislike is part of THE MEDIA — a vast and monolithic conspiracy insidiously designed to brainwash me. Never mind that I cannot begin to suggest how such a sprawling conspiracy — involving countless ordinary people throughout America — might be organized, led, financed or coordinated.
Any news source that reports things in a manner that I DO like is not part of the dread monolith of THE MEDIA. My preferred news sources should be referred to by their individual names, like Fox News, O.A.N., Newsmax or MyPillow.com.
If one of these news sources begins to report things that I do not like, then it has “sold out” or been “taken over” by liberals, because any deviation from my preferred narrative is false. Then I will retreat to my carefully curated short list of blogs and Youtube channels, which will even better safeguard me from indoctrination.
Anyone who disagrees with me is an anarchist (or a socialist or a Marxist). My inability to define those terms in any detail makes them no less valid an accusation.
Anyone who exceeds my own accomplishments in arts, academia or communications is an elitist. I am more average than they are — and am therefore paradoxically superior. Never mind that this is far closer to the spirit of actual Marxism than the drive for individual achievement is — the Marxists are those OTHER guys. You can tell by the way they dress. You can tell by the way they talk.
My common sense is more trustworthy than any conclusion drawn from evidence — because I know how the REAL world works. I know this because I am a REAL American. It doesn’t matter that I cannot describe the First Amendment, or describe the concept of inalienable rights, or explain what separation of powers is, or even name the three branches of the American government.
My ignorance stems from humility — not intellectual laziness. My rejection of science shows I am wise. A wink and a smile will infuse any assertion of mine with the veracity of folk wisdom.
I distrust all the so-called “experts.” Things I do not like or understand are, by necessity, lies. A man’s knowledge and his honesty are inversely proportional. (This is an axiom that’s remarkably convenient for good people like me, who tend to possess less knowledge than others.) And my anthropomorphic god surely loves the humble and simple and honest folk more than the false and the arrogant.
My opinions and actions are intrinsically more American than those of others. You can tell this from the way that I pepper my language with phrases like “We the people,” “patriots,” “liberty” or “1776.” If I co-opt the language of the American Revolution, then no action of mine can be anti-American. This includes violently overthrowing America’s democratically elected government under instructions from an aspiring dictator. Terrorism is acceptable, just so long as I am play-acting a colonial American while perpetrating it.
I should be congratulated, instead of despised — lauded instead of detested. My shouts and threats and will enliven the heart, where bland and passionless reason cannot. The flag on my t-shirt is an unassailable license — to assail the very same Republic for which it is meant as an emblem.
I am a Trump supporter. Hear me roar.