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Re: “Cognitive dissonance: Malware for the human computer,” by Alvin R. Bass Jr.:
Mr. Bass did a good job explaining cognitive dissonance in his Monday column, describing it as malware for the human computer. However, perhaps he has failed to realize that he might be a victim.
Another phenomenon might apply as well. “Doubling down” is defined as stubbornly clinging to a notion in the face of evidence to the contrary. The downer “feels smug and confident; but to the objective observer, it looks like an obvious hot-air pivot by someone too insecure to consider that they might be wrong.”
“Doubling down” is our president’s most common strategy, one he has taught his supporters to parrot. Downers believe the president can do no wrong. Every decision, every word spoken word, every interaction with individuals or nations is absolutely the most perfect, effective response that could ever be uttered by a human. His jokes funniest, his lies excused, his policies the best in history. He is the most vibrant, healthy, energetic president in history. He is a stable genius! Everything Trump is magnificent!
When he reveals a mean streak, that’s OK because he is treated so badly by the media. For the downers, Donald J. can do no wrong. He described his supporters as not caring if “I shot someone on Fifth Avenue.” The president knows his power over them, gleefully exploiting and using them in the most Machiavellian way. The fact they will continue to support him no matter is his strength.
Our president surrounds himself with a sea of double-downers. Just look at his rallies. He has programmed them well. His control of them is supreme.
Still there are those among us who continue to see both sides. There is no supreme being on earth, no perfect one. All presidents make mistakes along with doing many good and noble things.
Democrats are no better or worse than Republicans. We know that those who take all the credit, who deny all wrongdoing, who habitually blame and ridicule others are not living in reality. There is much to be admired in both our political parties. We are more similar in hopes and dreams for ourselves and families than we are different. If we are to remain a free nation, we must realize that doubling down sends a signal of weakness to our enemies, a clarion call they will soon answered if we continue to deny reality.
Nancy N. Hawley