The Great Houston Triggering
Last week an interesting event took place. No, I’m not talking about North Korea’s nuclear weapons, nor the potential ending of DACA. The event I refer to is the massive triggering of cognitive dissonance from progressive Trump haters last week. For those unaware, cognitive dissonance happens when one holds a particular view and is then shown contravening evidence or information about the view they hold. Or, “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes”. So what happens when someone is in a state of cognitive dissonance? They get uncomfortable, silent, blather incoherently, curse or they resort to personal attacks. For someone to enter cognitive dissonance, there needs to be a trigger. An event that conflicts with their views.
In Houston, Donald Trump and everyday Americans provided that trigger.
You see, the narrative since the election (which was also a cognitive dissonance trigger) is that America is a racist nation that intentionally elected a white supremacy enabler (who is also a Russian puppet) that routinely issues “racist dog whistles” to his racist base of cult like followers. The whole racist narrative, along with the Russian narrative, are responses to a triggering event (the election) that had to be explained away with something other than “I was wrong”. The tragedy in Charlottesville coupled with an admittedly imperfect response only served to further this narrative. With the Russian narrative up in smoke, there was a need for a new narrative for progressives to stick to Trump. This narrative came in the same form it usually does from the left: Racism and identity politics.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Henry, Houston showed what America was really about. We saw black people helping Hispanics and white people. We saw white people helping black and Asian people. Muslims and Christians helping everyone. You see, when the chips are down, people show you who they really are. What Americans showed in Houston is that they are overwhelmingly good people. Watching the guy with the confederate flag on his airboat ferrying black people, or the black guy on his jet ski rescuing a white senior shows what we are really about. At the end of the day, when it really matters, Americans are united. These radical fringes the media loves to play and give airtime to do not represent this country. Do the math, the hardcore racists are less than one tenth of one percent of this country. The ANTIFA goons are around the same. So what we have are two radical fringes that do not represent the 99.9% of this country.
Let me add to that: The hardcore racists and fringe elements are less than one tenth of one percent of the population of this country. How do I arrive at that number? Take a look at the various hate group registries, twitter followings, event attendance, etc. The number I arrived at is approximately 50,000 people in a country of 320 million, and that might even be a high estimate. In addition, that includes not only the hardcore racists but non-violent groups like identitarians. The KKK sports a whopping 3000 or so, nationwide. These numbers are infinitesimal compared to the overwhelming majority. Now, I’m not saying these groups aren’t a problem because of course, they are. My argument is that they don’t in any way represent the vast majority of America, and not even a remotely significant percentage. So, in effect, we have a media driven mass delusion that there are Nazis on every corner and that the President loves and enables them.
The President then showed up in Houston and the left alternated between making fun of Melania’s footwear and condemning Trump for not crying hard enough or going waist deep in water to save a child from drowning. Two days later, he shows up again, and here’s where the cognitive dissonance trigger happens: He is shown in pictures and numerous videos kissing black babies and taking selfies with Hispanic, white, Asian, and black families. I watch a lot of prominent left wingers on Twitter, and the cognitive dissonance supernova was off the charts. The reactions from the left ranged from silence to personal attacks, but most of all, they accused him of doing it for the camera. Deray McKesson, a Black Lives Matter organizer and someone who routinely calls for Trump to be removed from office said “Can we just get him out of here already?” in response to a tweeted video of Trump kissing a black child. That resigned, frustrated response is pure cognitive dissonance. He saw an image that conflicted with the belief he’s had for months of Trump as a hyper racist enabler, and all he could offer was frustrated resignation.
Let me also address this “doing it for the camera” argument. First, I’d argue that’s pretty much the job of a President during a disaster, to get on camera and project positivity and reassure everyone, even if he knows things are bad. Projecting a positive image is critical in times like these. Secondly, how many Neo Nazis do you think would be seen on camera kissing a black baby? My guess is exactly zero. That sort of compassionate act is really hard to fake, or not look uncomfortable doing. Third, if the argument is that he’s conning people, I’d just ask conning them into what? Seeing unity? Seeing a country united behind victims of a catastrophe? Is he conning us into thinking that Texas will be taken care of and all of its citizens cared for? Is he conning us into helping and accepting people regardless of race? I’d argue this is all the type of conning the country needs right now. Perception is reality, and right now both Houston and the President are showing the right kind of leadership.
So how do I know I’m not the delusional triggered one? That’s easy, there was no trigger of cognitive dissonance for me. Things are proceeding exactly as I expected them to, and have for the last year or so. I was not surprised by the election result, so I had no need to invent any kind of alternate reality or excuses. I didn’t think he was racist to begin with so those pictures didn’t trigger me. I’ve debunked the racist accusation multiple times in my YouTube channel, which you should subscribe to. Everything is proceeded exactly as predicted, except for maybe the ineptitude of the Republican Congress, which will be handled in the midterms of 2018. If you want to know more about social psychology and cognitive dissonance, read Scott Adams sometime for a lot more about how it works. Once you understand, it becomes so easy to recognize in others, and Houston was one of the clearest examples I’ve seen.
There is still a racist and Russian delusion bubble around half of the country, but after Houston, maybe there is a little hole in the bubble.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.