If you read the Dissonance literature you unfortunately tend to find examples of its operation in political, social, and ethical applications from the Right – Republicans, conservatives, faithful, military, right wing authoritarians, F-scale fascists, and on and on. Dissonance and its Reduction explain George W. Bush and the Iraq War (and the Global War on Terror), Mrs. Creech and her Doomsday Cult of True Believers, as notable examples. For a more detailed illustration you can read this book on Dissonance which seems to explain that the Right operates primarily and apparently exclusively on Dissonance. I call this commonplace “unfortunate” because it reveals a surprising bias in people who are supposed to be scientific and because it limits our understanding of the general phenomena of Dissonance, and especially Its Reduction.
Consider today, the Left, Mr. Obama, and one specific example. After repeated failures to enact any meaningful legislation that increases taxes on The Wealthy, Mr. Obama persists in his dogged pursuit of that much failed idea. Among voters, his Party, and his Base Mr. Obama’s standing is better understood as his falling – no one loves the One any longer. And, on this tax issue, while it is standard progressive policy, even among the smartest political scientists and operatives within the Left, there is dispute about its current utility.
Yet, Mr. Obama persists. And most importantly for Dissonance Theory, Mr. Obama suffers for his persistence. Ralph Nader is urging competitors to enter Democratic primaries to challenge Mr. Obama. Editorials from Elite Media sympathizers now dismiss Obama’s skill and accomplishment when offering any praise. Talk of One Term is now a commonplace and not a violation. And, then, the inevitable comparisons to Jimmy Carter. Remember, Obama won the Nobel Prize in a vote taken before he even swore the oath of office without curing cancer, uniting Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land, and inventing a good five cent cigar.
If the Tax The Rich Obama is not the walking and talking embodiment of Dissonance Reduction, the theory has no meaning. Yet, I do not find examples of Left observers making this obvious observation.
Now, chew on this.
The Cool Table spotted the Dissonance raccoon with Mr. Bush and the War on Terror in a flash. Why does Bush persist with this hated war? He suffers for what he (stupidly) loves. Dissonance Reduction, baby.
Now, Mr. Obama pursues the War on Terror with new brand names, but essentially the same policy as Mr. Bush. So. Is Dissonance Reduction with the War on Terror contagious among Presidents? Or, perhaps, the Cool Table misdiagnosed Bush’s motivation as Dissonance when it was simply the best option on the policy table, as Mr. Obama discovered.
Persuasion theory applies to all faces and places, times and rhymes or else it has no meaning. Party affiliation or political philosophy create different Persuasion Boxes, but the Persuasion Play is still the same and applies equally.