Democrats in the Cesspits of Despair

I have an answer for the Instapundit's favorite question: "Why is the Democratic Party such a cesspit of hypocrisy?" in two words: "disconfirmatory reality,” meaning the failure of reality to conform to their beliefs. This leads to all sorts of mischief and worse.

Last week, revered left wing thinker Noam Chomsky said that President Trump and the Republican Party represent a worse threat to humanity than ISIS; NBC news reader Lester Holt interrupted the President of the United States nine times in three minutes; some art professor announced that Republicans in Congress should be lined up and shot; and exactly none of the mainstream media players, from the New York Times to CBS and the Huffington Post, all of which had spent weeks enthusiastically berating Sarah Palin for suggesting the Republicans target a few House districts for election purposes protested repeated calls for Trump's assassination or saw anything wrong with any of the rest of it.

This behavior stands in stark contrast to what Republicans do when they lose elections: no serious conservative, for example, advocated that Obama be shot; tea party gatherings never turned into riots; and even fringe right wing sites generally talk more about issues than personalities.

So why are Democrats such hypocrites? Remember, they're the party of liberal progressivism: the party that inveighs endlessly against racism but embraces eugenics, spawned the KKK, and rewards people like Al Sharpton; the party that accuses its enemies of Nazism but embraces the Moslem Brotherhood and accepts both funding and direction from the only self confessed and unrepentant Nazi in American politics; the party that sees working Americans as deplorable embarrassments to their own enlightened community for their imagined illiteracy, homophobia and misogyny but reflexively defends Islam's right to enslave a billion women and stone deviants in the public square; and the party that fervently believes all forms of socialism morally better than the Christian ethos built into the American Constitution despite socialism's unbroken record of devolution to mass murder, social stagnation, and the effective enslavement of more than 99% of the people by less than 1%.

When Leon Festinger and his associates undertook the work leading to their widely misunderstood and maligned theory of cognitive dissonance, their ultimate goal was to understand how forty million decent Germans and tens of millions in the rest of Europe could so enthusiastically support Nazi methods -- and it's their research on how cult members react to the unequivocal disproof of some central belief that's important today -- because the increasing calls among Democrats for violence shows that same process at work here as in Germany of the 1930s.

In brief, what happens when events disprove a cult's major belief is that some adherents drop out; a majority first reshape their vision of reality to accommodate both their belief and an edited version of reality and then either gradually fade out of the cult or double down on their efforts to find confirmatory opinion by compromising others; and, a few set out to force others to act as if the belief stands unchallenged.

Among the last group, the nature and duration of the disproof process matters: the more abrupt and final the disproof, the more violent the reaction -- leading, in the extreme, to Jonestown events in which mothers murder their own children rather than face reality. Where that disproof is gradual and cumulative, however, the extreme group both grows as some majority members find social support by edging into the extremist camp, and loses its inhibitions against the organizational use of dishonesty, crime, and violence at roughly the rate at which the belief loses market share in the society they either belong or aspire to -- a classic slippery slope political and media players are particularly susceptible to because the pre-existing professional community amplifies their ability to provide their own social support while shutting out contrary voices.

The key elements that have to be in place for the true believers to slide toward dishonesty and violence are personal commitment to the belief, undeniable disproof, and enough rationality for the person to know that the belief has been disproven.

That two of these are in place with the Trump victory deniers is obvious: most of the journalists and others now attacking Trump in particular and Republicans in general have overwhelming and long term commitments to the progressive cause. This despite the fact that every major attempt to act on those beliefs, whether by Uncle Joe, Chairman Mao, the Kim Dynasty in North Korea, or that great hero and champion of the poor, Hugo Chavez, has turned into a murderous regime corrupting everyone and everything it touched.

Whether most of these people are rational enough to comprehend the truth that they can't acknowledge is a much more difficult question, in part of course because they can't be rational on the subject.  But the fact that they generally don't apply their beliefs to themselves suggests that most have at least some grasp of their falsity. So far, for example, the number of dedicated leftists in politics and the media who have voluntarily gone to Cuba, Canada, or a V.A. hospital for superior health care remains, like the number voluntarily paying higher total taxes or offering lands and beaches they own for windfarm development, as close to zero as it is possible to get.

Thus the behavioral explanation for the fact that conservatives will generally accept electoral defeat gracefully whereas Democrats eagerly embrace hypocrisy, corruption, dishonesty and even violence to continue the fight by any means necessary is simply this: reality supports conservative belief, but pushes leftists down the slippery slope to the insanity of Trump derangement syndrome.  Reality forces them to continually choose between recognizing the emptiness and historical absurdity of their core beliefs or holding themselves hostage to those beliefs by escalating their commitment, no matter what foul means may be required to make reality conform to their fantasy.

I have an answer for the Instapundit's favorite question: "Why is the Democratic Party such a cesspit of hypocrisy?" in two words: "disconfirmatory reality,” meaning the failure of reality to conform to their beliefs. This leads to all sorts of mischief and worse.

Last week, revered left wing thinker Noam Chomsky said that President Trump and the Republican Party represent a worse threat to humanity than ISIS; NBC news reader Lester Holt interrupted the President of the United States nine times in three minutes; some art professor announced that Republicans in Congress should be lined up and shot; and exactly none of the mainstream media players, from the New York Times to CBS and the Huffington Post, all of which had spent weeks enthusiastically berating Sarah Palin for suggesting the Republicans target a few House districts for election purposes protested repeated calls for Trump's assassination or saw anything wrong with any of the rest of it.

This behavior stands in stark contrast to what Republicans do when they lose elections: no serious conservative, for example, advocated that Obama be shot; tea party gatherings never turned into riots; and even fringe right wing sites generally talk more about issues than personalities.

So why are Democrats such hypocrites? Remember, they're the party of liberal progressivism: the party that inveighs endlessly against racism but embraces eugenics, spawned the KKK, and rewards people like Al Sharpton; the party that accuses its enemies of Nazism but embraces the Moslem Brotherhood and accepts both funding and direction from the only self confessed and unrepentant Nazi in American politics; the party that sees working Americans as deplorable embarrassments to their own enlightened community for their imagined illiteracy, homophobia and misogyny but reflexively defends Islam's right to enslave a billion women and stone deviants in the public square; and the party that fervently believes all forms of socialism morally better than the Christian ethos built into the American Constitution despite socialism's unbroken record of devolution to mass murder, social stagnation, and the effective enslavement of more than 99% of the people by less than 1%.

When Leon Festinger and his associates undertook the work leading to their widely misunderstood and maligned theory of cognitive dissonance, their ultimate goal was to understand how forty million decent Germans and tens of millions in the rest of Europe could so enthusiastically support Nazi methods -- and it's their research on how cult members react to the unequivocal disproof of some central belief that's important today -- because the increasing calls among Democrats for violence shows that same process at work here as in Germany of the 1930s.

In brief, what happens when events disprove a cult's major belief is that some adherents drop out; a majority first reshape their vision of reality to accommodate both their belief and an edited version of reality and then either gradually fade out of the cult or double down on their efforts to find confirmatory opinion by compromising others; and, a few set out to force others to act as if the belief stands unchallenged.

Among the last group, the nature and duration of the disproof process matters: the more abrupt and final the disproof, the more violent the reaction -- leading, in the extreme, to Jonestown events in which mothers murder their own children rather than face reality. Where that disproof is gradual and cumulative, however, the extreme group both grows as some majority members find social support by edging into the extremist camp, and loses its inhibitions against the organizational use of dishonesty, crime, and violence at roughly the rate at which the belief loses market share in the society they either belong or aspire to -- a classic slippery slope political and media players are particularly susceptible to because the pre-existing professional community amplifies their ability to provide their own social support while shutting out contrary voices.

The key elements that have to be in place for the true believers to slide toward dishonesty and violence are personal commitment to the belief, undeniable disproof, and enough rationality for the person to know that the belief has been disproven.

That two of these are in place with the Trump victory deniers is obvious: most of the journalists and others now attacking Trump in particular and Republicans in general have overwhelming and long term commitments to the progressive cause. This despite the fact that every major attempt to act on those beliefs, whether by Uncle Joe, Chairman Mao, the Kim Dynasty in North Korea, or that great hero and champion of the poor, Hugo Chavez, has turned into a murderous regime corrupting everyone and everything it touched.

Whether most of these people are rational enough to comprehend the truth that they can't acknowledge is a much more difficult question, in part of course because they can't be rational on the subject.  But the fact that they generally don't apply their beliefs to themselves suggests that most have at least some grasp of their falsity. So far, for example, the number of dedicated leftists in politics and the media who have voluntarily gone to Cuba, Canada, or a V.A. hospital for superior health care remains, like the number voluntarily paying higher total taxes or offering lands and beaches they own for windfarm development, as close to zero as it is possible to get.

Thus the behavioral explanation for the fact that conservatives will generally accept electoral defeat gracefully whereas Democrats eagerly embrace hypocrisy, corruption, dishonesty and even violence to continue the fight by any means necessary is simply this: reality supports conservative belief, but pushes leftists down the slippery slope to the insanity of Trump derangement syndrome.  Reality forces them to continually choose between recognizing the emptiness and historical absurdity of their core beliefs or holding themselves hostage to those beliefs by escalating their commitment, no matter what foul means may be required to make reality conform to their fantasy.

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