‘Sensationally effective’: Convention’s powerful opening night sparked cognitive crisis

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, August 25, 2020

Democrats and their major media allies are so consumed with hatred for President Donald Trump and the “deplorables” who support him that it wasn’t possible for them to view Monday’s Republican National Convention in any objective manner, a columnist noted.

The first night of the GOP convention was, “all in all, sensationally effective — and effective in ways that the mainstream media and its Twitter chatterers clearly found impossible to understand,” John Podhoretz wrote for the New York Post.

Nikki Haley: ‘America isn’t perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect.’ / AFP / Getty Images

Visibly shocked by what they were seeing, some networks broke away from convention coverage to assure listeners that what they were hearing was not true.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said, “We do feel a responsibility to make sure that we are not unquestionably presenting things that are false, that are deliberately false and are potentially dangerously false.”

The decision drew the ire of Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham.

“MSNBC is fact-checking the GOP speakers in real time,” Ingraham wrote on Twitter. “Why didn’t they do the same last week for the DNC?”

According to cognitive dissonance theory, advanced in 1957 by psychologist Leon Festinger, when a person holds or acts in accordance with two or more contradictory cognitions, he or she experiences psychic stress and will do anything possible to reduce that cognitive dissonance.

The shrill media voice of the Democratic Party and the Left deal with cognitive dissonance by simply dismissing the Trump revolution in the Republican Party as a mass hallucination.

“America’s opinion leaders loathe Donald Trump so much that it remains a great puzzlement to them how he can retain the support of even 42 percent of the population, rather than, you know, zero,” Podhoretz wrote.

He added that the message Republicans conveyed in Monday night’s convention session “was twofold.”

First, “the case was that Trump has done many things to help individual people in extremis — working to release hostages, deregulating certain types of medical treatments, fighting entrenched interests, and leading a strong economy until COVID-19 came along to kill it,” Podhoretz wrote.

Second, Podhoretz noted, “the case was that Democrats are supporters of urban chaos and socialist policies that will make American lives less safe and will help immiserate the American middle class.”

Nowhere was that second message clearer than in the speech of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who were seen in a Twitter clip holding guns to protect their St. Louis home against a Black Lives Matter mob of rioters.

The McCloskeys, “pointed out that the BLM people were undisturbed by the cops, while they found themselves under arrest,” Podhoretz wrote. “Their message — this could happen to you, homeowners — surely struck a chord with Americans who own guns as protection. Stats tell us that 43 percent of all Americans live in a gun-owning household.”

Podhoretz noted that the Democrats’ message “that cops are bad and rioters are good — plays right into Trump’s hands.”

Among the night’s speakers, Podhoretz highlighted Sen. Tim Scott and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

Scott concluded his speech with these words about his grandfather: “Growing up, he had to cross the street if a white person was coming. He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third grader to pick cotton, and never learned to read or write. Yet he lived to see his grandson become the first African American to be elected to both the United States House and Senate. Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.”

Haley, child of Indian immigrants, said: “America isn’t perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America …. We seek a nation that rises together, not falls apart in anarchy and anger.”

Podhoretz noted: “If Trump can turn this election around, it will be because these ideas resonate with the Americans the media have lost the power to hear and to whom they no longer even attempt to speak.”

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