To the editor,

There’s a story about a cult who believed the world would end by flood on Dec. 21, 1954. Many true believers sold everything, left their families, and gave it all away. Sadly, the flood never came and the less committed members, not having left all and given all away, despised the leader and left the cult. The true believers, however, convinced themselves they had saved the world by the faithfulness, thereby preserving their belief system. A true story and an example of cognitive dissonance – having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes relating to decisions and attitudes.

Cognitive dissonance can be seen these days in politics no matter what your party or candidate does, even when illegal or unethical, does not sway your support and trust. You can chalk it up as “fake news.” Is this really thinking clearly and examining the possibility you’re wrong about this candidate? Should we not test the facts with an investigative and open mind before saying to ourselves, “I don’t care what he/she does, I continue my whole support.” When we go off angrily and blindly holding to our belief by some irrational position, we’re rationalizing why the flood never came.

Patrick Witherow


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