Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance

I generally avoid blogging about politics because I don't think I do it well and I don't enjoy arguing. But lately I've had some gnawing thoughts on the brain, and I need to vent.

Apparently, as of this past Tuesday, Florida congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was unaware of President Obama's well-known kill list.

The President's kill list has been widely reported, including this informative New York Times front page story from May 29, 2012.

Wasserman Schultz's ignorance is shameful, and yet I find it perfectly representative of many Democrats' response to the President's kill list and the way he has embraced drone warfare. Could she really be that dumb? Or rather, is she, on some subconscious level, aware of actions she can't abide and using denial as a means of coping? How does a liberal deal with the cognitive dissonance that comes with trying to reelect a leader who unilaterally ordered the killing of a U.S. citizen?   

Here's how I've dealt with it - I do want Obama to defeat Romney, who would certainly not improve upon the foreign policy precedents established by the former, and whose domestic policy (as far as I can make out) is abhorrent.* But I refuse to get excited about our leader or his campaign. I skipped watching the convention, because there are big chunks of the past four years that I don't want to feel good about. And yes, I've skipped the debates, too. I prefer to read recaps, because in those tense, live TV moments, I find it difficult to not cheerlead for the side that better represents my views. Essentially, I'm taking a very pragmatic, unsentimental approach to this presidential election.

I realize that my approach doesn't win races, especially in a culture so fixated on fun times and entertainment. Trust me, feeling this way is no fun at all. I'm far beyond disappointed in our President, but the cultishness of his most ardent followers continues to disappoint me every day. One thing I'll say for our leader is that when he's on, has an incredible knack for inspiring his fans. When you consider that, it's almost easy to see how Wasserman Schultz-style denial becomes a very attractive means of dealing with the cognitive dissonance.

* This is not to say that I will be voting for Obama. I will be voting. I live in a red state. I'm exploring my options. There are more than two.

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