Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug

Is there anyone out there who's completely, 100% satisfied with the job the government is doing?  Has there ever been?  If so, I'm not aware of them.

Ask anyone, and you'll find some area in which he or she believes the government is making a godawful mess of things.  Everybody's dissatisfied, if not downright angry, about government's dim-witted, ham-handed, overbearing mishandling of something.

And yet...virtually every one of these very same people will passionately and adamantly proclaim that this very same government that's making a horse's ass out of something they care very deeply about, is absolutely beyond reproach in some other area. 

Mr. Conservative rails about the incompetence and ulterior motives of government trying to manage the economy...but don't you even think about questioning the absolute authority and competence of the government when it comes to war or law enforcement, you unpatriotic sonofabitch!

Ms. Liberal decries the abuses of the police state and belligerent foreign policy...but pleads for the very same organization that unapologetically perpetrates those abuses to take absolute control of the economy, and if you don't agree, you're a heartless one-percenter!

The contradictions boggle the mind.  People trust the same outfit that's been promising peace in the Middle East for half a century without positive results to regulate the climate of an entire planet!  They want the folks who gave us the Federal Reserve banking cartel, which has presided over the depreciation of the dollar to less than 5% of its 1913 purchasing power, to resuscitate the economy.  They demand that the buffoons who have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and abused countless individuals in the perpetually-failing War on Drugs manage our medical care.  They think an institution famous for racking up trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt is uniquely qualified to manage their retirement savings.

And it gets worse.  Corporations control "our" government, they'll scream, and in the next breath call for government to be given more powers to regulate the economy.  Yep, nothing makes a bad guy behave like giving him a bigger club to beat you with!

Schools are failing?  Bigger budget!  TSA is the punchline of a bad joke?  Why, it must need more money!  More agents!  More scanners!  Police departments run amok?  Make those bastards investigate themselves!  Corruption in government?  More power!

And then, when you think it can't possibly get any more ridiculous, it really floors you, because whether these things are horrible crimes against humanity, or fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way changes from one presidential administration to the next.  Obama doubles down on the War on Drugs?  You might get an awkward mutter from a progressive, where he was screaming bloody murder when W was in office.  Growing the welfare state with a massive Medicare expansion?  Why, that's just George doing what's right for seniors, say the Rs.  AND...whatever side normally champions any given government program will NEVER be happy when the other side does it.

Government has an uncanny ability to make otherwise intelligent people think and act like imbeciles.  It's all completely ass-backward from how a sane, rational person would behave in any other circumstance.  If your mechanic goes joyriding in your car, you probably wouldn't want him house-sitting for you while you're on vacation.  If your dog walker loses your pet, you wouldn't trust her to babysit your toddler.  If an employee steals merchandise from your shelves, your first thought wouldn't be to have him auditing your books. If you absolutely have no choice but to rely on someone who has proven himself untrustworthy, you'd watch him like a hawk and suspect everything he does, not grant him broad discretion to do whatever he sees fit.

But when it comes to government, humanity has the utterly astounding capacity to watch the fox rob the henhouse in broad daylight and then without a hint of irony nominate him to count the eggs.

Only a very few of us have the level of awareness to facepalm.

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