The Cognitive Dissonance that Made Offensive Mitt Possible

Sep 20 2012 Published by under Featured News

It’s so nice to know what Mitt Romney really thinks of our troops, the elderly, the working poor and students who comprise the 47%.

At least now I fully understand why he didn’t find room in his acceptance speech to thank the troops. It’s because in Mitt Romney’s mind, the young men and women who fight for our freedoms (at least during photo ops and speeches to the Republican base) are in Ayn Rand speak: takers. Of course, by Romney’s way of thinking his own father was a “taker” who thought he (along with his family) were entitled to housing, food and healthcare and that government should give it to them.

As the Boston Globe noted:

Mitt Romney had harsh words for welfare recipients in a hidden-camera videotape from a May fundraiser that was leaked this week.

But his own father was once among public aid recipients.

As the Globe has previously reported, George Romney’s family fled from Mexico in 1912 to escape a revolution there, and benefited from a $100,000 fund established by Congress to help refugees who had lost their homes and most of their belongings.

Moreover, by the Ayn Rand thinking that shaped Paul Ryan’s view of society he was also a taker during his teenage years and for that matter, as a member of Congress virtually his entire adult life.

Within the context of George Romney’s life, his time as a taker was brief. Yet, I wonder if Mitt ever considered what if there was no government to give the Romney family a temporary, but needed helping hand? I wonder if he bothered to consider what would have happened when he went to government seeking a handout to save his failing business and if the government said “No, why don’t you just borrow from your parents?”

While there are many reasons to be offended (though not surprised) by the video in which the real Mitt Romney finally stood up, I don’t think Romney’s attitude toward the 47% as “you people” is the worst thing about his hatred for people who have to earn their living. It’s the cognitive dissonance that allows Romney to disassociate himself with the fact that his father was, for a moment in time, one of the 47%.

Cognitive dissonance makes it possible for Republicans like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to forget how they mooched from the public purse. It also makes it possible to believe that someone who makes his millions by destroying companies, and with it creating more people in that 47% that Romney has such contempt for,is a maker.

It’s cognitive dissonance that makes it possible for Romney to believe that he should only pay 13% income tax (based on the partial tax return he has released) but someone who earns their money and pays a much higher rate in payroll taxes, should still pay a higher percent of their income in taxes.

The only thing that Romney has made is unemployment and poverty and he profited from it. He made his money by taking pension funds that were legitimately earned from people who worked for a living. So who’s really the taker?

Romney’s tax plan as analyzed by experts, seeks to increase taxes in the middle class and give that money to people like himself, who make money, while creating unemployment.  Who are the real takers?

It’s also cognitive dissonance that makes it possible for Romney to exclude another group within the 47% as takersm namely, the millionaires who don’t pay income tax.

Romney’s cognitive dissonance makes it possible to think that the people who build this country and who go to work every day are takers. It makes it possible to believe that young men and women, who have the courage that neither Romney nor Ryan ever had by fighting our wars, are takers. In other words, putting your life on the line for your country is nothing in the eyes of Romney and Ryan.

But it isn’t my job to worry about Romney and Ryan. No matter what I say, they’ll never understand or appreciate the meaning of hard work or sacrifice. Nor will they take responsibility for fighting the wars they are all too happy to advocate.

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