The Deafening Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change, and it’s damaging America more than anything else right now.

First, we had a bunch of Catholic bishops say that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine wasn’t as holy as the Pfizer or Moderna, then they reversed course. We heard the Mayor of Detroit say he didn’t want the J&J vaccine, because he thought it wasn’t as good as the others, but then he backtracked after being ridiculed by social media and, of course, the free press. In this case, it was the Detroit Free Press, “Mixed messages from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan earlier this week suggesting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is inferior to Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, which he called ‘the best vaccines,’ led to clarifications from the White House COVID-19 response team Friday.”

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

I am going to scream if another mayor or governor says something outrageously stupid then tries to justify his or her mistake the next day. I actually did scream when I listened to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York “man-splain” that he wasn’t aware of what constitutes “sexual harassment” in the workplace. Sorry, folks, but that makes him STUPID. He’s a damn lawyer and has been working in public service and government for years. He knows the law.

Here’s a quote from my book How to Hire Great People, “The United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” The passage also states that some experts report that 51% of workers said they’ve been hassled by a supervisor while 49% complained about the behavior of non-management co-workers, so this is not solely a boss problem.

By the way, the viewpoint of the alleged harasser is irrelevant, it’s the opinion of the person who is being harassed that matters. Cuomo is a smart man and I believe he is lying when saying he didn’t know what he was doing. His embarrassment now is a good indication he knew then what he was doing. Many men just don’t understand the “unwelcome” part of the definition. People say and do reckless things all the time, but we expect more from a person running a city, a state or a country.

A person’s constant inconsistent thoughts and attitudes, especially when they affect behavioral decisions, can topple the trust we have in them. I saw a major flare up at the grocery store the other day, A woman was confronting people not wearing masks. She spoke to the manager who explained that, yes, wearing a mask was a policy but he doesn’t have any power to enforce it. I stayed out of the argument, but it was interesting that the mask-less shopper turned to bark, “Why, don’t you go back to New York!” The cognitive dissonance was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.

Okay, the sign above the door says MASKS ARE REQUIRED TO SHOP IN PUBLIX! Apparently, that’s not exactly true. Early on we were told we should wear masks, but the “leader of the free world” told us straight up he would not wear one. There have been several super spreader events at the White House and lots of governmental folks contracted COVID, yet the person who refused to endorse mask wearing did nothing.

We waste so much time talking, complaining, protesting and arguing when we should be putting our heads together and getting things done. People tend to do one of two things when confronted with truth, gracefully accept the new reality and, when appropriate, apologize and move on or push back with a defensive posture and lies. I don’t care that Andrew Cuomo was lonely, I care about him being honest about harassment and counting the deaths in his state. He’s meat. Today, it’s up to five women with stories, OMG, is he Harvey Weinstein?

I’m not saying that one can never change their opinion, especially when given more facts, but when someone uses past statements to cloud a current discussion then we are in trouble. For example, lots of whacko conservatives keep talking about the time the medical professionals told us that wearing a mask was not necessary. We now know they were covering up a broken supply chain line that was preventing medical masks from getting to hospitals. The government and the healthcare system were not ready for a global pandemic. Let’s just admit that, move on and wear a mask.

Texas Hot Spots

Mike Duggan of Detroit, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Greg Abbott of Texas are not stupid people, but they do idiotic things for the wrong reasons. The Texas governor knew he was wrong to open the state 100% and remove the mask mandate as soon as he announced those things. He first blamed Mexican asylum seekers for bringing in a virus but then yelled, “We are open!” while telling his citizens to rip off their masks. Ted Cruz admitted knowing he was making a bad choice even before getting on the plane to Cancun, but not before trying to make us believe he was forced by his daughters to head on down into the warmth of Mexico, jeez.

People are saying that Americans do not get enough information, but it’s not the quantity of things they read, it’s the quality. Social media is not based on factual investigation and reporting. It’s mostly gossip and opinions which actually tend to be anti-social. It’s moronic to think that Facebook is a good source of news, it’s a source of photos of people’s faces and it was a damn dating app at Harvard when invented.

We have become a nation of demonizing. I remember when we sanitized surfaces and Scotchgarded our carpets, now we want to bite off the head of a bat and spit in the face of our political enemy. You know, like that great British intellectual, Ozzy Osbourne. Is your enemy either Mitch McConnell or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Is it Josh Hawley or President Biden? You’ll easily find someone to hate, and you will walk around being angry at them. Why?

Sure, we must open our states and bring the economy back, but if we open too soon we’ll return to high levels of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Yesterday, I read a newspaper story saying the Texas power plants that went down in this latest storm also failed in 2011. May I ask one question? How many times do you allow something to fail before you fix it?

Being the governor of a state is an awesome responsibility. There is never enough money to do what you want, and if you raise taxes to give your citizens a better life you will get voted out of office. Perhaps a little more logic and a little less cognitive dissonance would help.

I suggest these so-called leaders apply the time-tested ways of getting things done. First, state the problem and make sure it’s a real problem. Then, tell the people what you are going to do to fix it. Point out the roles of each person responsible for solving the issue and then offer regular updates on the progress. We don’t need a “mission accomplished” moment, we need ongoing facts. Here’s what worked and didn’t work and here is what we are going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. No lies, no bullshit, just the plain truth.

I am embarrassed by all these Trump-wannabees. As I said in a letter to one of Florida’s representatives, Matt Gaetz, “More than half the people in Florida know you are lying. If you are unaware of this, then you are out of touch with your fellow citizens and should consider a new career.” Of course, I never got a response. He’s too busy trying to be Trump.

I am always amazed when people keep honoring and following losers. When I see a confederate flag, I think, LOSER. When I see someone attack the press for asking a sharp, demanding question, I think LOSER. When I notice that using ad hominem is more important than answering a question, I mouth LOSER, but when Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaks, I think IDIOT. Okay, that was rude, but clearly, he’s the least intelligent person ever elected to public office. Hey, the bat doesn’t taste that bad after you get used to it. At least I’m consistent.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

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