Let’s marry my ongoing GOP-ineptitude narrative with my research on cognitive distortions. Don’t worry, with jokes! The cognitive pitfall of all cognitive pitfalls is actually (drum roll) …normalcy bias! This particular distortion will play a role in November as well as our collective demise. You see, Republicans are like terrorists in that they only have to get this electoral college shit right once. I’m predicting that if Republicans do return to the White House, normalcy bias will be the vehicle that drives them there. The upcoming election and every election cycle hence will equate to one hell of a Russian roulette-style drinking game. Putin on the Schlitz? No matter how well liberal administrations limp this country along, or even manage to emulate a thriving economy, one day soon our electorate will decide to to peek behind door number two. Hint: #2 is a euphemism for poopy.
Normalcy Bias is a coping mechanism that helps us make sense of a trauma-filled world. Here’s the Wiktionary definition:
“The phenomenon of disbelieving one’s situation when faced with grave and imminent danger and/or catastrophe. As in over focusing on the actual phenomenon instead of taking evasive action, a state of paralysis.”
It gives us the false sense of security that the sun will always rise and set each day, regardless of our choices, or, as Led Zeppelin posits, the song will remain the same. At its heart, normalcy bias is a resistance to change.
While researching this I freaked after stumbling upon a Ken Crow article which begs the identical question: Could “Normalcy Bias” be our Achilles Heal.
I was immediately suspicious for two reasons: 1. the guy didn’t finish his headline with a question mark and, 2. the author’s image, complete with a large cowboy hat. Yeah, don’t click on that shit. His two “points” as to why liberals
suffer from this affliction involves the birther movement and the rise of ISIS.
Article Summary Alert: Obama is from Kenya and is secretly aiding ISIS.
Yeah, I guess all those drone strikes are delivering supplies …just before the impending explosion. Maybe Amazon should adopt a similar business model? Maybe reading really is fundamental? Sorry, I’m probably the only person who got that. To be fair, Mr. Crow’s article was written before ISIS started getting their asses handed to them. Having said that, it’s still not worth the read (See: any article involving a conservative opinion in the 21st century). Actually, Obama was born in Hawaii and Bush’s choices led to ISIS, while our Hawaiian friend is now defeating them. Aloha Akbar?
Two valid examples of the role normalcy bias will play: 1. our economy and 2. our ecosystem. You see, both are poised for collapse. Had this Crow guy had a clue, he would have invoked the only valid liberal/delusion argument, involving our whopping national deficit. This is currently so high even our resident Seattle-hipsters are like, damn that’s high. Of course, Democratic presidents have at least balanced deficits with percentage to GDP. Republican presidents grow the overall deficit and can’t even muster that. How conservatives manage to do this without funding anything meaningful is a testament to their own incompetence. Kidding, it’s by design—a design that you, as their dupes, are not permitted to fathom. Don’t feel bad, you probably wouldn’t have fathomed much anyway. 20,000 Leagues Under the Free?
Come on Zano. How will normalcy bias be our undoing? It sounds like there’s plenty of blame for our debt to go around.
The role normalcy bias will ultimately play in our demise is different. That’s not to say our overall debt won’t play its part, but eventually Americans will come to believe they should be doing much better. It’s already happening. We are ‘Muricans, so normal = prosperity and doing better than our parents. We all feel long overdue for a raise and on some level I agree, but from a global-status assessment one is not forthcoming. I can’t even blame all of this on Bush. I know, weird, right? He just hastened our demise. In the near future, evidence of prosperity will become even scarcer. Remember, I predicted a new normal post-Bush, which essentially equates to a holding-pattern under Dems. This is the best we can do. I can hear the scoffing now. Republicans, who seem to know nothing of the present or the past, believe they have a monopoly on the future. Their endless and misguided efforts are like if Sisyphus transferred to an even more tedious job. Under Obama’s leadership we had one of the strongest recoveries in the west and it still sucked. No one is actually doing all that well, and the global economy is now faced with even more challenges: climate change, limited resources, overpopulation …Donald Trump.
Here’s the other thing, we don’t actually make anything anymore. We have become the “do you want fries with that ” nation. Everyone is in the food service industry. So any talk of the next golden age, well, it’s more of a golden arch. As we face the very daunting challenges of the future, the voters will some day blame those in power for their own personal struggles. Again, this sentiment that “I could be doing much better ….at Wendy’s” is steeped in normalcy bias. I fear it will eventually usher in a conservative president, which is the cue for a certain four horsemen to saddle up.
Tragically, we chose not to move toward sustainability in a timely fashion, so a collapse is inevitable regardless. According to Hillary, per last week’s debate, the U.S. is already energy independent. Huh? She actually said that. Green and alternative is the route we needed to take …twenty years ago. Sustainability is really the only future that holds some payoff both economically and environmentally. But we remain hyper-focused on a Libyan embassy and the use of a private email server. I’m talking to you Condoleezza! It’s all about the distractions with these folks. What else have they got? Ultimately the Republican position on climate change is their best example of this cognitive distortion. Normalcy bias is at the heart of their inability to grasp this problem, let alone act on it. It might not even happen, so why lose one ‘Murican job? They really feel this way. I said think, initially, but it’s more about emotions with these folks. Facts are passé. I still want them to lose one republican job …president of the United States. We stave off that shitstorm and who knows, we might even have a future …at Taco Bell.
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