The left lives on “narrative.” In other words, it tells stories. It tells stories about race, gender, criminal violence, and a host of other things. Occasionally, these stories intersect with the facts, but more often than not, they don’t. I mention this because it was the unmistakable difference between fact and narrative that drove Georgia H, a lovely and articulate educator and nurse, to #WalkAway from the Democrat party and its stories. Her video has already garnered 1.1 million views and counting. That’s because she says crucial things about the nature of reality.
“Cognitive dissonance” is a fancy word for simultaneously holding contrary beliefs or understandings, one of which connects with reality and the other of which does not. Over the long run, cognitive dissonance is an unsustainable state. Reality will win.
I know, because I had a WalkAway moment a couple of decades ago when my Democrat belief system crashed headlong into the lies I knew that NPR was telling me. I could either embrace the narrative or embrace the truth. That’s how I became a conservative.
Natan Sharansky, who was probably the most famous refusenik in the Soviet Union during the 1970s, has described how people struggle when they live in a totalitarian society that demands they believe its narrative, even when the realities of their lives brutally and explicitly contradict that narrative. In The Case For Democracy: The Power Of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny And Terror (2004 hardback edition), Sharansky discussed the “doublethink” that drove people mad:
In any place where dissent is banned, society fractures into three groups. One group is composed of those who remain committed to the prevailing order because they agree with it — the true believers.