Cognitive Dissonance: When the Truth Hurts

News is already coming out about the Manchester suicide bomber. And while some news outlets have exposed too much information already, we will probably learn much more in the coming days and weeks.

But here is what we do know. The suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was the son of Libyan refugees. While they fled their nation for fear of Muammar Gaddafi, they kept strong ties to Libya, with all reports suggesting they did not embrace Western culture or customs.

Abedi himself, days before the attack, had traveled to Libya and perhaps Syria. There is a good chance that during that trip he was working with terrorists for preparation in his attack that killed 22 people.

We’ve also learned that UK police have arrested several more people connected with the attack, the latest number being nine in total. Some stories suggest it was a well-planned attack, orchestrated by what can only be called a terror cell.

Pretty scary stuff. Especially in England, which has been spared up until now from such wide-scale terrorism (the London attack from just two months ago was small compared to this event).

So what does this tell you? Well, a couple of things. First it disproves the notion that modern attacks are the work of “lone wolves.” It reaffirms our concerns that larger terrorist networks are operating within Western nations, working around the clock to plan deadly attacks.

Oh, and it also proves that Trump’s travel ban was a good idea.

If the UK had a travel ban like President Donald Trump’s proposed one, Abedi – with his record of having traveled to Libya and possibly Syria (both countries on Trump’s list) – would not have been allowed back into the country to commit his violent act. (Milo)

The truth is painful.

But sure, you might say that England would have never proposed such a ban. That was an American policy from Trump, right? Well England’s not the only victim of terror. And the United States is arguably a bigger target than anyone else.

Is it really crazy to think that there are terrorists planning similar events at venues in the U.S? The Summer’s coming, and there are lots of music festivals happening around the country. (It’s also the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, so San Francisco? Look out.)

Considering the Islamic State called the Manchester attack a success (even though police found and successfully detonated other explosives), it will inspire more attacks. That’s how this stuff works. While we look on with disgust and sorrow at the lost lives, radical Islamic terrorists—Trump’s evil losers—celebrate.

You’d be a fool to think that future concerts and events in the U.S. won’t be targets. And while smart event organizers will provide ample security, even a foiled attack can cost lives (keep in mind that even though it seems the Manchester concert had zero security, Abedi detonated his bomb outside the venue, where security wouldn’t be).

I’m saying all this in the hopes that you realize strict measures must be put into place to keep people safe. The liberal argument that reasonable security “targets Muslims” is nonsense. Especially when we see their policies have failed. After eight years of President Obama and his liberal buddies in Europe ruling, terrorism continues to thrive.

While Trump has taken the fight to the Muslim world, urging their leaders to drive out extremism, we still need to protect our people. If the Muslim world heeds Trump’s wisdom, we will see radical Islam decline. Yet for right now, there are still threats.

Trump’s temporary ban would have been (and still will be) a way to prevent killers from going back and forth between our countries with ease. It would be an effective net to not only stop them from entering the U.S., but allow law enforcement to apprehend would-be terrorists.

To, you know, stop them before they kill.

In light of this ongoing threat, politics shouldn’t matter. Life and death trumps left and right, doesn’t it? Considering the obvious facts relating to Abedi’s travels, liberals should be in support of Trump’s travel ban, right?

Of course not. Because petty politics, hurt feelings, and toxic ideology matter more than common sense.

Infowars reporter Millie Weaver took to the streets of Austin, Texas to ask “liberally minded people” if they’re reconsidering President Donald Trump’s travel ban following Monday’s deadly bombing in Manchester…

“I think there’s always a vetting process from these foreign countries,” said one person. “But I don’t think that there’s a – I dunno, anything. We shouldn’t go overboard with these things…”

One of her friends remarked, “the ratio of people, like, in radical groups versus people who are refugees is a, like, hundred million to, like, thousand to one, ratio, so the lives of people that are being affected by a travel ban that are just seeking refugee is very, like, imbalanced.”

Another woman flat-out declared that the Manchester attack has not changed her mind about the need for a travel ban. (Milo)

The future of America, ladies and gentlemen. I know that the “man on the street” gag is like shooting fish in a barrel. But it does give us a glimpse into the reality of what we’re dealing with.

Despite real facts that prove a travel ban could have at least prevented someone like Abedi from coming into a country to commit terrorism, there are people who still oppose it. Worse yet, they can’t even form reasonable arguments for why the ban would be a bad thing. (What does “go overboard” even imply?)

This is the phenomena that Scott Adams has famously been discussing known as cognitive dissonance. People who struggle to hold to one view, even then they are confronted with facts and logic that disprove it. It’s a painful experience and it can make even smart people look utterly stupid.

A good example of this, of course, is the now famous video of Ben Affleck’s breaking down in the face of Sam Harris’ facts. Even when Harris calmly explains the uncomfortable statistics that prove many Muslims in the world favor Sharia law and some form of jihad, Ben can’t handle it.

Let’s watch.

You see, Sam Harris isn’t a conservative. He’s certainly not a Trump supporter. He’s simply being honest about the problem with radical Islamic terror. The facts support the idea that many Muslims around the world hold to beliefs that can lead to conflict and even terror.

Yet Ben Affleck, who I’ve said in the past is an intelligent actor and film director, refuses to let go of the liberal rhetoric that confronting Islamic terror is “racist.” He blathers on like a drunk man at a bar about Jews and other things. He cannot even form a coherent statement because his cognitive dissonance is driving him batty.

The left’s refusal to admit that Islamic extremism is the cause of terror has been proven time and again. Obvious steps to protect citizens is called “racist,” “xenophobic,” or “Islamophobic,” not because they are, but because the left can’t come up with a better argument.

When your only means of rebuttal is empty insults, you’ve lost the fight.

(And yes, I do like the occasional insult, but I back my arguments with facts.)

Another good example of how the left cannot respond to sound arguments is when Chadwick Moore, a gay journalist, left the Democratic Party over their reaction to an article he wrote.

The article in question was an Out magazine piece. Chadwick—at the time a liberal—wrote a neutral piece about conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous. Mind you, Chadwick’s only crime was not attacking Milo. The article was neutral. Unbiased. You know, real journalism.

After the story posted online in the early hours of Sept. 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe…

Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened. (NY Post)

This is how the left treated a longtime, gay, liberal journalist. Just for writing an honest, unbiased article about Milo. Just for refusing—perhaps accidentally—to tow the party line and follow their rehearsed hatred for the man.

So much for loyalty. Chadwick was ostracized from his own community. Longtime friends called him a monster. People that he worked with, drank with, celebrated life with, rejected him in the harshest of ways.

Just because he did his job.

Meanwhile Chadwick has talked about how accepting and welcoming conservatives have been since his story has hit the world. Even though he is an openly gay man, who voted for Hillary, and until a few months ago was a liberal, conservatives have offered him support and kindness.

His old friends want him dead.

I’m not saying conservatives are better than liberals in every way, but we are.

Facts are more important than feelings. Truth is more important than politics. Yet even when faced with the facts, many on the political left—in this country and around the world—hold to beliefs that will get themselves and everyone else killed.

When confronted with facts that disprove their stances, instead of honestly reassessing their beliefs, they sputter, flounder, make excuses, and lash out in rage.

Now, everyone struggles with cognitive dissonance from time to time. Sometimes the things we hold dear aren’t entirely right. Or we are confronted with something that contradicts a belief and we have to figure out how to reconcile the differences. It’s painful and difficult. That’s okay.

The end goal is that we get to some kind of honest place in our lives and communities. But when an entire side of an argument refuses to discuss the issues—who attacks and screams insults at their opponents—where are we then?

We won’t advance as a society. And we certainly won’t be able to keep our children safe.

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