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The Price Of Believing The Prevailing Myths

excerpts from a column by William Frey. November 17, 2005

When faced with facts that do not fit this world view, a “true believer” may resolve the cognitive dissonance by simple disbelief: When confronted, on Hannity & Coombs, with the revelation that American hero Pat Tillman, killed while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, opposed what he viewed as an illegal war in Iraq, Ann Coulter could only express disbelief. Hannity agreed, “I don't believe it either…..He signed up because of a desire to fight.” Coulter then incorrectly speculated that this must be a fabrication of the media. The reality of a patriotic American who would give up a lucrative sports contract to risk his life defending America in Afghanistan, while simultaneously opposing the war in Iraq, appeared, to both Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity, simply incomprehensible.

A “With us or against us” dichotomy forces Americans to choose between blind support for misguided policy, or painful but necessary patriotic dissent while simultaneously being unjustly maligned as “siding with the enemy”. Like the courageous and patriotic Pat Tillman, many Americans share a more nuanced view of the world, and are committed to proper moral action. But rejecting a falsely polarized, overly simplified “Us or Them” administration view may be painfully difficult for those patriotic Americans who share a deep commitment to our values of liberty, but who also feel a moral obligation to speak out to correct misguided policy inconsistent with those values.

Breaking free from this false framing of reality requires independent vision, intellectual honesty, and the courage to face painful realities. Skillful control of the framing of issues has been a significant factor in advancing the Bush/Rove agenda. Utilizing the skillful linguistic and psychological cunning of Frank Luntz’s talking points, pre-digested prior to delivery to legions of surrogates in the media, the Bush/Rove machine has mastered the art of issue framing and spin. But just as the fabled unclad emperor learned, there are limits beyond which a false version of reality cannot be sustained. There comes a point at which the price of believing the prevailing myths becomes too great.

You have been reading excerpts from "Confessions of a Repentant Republican" by William Frey. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/854v9. Thanks to consortiumnews.com. We visit often and we hope you will too.

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