Cognitive Dissonance, Continued

elizabeth warren, bernie sander

Feb 1st, Cedar Rapids

I wrote about cognitive dissonance earlier this week in “The Elizabeth Warren Paradox: ‘Vote For Me, I Can’t Win!’” and thought I’d shake the tree again as the low-hanging fruit has already been consumed.

As I follow the Democratic Party presidential candidates around the country, I find myself marveling at the cognitive dissonance on display writ large in the standard liberal progressive platform. It’s entirely possible it’s due to too much, or the wrong combination, of the Mescaline, Wild Turkey and Bolivian marching powder fueling my tour, but I’m incapable of wrapping my head around the contradictory talking points and promises made by the challengers to the wild boar calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home.

The one most prevalent that defies logic is that we simultaneously guillotine billionaires and redistribute their wealth. Societal ills are not subject to teleology, no matter what Hegelian-Marxist acolytes and Star Trek: The Next Generation nerds believe. Hunger and homelessness are not going to be eradicated any time soon; they are scourges against which is required constant vigilance. So, Leftists need to pick one: get rid of the billionaire class, or control now and in the future how billionaires spend their money.

In my personal experience, when I’ve asked a progressive what’s more important, To kill the Golden Goose or to collect its eggs, the invariable response is another accusation of how evil the Golden Goose is. They want to have their tax revenue and eat it too. For the modern and model progressive, it’s the brown gravy on top of the chicken in every pot. It isn’t enough that the downtrodden are helped; the dish on the tables of a poor family is flavorful only when an ingredient is stolen from a rich kitchen.

Both progressives and conservatives piss and moan about the source of money flowing into the other sides’ coffers. Think George Soros and Sheldon Adelson. They demand the other side return money to a donor if that donor is deemed irredeemable. Hospitals and Lincoln Center should not accept money from the Koch Brothers, even though that money will go to worthwhile causes. Both conservatives and progressives view taxes as a punishment for success. The difference between the two is progressives believe punishing success is justified, and a good in and of itself. The Koch Brothers have too much money but they shouldn’t donate it to charities and good causes because that act tempers the evil caricature the Left have created of the Koch Brothers.

A little less publicly, the progressives and socialists leading the Democratic primary season favor some billionaires over others. This explains why Warren and Bernie Sanders can stand to be in the same room as Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, the two billionaires running for the Democratic nomination. Nobody seems to trust Michael Bloomberg as his political affiliations change with the wind, so that leaves Tom Steyer to be both a self-financing candidate as well as progressive with a modicum of authenticity.

Speaking of the wind and campaign financing, Steyer’s pet causes are climate change and campaign finance reform. He believes elections should be publicly funded and the bogeyman behind every failure of a just and good progressive cause has been funds spent to keep the status quo.

Steyer is also historically the top donor to Democrat politicians. Conflict of interest, thy name is Steyer.

It must be tough for Sanders, Warren et al. to share a debate stage with the personification of everything they rail against: billionaires, greedy corporations, money in politics…What does it take to cope with this level of cognitive dissonance? I hesitate to suggest Sanders and Warren could benefit from a lobotomy since that’s a surgical procedure meant to correct mental illness, and their flavors of mental illness are what make them so appealing to Democratic primary voters.

We enter now the hellscape of the long weekend final push of those poor bastards (un)lucky enough to still be on the ballot to turn out the vote. Bennet, Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Delaney, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Patrick, Sanders, Steyer, Warren and Yang are on the chopping block; may God have mercy on their souls.

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Dillon Eliassen is a former Managing Editor of Being Libertarian. Dillon works in the sales department of a privately owned small company. He holds a BA in Journalism & Creative Writing from Lyndon State College. He is the author of The Apathetic, available at He is a self-described Thoreauvian Minarchist.