Along the Tracks

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Why people love Bush but question policies

Bush’s bold proposals have Democrats flabbergasted and pollsters and analysts confused and spinning: How does he do it? In particular, they wonder why people say in poll after poll that they are at least moderately opposed to key Bush initiatives, yet give Bush stratospheric approval ratings.

Yesterday, John Balzer of the LA Times told us we were exhibiting a psychological phenomena called “cognitive dissonance,” where we ignore incongruities in our world view to keep our blissful house of cards standing.

Well, I’m sure John Balzer and his experts are a lot smarter than me, but I’ll offer another theory anyway: Maybe people are judging Bush’s proposals based on their political views, their personal experiences and, most heavily, through the prism of media liberalism, which naturally casts all things Bush in a negative light. When asked about Bush himself, they are judging the man on results - and the results are hard to argue with. The “dissonance” isn’t in the American people, it’s in the media and the polls themselves.

Call it “conceptual dissonance.”

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