DISSONANCE

 

This weekend I read Esquire’s write up on Newt Gingrich, the disgraced Republican House Speaker who is making a come-back and is a clear runner for the Presidential candidacy along with other notables, such as Sarah Palin.

It is a tawdry article, about his multiple affairs, multiple divorces and Republican leadership. One particular quote really left me slack jawed:

He asked her to tolerate the affair, an offer she refused (referring to his 2nd wife).

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, "How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?"

"It doesn’t matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live."

Reminds me of the theory of cognitive dissonance, which is so key to human interaction, to organizational success:

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

Perhaps the Republican Party will only find itself again if it can put to bed fundamental conflicts such as:

  • Foundation based upon capitalism while spending trillions on defence and big government, with no balanced budget and the danger of economic collapse due to debts that become unserviceable. Ironic that Clinton paid down US debt like a mad man.
  • Reported Christian values as the foundation while reducing taxes to the rich (Remember, the eye of the needle) and refusing to spend on things such as universal health care (the golden rule comes to mind)

Seems like the Republicans need a leader who does what he/she says, desperately. Every organization does.

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