My COVID Vaccine: A Lesson in Cognitive Dissonance


Cognitive dissonance is the phenomenon where you see two or more phenomena that are supposed to go together but really are wildly different. For example, if you saw a bloody beachhead on Peleliu and right on the sand in the middle of a huge blood stain was a band from the Stork Club playing classic American songbook favorites with a white piano.

Yesterday, I went to my favorite supermarket on this earth, the Pavilions in gay West Hollywood. I noticed a line of men and women at the pharmacy counter. From their conversation I could tell they were waiting for COVID vaccine.

I know the pharmacists well at that store. I asked one of them if she could give me the vax. She studied a computer screen and then cheerfully nodded. A very few minutes later, I was getting a tiny, super-sharp needle in my triceps, and a second later, I was rubbing my shoulder, thanking the pharmacist and smiling like a fool.

Today, I brought my wifey into the same store and the same super pharmacist gave her the same Moderna vaccine. Both of us were smiling like monkeys as we got into my car and drove home.

As we walked from the garage to the living room, we saw today’s Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times neatly laid out on the kitchen table.

On the front page of each newspaper was a large story about how our new president, Joe Biden, was overcoming the disastrous “Trump COVID failures,” spending billions, imposing strict new social distance and travel and masking rules, and hot on the trail of defeating the pandemic. Again, this was after the catastrophic “failures” of the Trump era, so-called.

But! Wait a freaking second, boss man. We already have the vaccine! Faster than anyone could have dreamt. Usually it takes five or more years for a vaccine for a new virus to be created, tested, and approved. That’s basic. But Donald J. Trump, the master builder and project-manager of all time, got it done in less than a year, in fact in precisely nine months!

He has saved the nation and the world from a terrible health problem. Is he getting any credit at all? You must be kidding, monsieur. He gets kicked in the teeth, as usual. That’s the world of Trump. That’s cognitive dissonance. Even as he is saving us from a grisly death of choking to death on our own blood, he is being called horrible names by Chuck Schumer. That’s the how and why of it.

And you wonder why Trump loathes the media. Are you kidding?

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Author: Ben Stein