April 26, 2010 12:45 AM

Cognitive dissonance is a peculiar and conflicting psychological condition.  Even though one recognizes that a specific behavior is wrong or unhealthy he convinces himself to keep doing it because he enjoys it or it’s personally beneficial.  Take smoking.  Smoking cigarettes has been proven to cause many calamities, chief among them cancer.  Yet smokers, who are well aware of these potential consequences, continue to smoke.  Tucked away in the back of their cognitions they know they might be killing themselves, which causes a dissonance against their survival instincts.  But they ignore the dissonance and continue.

Missouri elected officials preparing themselves to arrive in Washington DC are in for a whopping case of cognitive dissonance.  And few if any recognize the looming condition or have yet to feel its conflicting symptoms.  But feel them they will; ignoring them will be politically fatal.

In November, Missourians will elect nine congressmen and one senator and send them to  Washington DC to represent us.  Contemporarily, they seek these positions for various reasons: power, prestige, cushy retirements, money, and public service.  These are all historically functional cognitions – these elected officials know they will enjoy and personally benefit from their stints on Planet DC.  They certainly endeavor to prolong those stays, deepening the benefits and powers.

However, up until a year ago, upon the national rise of popular dissent, these cognitions, manifested by power, had no dissonance that clawed around in the shadows.  Elected officials would sky off to DC with power, prestige, core principles, and campaign promises on their minds.  Upon arrival in DC such principles and promises were hijacked by political party apparatus and leadership, entangling the officials in a cesspool of confused priorities and loyalties, ultimately weakening their responsibilities to constituents back home.

That is about to end.  The 10th Amendment and state sovereignty intend to halt those entanglements cold.  A huge dose of “dissonance” will be injected into the officials’ caverns of cognition.  The dissonance element is very simple: a commitment by Missouri elected officials to reduce and dismantle the power of the federal government, thereby reducing the power of the public official himself.  So a vote to reduce government is a vote to reduce their own political power.  Talk about cognitive dissonance

Missourians should not vote for a single Washington DC candidate unless each submits an ironclad pledge to begin dismantling the federal government.  Missouri voters should express the following to their elected officials:  “We’re sending you to DC on our behalf to work tirelessly to reduce the size of the federal government and subsequently your own political power.  Do you completely understand this?”

The question is not will they do it but can they do it?  Like the first drag on a smoke, will that magnificent satisfying rush wipe out any scratch of the dissonance that would have them break their pledge to their constituents and go about “business as usual”?  If he is a Missouri politician, the answer is yes.  If he is a Missouri statesman, the answer is no.

We will stand in ovation for our statesmen; ask your candidate which he or she will be.


Thomas Grady is the founder of the Missouri Sovereignty Project, a statewide grassroots organization.  He is a partner at Trinity Wealth Advisors.  Tom and his wife Charlotte live in the west suburbs of St. Louis.

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Reader Comments (3)
John Wayne Tucker is the ONLY candidate to have submitted an IRON CLAD pledge on his website. I wish someone would take notice. http://www.johnwaynetucker.com/pledge.html REAL PEOPLE, NOT POLITICIANS!!
6/9/2010 9:52:26 AM  Tessy Bowm  
Good read.
4/26/2010 9:55:21 PM  m fox  , kansas city
My sentiments, exactly. We must demand more, from our elected officials, at "EVERY" level. They learn the "tricks of the trade" in the very early stages of their career. Vet you community leaders well.
4/26/2010 8:55:50 AM  Steve Shull  


Missourians should not vote for a single Washington DC candidate unless each submits an ironclad pledge to begin dismantling the federal government.

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