#Donald Trump is not making #America insane. Evidently, this insanity has been festering within our borders for a few generations. There are at least 60 million people in this country that don’t seem capable of sane, rational thought. It’s not because of the presidency. The 45th presidency and its White House is turning out to be a joke, but it only serves to shine a light upon a pre-existing condition.

There is an extremely prevalent vein of mental instability and/or arrested development running through this country. It fits comfortably into the ideologies of Christian conservatives. Perhaps when you are already embroiled in such cognitive contention as that, it could be but one small step to full blown insanity.

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When your religious beliefs demand continual suspension of critical thought, coupled with intense emotion, what you are naturally left with is cognitive dissonance. What follows is mental and emotional fragmentation.

The conservative quagmire

American conservatism has devolved into a mixture of anti-communism, religious delusion, racism, and xenophobia. That conservatives are anti-communist, yet support Donald Trump unfalteringly, makes no sense. The relationship begins to look different when you take cognitive dissonance, mental and financial poverty, and fear into consideration -- then it makes perfect sense.

It’s almost as if there is a pervading sense of tonic immobility, a natural state of paralysis which animals enter under highly stressful conditions. It is also known as animal hypnosis.

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These conservative animals not only have an aversion to facts, but it’s as if they were not actually present for the facts to begin with.

Consider how the conservative values of the preservation of personal wealth, individualism, and private ownership (apparently at all costs), are diametrically opposed to the so-called Christian values of love, humility, and generosity. The phrase "#Conservative Christian values" is practically oxymoronic.

Cognitive con job

Cognitive dissonance is a term coined by social psychologist Leon Festinger to represent the discomfort felt when we recognize conflict between our ideas and our perceptions. His theory was that we unconsciously attempt to reduce conflict by altering the way we see reality. I would call it delusion, but I’m not a psychologist.

Concerning the subject of cognitive dissonance, Doctor Lee Ross of Stanford University in California found that “There was this paradox; to be liberal and Christian means that you’re somewhat at odds with the teachings of your church, on the issues of morality, like gay rights, abortion, and that kind of thing, and if you’re a conservative Christian, you’re going to be somewhat at odds with the teachings of the gospels on the issues of fellowship and helping your fellow man, when it comes to how you feel about income redistribution and illegal immigrants.” Ross found that both liberal and conservative Christians attribute views to Jesus that are similar to their own views by projecting them onto Christ.

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When Donald Trump ran for president, I didn’t believe him to have a "Christian" bone in his body. If he ever did, he might as well burst into flames. The thing is, though, he used religion and conservative Christian values to win the electoral college.

The electoral college was created so that rural states positioned at great distances from Washington -- before cars and trains were invented -- would be given a fair shake there. They did this by giving the rural states more votes to begin with. What that did, as far as I can tell, was give them an electoral college advantage, as long as the rural states stuck together. Donald knew this and used it to his advantage.

The con

He pandered to rural, white, Christian conservative America. You know, those people that he himself wouldn’t have been caught dead with prior to the presidential race? Those that voted for him, probably out of fear and anxiety about the future, did so ignorantly -- and to the detriment of the entire country.

Those faithful voters believed that he was "a good conservative Christian" who cared for the little people, the blue-collar workers. That was a serious miscalculation. In this ill-advised relationship between Trump and his base, there is a lot of dissonance. This "challenged" section of America is detaching from reality more and more. The resulting chaos is giving rise to the insanity that has always lied just beneath the surface here, making tyranny a distinct possibility for our future.