Self-Deception is all the Rage in the United States

Johanna Baynard
3 min readMar 16

I’m not surprised that Trump and his ilk are having a heyday. You know that humans want to believe what they need to believe to make their own lives okay and even tolerable.

What makes Country & Western so popular is the notion that blue color workers, though disenfranchised, are the backbone of America. They work hard, fulfill their promises, and love their dogs. These notions have shaped the American blue-color worker for generations. Along with these beliefs are those that shape the American woman, a woman who “stands by her man”, bears children and cares for everything related to the home. The Christians stand at the ready to provide a wealth of identifying beliefs in order to keep this picture in place.

The same dynamic occurred with Blues Music. A rebellious strength became the clarion call for the southern African American. These identities were also propagandized by the Christians. Jesus Christ is seen as the first rebel against such injustice. Again, women are called to Christianity and the feminine ideology for “a good woman”.

Why its Not Working

The problem with these identity structures (as with any identity structures) is that they require a set of belief systems that are unreal for our current world. In my private conversations and in many public conversations I see over and over again that factual information MUST be ignored in order to verify pre-existing beliefs. Any new science that occurs in the world must be disproven or ignored, otherwise the picture-perfect belief fails. This can be disastrous for how people view themselves.

I am Not a Forgetful Old Man

An example of self-correcting belief systems is from my book club. My friend “Ethel’s” husband becomes angry with her when she tells him that he has forgotten something, either an appointment or a screwdriver, it doesn’t matter the subject matter. According to her, his real reason for being angry is that he is in his seventies and he is afraid of dementia. He sees himself as a strong resilient human being and doesn’t want to believe that he is growing old. He “corrects” by blaming Ethel for his forgetfulness; thus, he is relieved of reality and can go on thinking that he is NOT a forgetful old man.

People do these kinds of personal affirmations in their lives on the daily. Our culture encourages it, just look at your Facebook feed for examples. It…

Johanna Baynard

Dedicated activist for economic equality. Baby Boomer. Wife, mother and blogger: Life According to Johanna, and