A recent Public Forum letter by Matthew Hansen notes a contradiction in the political right’s stance on gun control. Its support of the Second Amendment aims to prevent government tyranny while its support of police militarization could have just the opposite effect.

Some might consider this blatant hypocrisy. But that implies some degree of conscious, deceptive awareness. A more charitable interpretation would be what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance,” defined as “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.”

That resembles the Orwellian concept of “doublethink,” or “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

In any case it’s a mindset that epitomizes, I think, the political schizophrenia of our times.

Tom Huckin, Salt Lake City