This is like cognitive dissonance on crack. This is like...I don't know what it is. Pure and utter stupidity. Pure and utter belief in any narrative that spins their way regardless of how ironic it makes them or how fake it is?
The best explanation I've ever seen of cognitive dissonance is in Dan Pink's Drive. He makes the point that climate skeptics and vaccine skeptics are similar but on opposite sides of the political spectrum, and that considering both allows you to recognize that cognitive dissonance is not specifically affiliated with any political mentality, but is decidedly political. The mechanism is pretty simple:
1) You align with a group of people. This always involves aligning against a group of people.
2) You subscribe to the ideas your tribe subscribes to. This always involves aligning against the ideas your tribe eschews.
3) Facts and science call your ideas into question. This always involves calling your tribe into question.
Vaccine skeptics don't just think vaccines cause childhood illness. They also buy organic, consume homeopathic remedies, avoid electromagnetic radiation, cloth-diaper their children, buy Priuses, read mothering.com, use cloth grocery bags, etc. And mentally, when vaccine skepticism is under attack their tribe is under attack. It's not just vaccines, it's the whole shopping-at-whole-foods constellation of green granola goodness being assaulted and they identify deeply with that culture. That's not just their impression, either; the science-based blogs that are best at assaulting vaccine skepticism routinely pummel the shit out of every lifestyle choice and marker followed by the granolas, from Gwynneth Paltrow to Tesla (solar is usually bad because it doesn't make room for nuclear, for example).
The result is it's easier to cherry-pick for tiny little morsels of questionable data to prop up the edifice of your belief system than it is to accept an attack on one corner of your psyche.
Because cognitive dissonance can be physically painful. And because it's like Jenga - pull one tile and the whole thing may come crashing down.
A lot of people who should know better back Trump now when during the primaries they wanted anything but. Why? Because he's "Republican." That means he's for small government, fiscal conservatism, state's rights, freedom of religion and all the rest of the shit that he's demonstrably not about because your choice is simple:
accept Trump or reject conservatism.
What you're watching is an entire political party grappling with cognitive dissonance. We're going to observe a country's worth of good, kind human beings discover, slowly and painfully and against their will, that their ideology is toxic. Some of them will never learn and will end up further militarized - there are lots of people that didn't give a fuck about "secret Muslims" until their tribe started baying at the moon. Some of them will bail - I mean, the fact that George F. Will didn't vote Republican is truly something. Some of them will skate on obliviously because they've always been oblivious and now is the time when obliviousness is a viable and efficient defense mechanism.
But all of them are along for the ride.