The Hazards of Herds and Tribes

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by Douglas Karr | MarketingTechBlog

Excerpt:

Before you start thinking I’m only going to pick on the right, I’ll add that the politics from the left are just as egregious. Because President Obama is a minority, many on the right have been labeled as racists for simply disagreeing with his politics. That’s a tough accusation to defend since it means you simply can’t disagree with the President – about anything. This is unfortunate and continues to be pushed by some far-left folks. It really needs to stop since it’s unproductive and screaming racism isn’t doing anything to help the country. But it’s an effective means of separating the herd!

Republicans continue to challenge additional taxes and institution of new programs and expenses in this country because their view is that we simply can’t afford it. The riots in Greece and other overseas countries that have been initiated due to cuts in government entitlement programs should be of concern to everyone. But the argument from the left always comes back to “do you care about people or don’t you?” If you want to cut programs, you don’t care about people. But when we run out of money, who does that help? Naturally, the conversation then moves to getting more revenue (aka:fair share). The herds are split.

I’m really trying to keep my personal beliefs out of the post, and just speak to how our political parties manipulate and use the herd. Worse than lying – or just plain being wrong – is how the herd attacks those outside of it. I guarantee I’ll get a few nasty comments regarding this post from one side or the other. When the herd attacks, it’s pretty painful and the sheer force or fear of the attack can move the herd in the wrong direction. Most people avoid the herd by not saying anything at all. I don’t think that’s a good idea. We can point to almost every atrocity in history – albeit war or business, and it typically comes down to a trusted leader who was wrong and a herd that blindly followed due to fear or ignorance. Herds have led to World Wars and the economy toppling.

If you really want to see another political example of this in recent weeks, you need only look at Ron Paul and his treatment by the media and the right wing. If Paul wins Iowa, I’ve heard on two major news stations state that it “puts the legitimacy of the Iowa caucus into question“. I guess that means Iowa is no longer part of the herd we call the “United States”.

Wow… really? So if a majority of political leaders disagree with a majority of the voters, the problem isn’t their view… it’s that the people are simply too dumb to make a good decision? Ron Paul continues to get labeled unfairly on many layers… even though there’s much evidence to support his opinions and voting record. But the herd doesn’t like Ron Paul. He’s an outsider and the leaders of the herd are doing everything possible to bury him as quickly as possible.

Another example in this election was a poll that I saw where only 6% of conservative voters said that Donald Trump would influence their vote. I watched two different news stations and both dismissed Trump based on the poll results. But if you stop and think about it, 6% is a huge influence. Many Presidencies have been won and lost on less than that! However, the herd doesn’t want Trump mucking things up… so distorting the poll was a much more convenient option.

When I talk politics with folks (aka the herd), I often hear, “He’s such a great speaker!” or “He’s an a**hole!” as I discuss the current President and the Republican candidates. As soon as I hear words like that, I pretty much go numb because it shows absolutely no insight into the real issue… is our country going to fair better or not under that person’s leadership. I could care a less how effective a speaker they are and maybe I’m even hoping for an a**hole next. Sometimes a**holes get more work done.

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