Several months ago I ventured to enter a post on a political opinion site. The board had been set up by academics (primarily college undergraduates), and most of the contributors were of a decidedly liberal bent; but I assumed the site was open for the honest exchange of ideas. I soon discovered otherwise.
My first submission was an attempt to explain why many evangelical Christians, though aware of President Trump’s obvious faults, had voted for him in 2016 and why they favored Trump’s reelection in 2020 over his Democratic opponents, all of whom appear to have adopted an anti-traditional, anti-capitalist agenda.
My entry was akin to my striking a hornets’ nest. The attacks came from every direction, and the responses tended to be rude and crude. I was consigned to hell and accused of being a hypocrite or false Christian. I was also called an idiot or cretin. I cannot remember even one rational response or attempt to dialog. After several attempts to answer my critics, trying to use calm and non-abusive language, I gave up. It was obvious that I was not wanted on the site. These people were only interested in their own, narrow point-of-view.
I was a victim of groupthink, a phenomenon that occurs when a group of supposedly well-intentioned people make sometimes irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform and their belief that honest dissent is impossible.
An extreme form of political correctness was also at play. Political correctness dictates the avoidance of words or actions that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. In the eyes of contributors to this political opinion site, Trump is a racist. Since I had written a few good words about Trump, that made me a racist as well.
So much for any chance of dialog.
4 thoughts on “Groupthink”
Sandy, you are absolutely correct. I have seen this played out over and over, especially on Facebook. I’ve reached the point of refraining from responding given the futility of the task, and due to the divisiveness and Neanderthal mentality that seems to emanate with every post. Nowadays, I write out my response then I reread it, and then delete it.
Even one of my friends in our men’s forum who I admire and respect as a true American hero has fallen into the anti-Trump mindset. His daily blogs are increasingly becoming more vitriolic and primarily anti Trump rhetoric instead of the very measured and conscientious posts that he normally publishes. The current state of affairs in America is it extremely sad indeed
Get Outlook for Android
Sandy: You are one brave individual. I came across the following quote you may enjoy. “As a rule, only learned and clever men deny what is obviously true. Common men have less brains, but more common sense.” William T. Stace
I not saying that you have “less brains,” but you have always had a great deal of common sense!
The shining example of what happens when you don’t agree with the majority opinion of most of the groups that are *demanding* that we have “an honest discussion” about their pet political theory, whether it be wealth inequality, gun control, racism, homosexuality, etc. There’s really no point is trying to discuss anything with them since you will immediately be attacked and accused of *every* vile thing under the sun.
Joe, I thank you. You are absolutely correct. By the way, I now agree with you about Romney. I once had a very high regard for his abilities, but his recent actions and comments have disturbed me in the extreme. His dislike of Trump appears to have affected his good judgement.