Groupthink is defined as “a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.” It is a mindset that encourages a lemming-like approach be taken on an issue by those it targets. A forceful individual or individuals adhering to a particular ideology become a magnet, attracting others who may not necessarily agree but are reluctant to express a contrary view. As a result, said others adhere to the group’s party line.
There are certain obvious dangers created by groupthink. In the field of scientific research, for example, if one researcher dominates others, intimidating them to focus their efforts down a certain path that ultimately proves wrong for not being challenged, numerous research assets have been wasted.
Thus, regardless of the field of expertise involved, an all-important factor is hashing issues out to ensure the eventual collective effort is directed down the right path. And, even after that path has been identified, continuing discussions and debate are important to ensure potential problems are identified ahead of time. This was basically the process used by our Founding Fathers and their associates in writing the Constitution – a document representing the input of 55 free-thinking individuals (although only 39 signed), none of whom were probably totally satisfied with the end product.
Rampant groupthink leads to self-destruction. History has shown us this result, evidenced by leaders such as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein who surrounded themselves with “yes” men.
In the fictional world of Superman, the superhero had but one weakness, fearing it for its ability to deprive him of his powers. It was an alien material known as “kryptonite.” Groupthink leaders similarly have a fear of a kryptonite that can deny them their powers. It comes in the form of a “wayward” or free-thinking lemming.
This is why, when a lemming starts thinking freely, groupthinkers move quickly to contain the threat to their power, seeking to isolate or ostracize the wayward follower. We have seen this approach at work today in various ways.
Groupthink was clearly in play during the Senate hearings to confirm then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. While the ultimate vote broke down almost exclusively along party lines, efforts by support groups were made to intimidate votes as well as outspoken activists.
Pro-Kavanaugh supporters were demeaned by liberals claiming they were brainwashed, shameful, privilege-defending gender traitors, etc. They left no room for contrary thought supported by the time-honored rights of due process and innocent until proven guilty. These are rights the same anti-Kavanaugh groupthinkers would have demanded had they stood accused of a crime. But for liberals it was “damn the rights, full speed ahead” in derailing Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the interests of feminist solidarity.
A high profile victim of groupthinkers’ intolerance of free-thinkers is Kanye West. On MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson was critical of West’s White House visit with Trump. He attacked the hip-hop artist, unbelievably accusing him of being a tool for white supremacy, mockingly describing West’s pro-Trump activism with the statement, “This is white supremacy by ventriloquism. A black mouth is moving but white racist ideals are flowing from Kanye’s mouth.”
CNN contributors expressed the same groupthink mentality when host Don Lemon lowered himself, in giving his liberal opinion of a free-thinking black entertainer meeting with Trump, to invoke a reference to Kanye West’s dead mother, saying, “What I saw was a minstrel show today. … Kanye needs help. … This was an embarrassment, Kanye’s mother is rolling over in her grave.”
Lemon clearly displayed his bias has no limits as Kanye came under vicious attack by liberal commentators hosted on his program. CNN contributor Tara Setmeyer outrageously said of West, “He’s an attention whore, like the president. He’s all of a sudden now the model spokesperson. He’s the token Negro of the Trump administration.” She was joined in her attacks by fellow liberal commentator Bakari Sellers who added, “Kanye West is what happens when Negroes don’t read. And … now Donald Trump is going to use it and pervert (it) and he’s going to have someone who can stand with him and take pictures.” Being black, both Setmeyer and Sellers undoubtedly felt comfortable getting away with using the word “Negro.” The only response from Lemon was a chuckle.
This represented the height of journalistic unprofessionalism. There is no excuse for Lemon to have allowed such comments to be made. This is particularly so since he went ballistic when conservative commentators dared describe protesters who confronted Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife enjoying a leisurely dinner at a restaurant as a “mob,” suggesting it was unfair to do so.
Sadly, today, groupthink has forced its way onto our college campuses. Where liberals held free-speech protests half a century ago on campuses such as UC Berkeley to protest the Vietnam War, they now conduct anti-free speech protests there to silence conservative voices.
Despite the efforts of liberals to impose their groupthink upon others, they unwittingly aid what perhaps has the biggest membership of groupthinkers in the world – Muslims. As efforts are made to shine a light on Islam’s dark objective, those attempting to do so are accused of Islamophobia in order to avoid a public debate. Anyone doubting Islam’s ultimate goal fails to understand the “Conditions of Omar” – which commit ALL Muslims to impose their religion upon nonbelievers, using force if ultimately necessary.
Both Hitler and Saddam lived to see the day that their control of groupthink became their undoing. While one might hope the resulting chaos that occurred in Germany and Iraq could not possibly happen here, the success to date of groupthink voices such as those above should definitely cause us concern that groupthinkers’ kryptonite consists of free-thinkers who are not to be tolerated.