Social influence is the ability to persuade others to your point of view. There are different types of social influence: obedience, conformity, and compliance. None of them requires the influencee to believe or accept whatever it is they are being influenced to do. With obedience, you do it because an authority figure commands it. In compliance, the group determines behavior. And in compliance, you satisfy a request. In no way do any of these types of influence require the influencee to change internally. An external change will do.
Whatever the technique, you’d think that someone who can pay pee-hookers to piss on the US Constitution as it sits atop the Resolute Desk and on American values, would be pretty good at social influence. You’d think, but just like the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is a fecund jactating fictioneer and the very model of a very stable genius, he is also an unstable influencer. No product placement for him on Instagram, amirite?
The Ol’ Pussy Grabber relies on strong-arm tactics, mainly intimidation through name calling and shaming typically as it spews out of his tweeter. He has a corps of useful idiots who will troll whoever he’s targeted with nasty messages and death threats. If his target is a fellow Repube, they’ll be primaried, witness Justin Amash, the only Repube in the House to support impeachment. These petty tactics seems to have worked with many of the Congressional Repubes. I will note that it is not the source of Smitch SmcConnell’s cooperation. I’m sure that if old Smitch felt that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber was endangering his agenda, he would drop him like a piece of gum found in the chicken yard. As long as Smitch thinks they can hold the senate, he’ll prop up the administration. The others, though, are completely cowed by either Smitch or the Ol’ Pussy Grabber or both.
When punishment and intimidation are used as the main source of social influence, people publicly comply, but not necessarily privately, which explains the ubiquitous reporting of Congressional Repubes lamenting the inanity of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber but their inability to publicly oppose him. The lack of opposition and dissent both within the party and the administration is a prime ingredient for groupthink. We are in terrible danger of making ultra-stupid decisions like letting the Russians have their way with another American election, getting into trade wars, and starting a shooting war with Iran because no one will tell the walking orange turd no.
People obey the authoritarian, not out of respect or shared belief, but out of fear. As soon as the threat is no longer viable, obedience disappears. In this sense, a coercive intimidating approach to leadership is quite unstable. Nothing is done out of principle. Everything is done through command and the threat of punishment (or reward, thus the extreme corruption in the administration).
The Ol’ Pussy Grabber claims to be an effective leader, but his leadership is unsteady, inconsistent, and irrational. For all of his bluff and bluster and position, he has an exceptionally low social status as evidenced by his historically low approval rating. He is disparaged and ignored by world leaders. Parts of the administration openly resist his edicts — Space Force, anyone? He is tolerated by Senate Repubes for his judicial nominations. Is it any wonder that his administration is distinguished not only by its soaring corruption, but also by its lack of accomplishment either legislatively, internationally, or policy-wise? Is it any wonder that his every utterance is routinely ignored and derided?
While he calls himself a very stable genius, he is in reality an unstable influencer. If we could convince Smitch SmcConnell that his senate majority was in peril — sssh, we shouldn’t do that, even though it is — the Ol’ Pussy Grabber would see just how unstable his influence is.
Categories: Social Influence