Social Influence

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse, It Does! Or GROUPTHINK

The Ol’ Pussy Grabber was right, I’m sick and tired of winning! And, by winning, I mean my freaking predictions about his punk-assed administration being such a rank failure at everything except for ineptitude, racism, cruelty, and chaos.

We’ve had an extraordinary couple of weeks of amazing mishegas being blown out of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s ass. But, there is one common theme to it all: it is getting worse, not better. And, everywhere we have pundits — now even on Fox News — clutching their pearls, reaching for the fainting couch, and falling on their smelling salts because how could he? Is there no bottom?

Good god, man, sober up! Of course there’s a bottom! Have you seen the fat ass he waddles around on?

How can anyone be surprised by any of the heinous crimes against humanity and general decency that is oozing like common diarrhea through his tightie-whities?

Symptoms of Groupthink

Let’s recount the symptoms of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s governance, shall we? We have a group of people who have made increasingly bad, disastrous, and immoral decisions. And can there be any more worser, disastrous, immoral decision than denying terminally and chronically ill children deportation deferral status so that they’ll be deported to a country that cannot treat illness or support their medical condition so they’ll most assuredly die?

It seems that is the crown of the dystopian creationist’s universe, right there. It is Stephen Miller’s sex fetish. It is the most alternativest of all of Kellyanne Conway’s facts. It is Mother Pence shaking his head while aw-shucksing it all away as something reasonable.

If only there were a psychological theory that predicted who, what, when, where, how, and, sometimes, why of bad, disastrous, and immoral decisions, we might could do something to prevent such ugly disasters as the Bay of Pigs, the Gulf of Tonkin, the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession and the resurrection of the Steelers beehive jersey.

Of course, there is. That theory is an old theory taught in every psych 101, poly sci 101, government 101 class across the country. It is groupthink. Why the hell don’t groupthink get no respect no more?

This is the perfect case study of the perilous pitfalls of group decision-making. Let’s tip-toe through the tulips of tenets and conditions and likely outcomes of groupthink when they are run through a grotesque caricature of a human being paying pee-hookers to piss on the Resolute Desk and American values while emalumenting himself to restore his exhausted fortune, shall we?

Why are the conservatives and Repubes so bent on the destruction of themselves, the country, and the planet? Why do they reject all science, rational thought, reasoning, and moral guidance? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with them?

They aren’t considering the consequences of their actions. They are only looking at the shortest of the nearviews: the next election. They are not considering anything beyond that. As long as the system holds up long enough for them to get re-elected and transfer a bit more of the country’s wealth to the undeserving rich, they’re happy.

Groupthink Explained AGAIN

Groupthink is the invention of Irving Janis, who in 1982, postulated that a group who emphasizes unanimity over all else will not consider the consequences of their decisions. Nothing describes the modern Repubes and conservative movement better than that.

When you couple it with the tendency of group decisions to be more radical and extreme than decisions reached by individuals, it is easy to see how the Overton window of jackassedry kept getting moved towards greater and greater jackassedness until we now sit on the threshold of assjackedness.

The Conformities

The WH since the Ol’ Pussy Grabber grabbed us all by our collective pussy oh so long ago, but it really were only three years ago, is the perfect microcosm of groupthink. With each passing resignation and appointment of temporary holder of the office, we’ve gotten more uncritical unanimity in our policy decisions and actions. This trend has naturally led to both normative and informational conformity in the WH.

Informational Conformity

Informational conformity occurs the group accepts the beliefs and ideas and behaviors as true. This phenomenon alone explains why Repubes keep returning to trickle down economics. Either that or it is their cynical exploitation of the their base for their own capitol gain. It certainly explains why the base keeps voting for them, though. They just accept the foul-smelling sewage stew as being just like mom used to make.

Normative Conformity

Normative conformity occurs when individual members of the group elect not to voice their doubts or reservations or concerns. As the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s admin radicalized, more and more people stopped talking so much. You can see Repube senators going down this slippery rabbit anus as well as WH aides.

But how? How on God’s quickly dying earth could seemingly intelligent professional people either begin to accept the bullshit as chocolate, pronounce it good, and beg for more, or keep their mouth’s shut and go along with all of it? Even Mattis and McMaster and Sen Corker have been relatively muted in their criticisms of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber both before and after leaving office.


Janis realized the groups needed enforcers people who would crack heads — more figuratively when we’re talking the gentile world of politics — and incentivize people to keep their mouth shuts and motivate their reasoning so that all their biases are confirmed. The enforce and encourage members to engage in motivated reasoning and ignore any evidence that contradicts their presumed outcomes. Janis called these people mindguards. It seems to me that Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller are right good examples of mindguards.

Groupthink as Collective Narcissism

Of course the Ol’ Pussy Grabber would be especially vulnerable to groupthink. He’s a narcissist. He has to maintain his narcissistic illusion that he is the very model of modern stable genius. He and everyone close to him have to engage in most severe forms of cognitive dissonance to ignore any evidence to the contrary. Since he can’t be told anything that even hints at a narcissistic wound, no one can consider the consequences of any of his decisions. They just gotta accept them as the best possible decision ever made by any living immortal alive or dead.

As Janis noted the deeper into groupthink a group gets, the greater the risks the group takes because they quit considering alternatives and risks to their decisions. They assume, quite narcissistically, that the decision they’ve arrived at is the best possible decision. Consequently, with each decision that doesn’t result in some irrevocable disaster, their decisions just keep becoming more rash and more immoral.

Just like when the courts ordered the admin to stop separating children from their parents and storing them in cages until Betsy DeVos can in her best Cruella DeVille drag show act can adopt them out to rich white families for fun and profit, they didn’t in spite of saying that they did, they’ll keep on deporting terminally and chronically ill children to their deaths even thought they’ve mumbled something about reversing the policy.

So, can we all agree to dispense with the hand-wringing wailing of why oh why can’t the Ol’ Pussy Grabber stop getting worse? We know that he will keep making worser and worser and immoraler and immoraler decisions until the whole gottamned thing blows up in his face.

While we’re at it, can we stop wondering when the Repubes are going to grow the proverbial back bone like their some kind of common Harry Potter taking Skele-Gro? If they ain’t growed one by now, they ain’t ever going to. They are as caught up in the gaslighting groupthinking as the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and his enablers are.

Given that we can only lead a horse to water, but we can only drown it, we may assume that we can only lead a conservative Repube supporter of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber to the truth and alternatives, but they’ll only shoot themselves and everyone around them in the dick.

Given that they will not willingly give up on this delusion of perfection, the only solution is to get them all out of office. Groupthink has proven itself to be one of the most destructive tendencies ever engaged in by human beings. It invariably results in suicidal behavior by the group causing great harm to themselves and everyone affected by their decisions. It makes it an imperative to remove the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and every other Repube from office as quickly as possible. To paraphrase Malcolm X, by any legal means necessary.

4 replies »

  1. the times we are living in are worse than any dystopian novel ever dreamed of…our constitutional government is dissolving before our eyes into a dictatorship and our congress is complicit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Suze!
      For the GOP, it’s a dream come true. Since at least Newt, they’ve wanted a single-party pseudo-democratic authoritarian state. His line about a permanent majority is just the democratic equivalent of president-for-life. In a democracy, you can’t have a permanent majority and you can’t not compromise with the opposition party. Anything less is just inviting groupthink into the Oval Office with the resulting disasters that that entails.

      For the GOP, Trump is a means to that end. It is why they support him.

      For the Dems, I think they just can’t believe that it is true. Just like Obama kept trying to compromise and reach out to the GOP because he couldn’t conceive of an American political party that wouldn’t compromise. Pelosi, other Dem leaders, and most of the punditry cannot conceive of an American political party that is willing to hollow out our democratic institutions and traditions and fill them with an authoritarian regime.

      Watching it unfold in real time is as distressing, unnerving, and unbelievable as watching the minor character in a slasher movie go into the basement to “investigate” the noise or clue or whatever. We all know how that is going to end, just like we know how our American dream is going to end.



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