The Dangers of “Group Think” in a Democracy

I posted the following words on December 4, 2014 on Jay Bookman’s blog thread which described the panic of Americans during the Ebola crisis.  Readers may read Bookman’s words as well as my own at this link: http://jaybookman.blog.ajc.com/2014/12/04/what-did-the-ebola-panic-teach-us-probably-nothing/

“Well said.  Bookman did try to lessen the panic and his words were reasonable and they attempted to alleviate panic. 

However, that panic was a result of a free-wheeling ignorance in our nation which has been caused by our giving essentially uneducated media moguls with charisma, like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, validity.  These people are in it for the money and they are rolling in the money at our expense as thinking Americans who analyze for ourselves, individually.

If the population were to become truly educated, as I mentioned recently, they will automatically reject any kind of “group think” which causes panic and irrational thinking (and which caused the lynchings of blacks during Jim Crow as people watched for entertainment of a decadent type.)  We must be sensitive, as individuals, as to when we are allowing the “group mentality” to control our own consciousness, and we must resist that from occurring.  Any deeply educated person is trained to do this.  It does not matter if your vision leans conservative or liberal (as mine does), every person must take it upon him/herself to think and analyze for him/herself alone and stand alone, if necessary, apart from any group, to have a sane society. Higher education will alleviate thinking by shallow and often unhealthy consensus, just as light will alleviate darkness.

Education is an answer for the police, for our multi-cultural communities, and for having an insightful American populace, the type of which Jefferson envisioned when he created the University of Virginia.”

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