Politics Magazine

Why Change Is Difficult and Incremental: Bandwagon Effects and Ego Defenses

Posted on the 31 December 2018 by Calvinthedog

Political activists, especially liberals, are often angry that what seems to be logical ideas are not adopted and terrible and inferior ideas are adopted instead. They can’t understand why good liberal people who prefer an inferior idea to a superior idea. In addition, liberal are often frustrated by the slow pace of change.

The reason people go for an inferior idea instead of a superior one is mostly due to the bandwagon effect. For instance there is a huge movement now to reform our voting machines, which are easily hacked and have in my opinion been hacked repeatedly in recent years, mostly by Republicans but sometimes by DNC Democrats too (note the probable shellacking of Bernie Sanders by Hillary Clinton in the primaries of 2016).

Further, there appears to be serious fraud in Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ last two races with Brenda Snipes and co-workers involved in it. Some of the alarming reports that Republicans made in the elections about ballots being loaded into unmarked vehicles in the middle of the night, etc. appear to involve the fraud in Wasserman-Schultz’s race. Interestingly, Wasserman-Schultz was head of the DNC at the time the Hillary-Sanders primaries were hacked. One reason the Democrats do not want to give up voting machines is that they are using them to steal elections too!

Anyway, the only fraud-free way of counting ballots is hand-marked paper ballots. Most countries in Europe have gone over to paper ballots and gotten rid of their voting machines.

Nevertheless, many liberals, Democrats and even election reformers have gotten on a recent bandwagon of “new and improved” voting machines marketed by the same companies that made the old ones. These machines are little if any better than the ones they are replacing and they are very expensive, even more expensive than the previous machines. Most Elections Boards are deeply involved with these voting machine companies in what looks like a form of corruption or influencing. In other words, the voting  machine companies have bought off or convinced most elections boards that the machines are the way to go.

Nevertheless, liberals and reformers are jumping on the new and improved machines nonsense. The real reformers throw up their hands and wonder why.

One reason is what I would call the bandwagon effect. People like to get on bandwagons. Bandwagons are almost like living creatures, with moods, activity changes, and their own energy. Once a bandwagon gets going it tends to create more of itself the same way money makes more money and sexual success gets you more success. It’s a “gathering steam” type of thing.

As the bandwagon gains in intensity, more and more people start hopping on it in part due to peer pressure and imitation (adults continue to imitate other humans the same way children do). It also becomes “the cool thing to do” and everyone wants to be cool. When “everyone is doing it” you and I want to do it too just to be in with the cool crowd. People don’t like to be left out. They like to do what everyone else is doing. Humans are not as nonconformist as you think. Actually, humans are extremely conformist and they are susceptible to all sorts of often irrational fads and crazes.

Once people get invested in a bandwagon, in this case the new voting machines, they don’t want to abandon it. It becomes part of your internal ideology – part of your ideology now is “the new voting machines are great and I support them.” In order to change, you will have go against your own ideology. That means admitting you were wrong.

Humans don’t like to admit their wrong! A 2 year old child is riding a rocking horse and he falls off the horse. He gets up off the ground and the first thing he does is kick the horse! Avoidance of blame, denial, projection and displacement of anger and guilt start early! We start doing this when we are two and we keep doing it all through adulthood though it is supposedly immature and un-adult to not admit you are wrong. In that sense, adults never mature and remain great big children their whole lives.

Once adopted, ideology is hard to get rid of. It almost becomes part of you, like a body part. Saying your ideology is wrong and rejecting it in favor of an ideology you previously disparaged is hard. It’s like cutting off a part of your body, say, your nose! So when a lot of people get on a bandwagon of an inferior idea over a superior one they will be reluctant to get off the bandwagon, admit they were wrong and go back to the drawing board. It’s easier just to forge on ahead.

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