An Explanation why the Tea Party Scares Career Politicians
Herman Cain and Sarah Palin have something in common; their own party doesn’t want to support them, and for good reason—they don’t fit the mold of polished lawyer types who live in the “members-only” club of “group-thought”. Politicians, like Florida Senator Bill Nelson, stay in the “Club” for decades because they don’t stray too far from the line. Nelson understands, and plays, the game well. My guess is he doesn’t even realize he is part of the problem, or maybe worse, he knows he is part of the problem, but doesn’t want to stop playing. Bill Nelson’s political career reminds me of a Whack-a-Mole game—he pops up quickly onto an issue and then goes into hiding until there’s another safe opportunity.
Each party seems to have its own unspoken set of standards and structure. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last few Democrat presidents have the same type of wife; Michelle Obama—lawyer, political activist; Hillary Clinton, ditto—and both have the same poor taste in clothing (at least Michelle knows she has no style sense and relies on fashion designers to bring out her best). Personally, I think Hillary is sporting a tat from her pot smoking days. On the other hand, juxtapose the last few republican presidents wives; less political and have values closer to the average American. But let me get on to my point…
Recently I read a story (actually an experiment in behavioral psychology) that explains group-think, and possibly the reason why nothing every changes in Washington. The connection may seem like a leap, but I’m questioning behavior, not intelligence. We know these guys are relatively smart—I prefer shrewd—but their behavior is closer to mob-mentality—especially when you mention the Tea Party.
This interesting experiment about “Social Transmission of Acquired Behavior” explains why the Tea Party ostensibly rattles the cage of career politicians. And, I might add, reinforces my argument for Term Limits. These political elites believe they are above it all, living in their invisible box of the “mime”. As you read the experiment think about Sarah Palin and her, not so subtle, push from political life. One of the reason she stepped down from office in Alaska—where she had an 80% approval rating—was because the press and liberal dems harassed her until she quit the “Members-Only” club. She was breaking rules (going rogue) and thinking outside the box, so the liberal press stepped in to help continue the rumors and innuendo. They didn’t want her in their club because she represented real change—Tea Party activism kind of change. Her own party (they feared her also) sat silent while liberals, including the media, bullied her out of office.
As you read the study insert you favorite politician to make the story more realistic and more interesting. My favorite monkey in the box is Florida Senator, Bill Nelson, but Reid, Pelosi, Obama, and John McCain or Mitt Romney are excellent choices also.
The experiment involved 5 monkeys (10 altogether, including replacements), a cage, a banana, a ladder and, an ice cold water hose.
The Experiment- Part 1
5 monkeys are locked in a cage, a banana was hung from the ceiling and a ladder was placed right underneath it.
As predicted, immediately, one of the monkeys would race towards the ladder to grab the banana. However, as soon as he would start to climb, the researcher would spray the monkey with ice-cold water—In addition, the other four monkeys would also be sprayed with cold water.
When a second monkey tried to climb the ladder, the researcher would, again, spray the monkey with cold water, as well as the other four watching monkeys.
This was repeated again and again until they learned their lesson:
Climbing equals scary cold water for EVERYONE. No One climbs the ladder.
The Experiment- Part 2
Once the 5 monkeys knew the drill, the researcher replaced one of the monkeys with a new inexperienced one. As predicted, the new monkey spots the banana and goes for the ladder. BUT, the other four monkeys, knowing the drill, jumped on the new monkey and beat him up. The “new guy” learns—NO going for the ladder and No Banana. And without even knowing why! and also without ever being sprayed with water!
These actions are repeated 3 more times with a new monkey each time and ASTONISHINGLY each new monkey—who had never received the cold-water Spray himself—would Join the beating up of the new guy.
This is a classic example of Mob Mentality. Bystanders and outsiders, who are uninvolved, and unaware of the reason for the actions, join in.
When the researcher replaced a third monkey, the same thing happened; likewise for the fourth until, eventually, all the monkeys had been replaced and none of the original monkeys sprayed with water were in the cage.
The Experiment- Part 3
Again, a new monkey was introduced into the cage. It ran toward the ladder only to get beaten up by the others. The monkey turns with a curious face asking “why do you beat me up when I try to get the banana?”
The other four monkeys stopped and looked at each other puzzled (None of them had been sprayed and so they really had no clue why the new guy can’t get the banana) but it didn’t matter, it was too late, the rules had been set. And so, although they didn’t know WHY, they beat up the monkey just because “that’s the way we do things around here”.
We’re not talking rocket science here, just plain old common sense. Here is a link to the political monkeys that need to be defeated in 2012—Vote 2012.