Guest Column

Why Do Others Follow Dumb People?

There are dumb people so convinced that they alone know what is best for all of us, that they will ignore or change history in order to push their agenda

By Paul L. Strong

I was watching a video on YouTube put out by a group called “Sprouts.” This video posed the question, “Why do people follow dumb people?” After pondering that question for some time, I agree with their conclusion. Dumb people form opinions and beliefs with the firm determination that they are right with such confidence and self-assurance that they are able to convince others that they are right. If another opinion is offered, they are so convinced that they are right that they refuse to consider or even listen to a different opinion. It is not necessary to have a low IQ to be a dumb person. It requires a closed mind to any other facts besides the ones entrenched in their minds. In fact, it becomes so entrenched that anyone with an opposing idea is considered a threat and they will try to silence the opposition in spite of the fact that they are wrong.

On a local talk show several years ago there was a discussion between two people of opposing political views. One of the individuals told the other he would provide some facts. The other individual said, “Go ahead, facts don’t bother me.” This was exactly what the difference was in the two people. The one was not even willing to consider facts. His mind was made up in spite of any information that might question his opinions. This trend has become particularly dangerous as leaders and media fall into conflicting groups. Facts are not considered, only the emotions and often the agenda that is being pushed.

There are dumb people so convinced that they alone know what is best for all of us, that they will ignore or change history in order to push their agenda. There are several examples of this in the world today. The scary part is that they have accumulated large followings. It has caused many of our youth to lose hope as predictions of gloom and doom abound. The fact that none of the predictions over the years have come to pass does not stop them from making more serious predictions about the future. Facts don’t matter. In the meantime, these same dumb people question why our youth are suffering from such a high rate of depression and so many of them are committing suicide.

There are those who use the computer to make predictions based on whatever they input. The computer can be a valuable tool in analysis of some things. It is entirely dependent on what the analyst wants to be told. If the facts are ignored or changed by the programmer or the one operating the keyboard the output is compromised and of little real value. Let’s listen to officer Joe Friday, “Just the facts, Mam.”

I think the Japanese author Myuki Miyabe has put her finger on the problem in her book, The Book of Heroes. 

“As people walk through their lives, they leave stories behind them, like footprints in the sand. Yet sometimes we place stories in front of us, choosing the brightest from those that hang in the firmament of the circle to guide us-and we live those stories, we fall prey to foolishness. For we are attempting to imitate the story we think it should be, not as it is.

“These stories we follow have many names. Sometimes they are called justice,’ Other times ‘victory’ or even ‘conquest.’ Sometimes they are simply called ‘success.’ We charge forward, following a vision invisible to those around us. That is the sin of trying to live a story. In our pride, we place the ideal before the deed, and this brings only misfortune.”

As each of us goes through this life we will write our own stories, but it is dumb to try to write the story and then determine to encourage or force others to live it with us.

Paul L. Strong lives Bigfork.

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