All of us like to think we make us our minds as individuals and are not overly influenced by personalities or groupthink. Yet, it is hard not to be influenced by these latter factors.
Sometimes the influence is so obvious you can’t miss it. An example is the current issue of birth control.
The public likes birth control in it’s private life. We use it. Yet, in politics there are opportunists who see a vacuum, an opportunity to bend influence in their direction, and they move in.
Catholic hierarchy opposes “artifical” birth control. Now, some branches of evangelical Protestants see opportunity there. These two groups have actually influenced policy to prevent the wildly popular practice from being easily available.
This strange direction could only happen when political operatives have maneuved their fans into thinking it is politically incorrect to publically and aggressively speak up. The politically clever operatives moved into an open space and set up housekeeping.
A similar thing happens among business interests who support and vote Republican. The conventional wisdom is that Republicans are better for business than Democrats.
It turns out that in most ways, the opposite is the case. The stock market is better by several multiples when Democrats dominate Washington than under Republicans. Groupthink does not allow an objective or factual assessment of the respective parties.
All of this is unfortunate because the majority usually comes around to a practical consensus. If there were more independent thinkers, we might have better government.