Friday, May 14, 2010

An Open Letter to the Tea Party-ers

Dear Tea Party-er,

This letter is not to say you are wrong. Much of what you say does have some truth in it, although not any more than the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives or all the other political groups. You do have every right to exist, express, assemble and all the other rights that are expressed and implied in the constitution. It also needs to be said that you have rights even beyond those, but are not recognized by our political system.

This letter is sent as a warning about closing into yourself so much that you lose sight of the truth and critical analyst. Many organizations have fallen to this in the past, both public and private. They even have a name for it, “Group Think.”

There are two shining examples of this in our past as a culture. One is President John Kennedy’s invasion of Cuba called the “Bay of Pigs” and Coca Cola’s huge marketing mistake in changing the formula for Coke.

In Kennedy’s example, his advisers and cabinet of very smart people concocted the idea of having refugees from Cuba invade the country and over throw the government. This would bring the United States to the rescue. The plan might have actually worked except not enough critical analyst had gone into the planning. The group, thinking they knew it all, didn’t feel they needed outside evaluation. So each member supported other members in their thinking because, after all, they know they were right. The refugees never got off the beaches and the United States watched as thousand died or were captured in the colossal failure.

Coke went through the same problem. Research that the board was certain was correct, told them that to keep in front of Pepsi and changing consumer tastes, they needed to change the flavor of the mainstay product. Oops, the arguably most loyal customers of any consumer product revolted. For many months Coca Cola had to back track and address the public relations debacle. In this case, the research was actually saying something else, but the board thought it told them to change the product because, again, they didn’t go outside the group to ask for a critical review.

So, Tea Party-ers, consider these two examples of many when deciding a course of action and who to support. Group think is a real, powerful and dangerous thing. To move forward without considering, and, in many cases, adopting outside advice on your platform and plans could be a disservice to all the people that have faith in your movement.

To not accept this advice is in itself, group think.


The Responsible Community

1 comment:

  1. In a word: EXCELLENT!
    lets hope those who spew T-party logic as their gospel--and listen to nothing else take the time to read this and think.