From the November 2003 Idaho Observer:

Follow the leader

There is no functional difference between the group energy that is tapped into by a presidential candidate at the Republican or Democratic national convention or a musician at a rock concert. One charismatic personality can whip an entire stadium into a yelling, sceaming, banner-waving frenzy -- it doesn't matter if they are a crowd of sober, educated, middle-aged professionals in business suits or a crowd of stoned teenagers with spiked purple hair and black fingernail polish. In either case, at the right moment, all the man on stage has to do is give the command and the mob he created will stampede and act out just about as they are commanded to.

A 101-level sociology class in a community college provides all the understanding one will ever need to understand how easily masses of intelligent, moral people can quickly become a mob. Mobs are capable of hating entire races, ethnicities or social subdivisions to the point of injuring, even mass murdering them or destroying their property.

Remember the childhood game “follow the leader?” We would take turns being the leader who took his followers wherever he wanted to take them -- and they would follow even if it got dangerous or conflicted with proper behavior. We followed to stay in the game and not be singled out as different.

As adults, we play the same game for the same reasons.

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