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Bandwagons: Agree or Disagree?

Jumping on the bandwagon is an old-fashioned phrase with roots from back in the day when wagons rolled from town to town allowing politicians to make speeches at each stop. They could state their case and move the masses via personal appearances in which they made their appeals.

It was a simple beginning, a way for politics to enter the hearts and minds of individuals and draw them together for specific parties and causes in a new country. Yet, it was profound, and it is interesting to study out how the methods of persuasion used by those politicians are still being used today.

Taking time to get to the facts of an issue or truth about a person before jumping on a bandwagon is pivotal to being sure we are on the side we actually want to be on. Otherwise we are vulnerable to becoming part of a crowd mentality led by people who deceive those who prefer impatient responses or those who only feel validated if they are in agreement with the popular opinion.

Patience is required if we are to get both sides of an issue’s story, and it takes time to think about whether the popular opinion is the best one. Bandwagon propaganda techniques, however, include making people think they must agree with a certain issue merely because others are agreeing with it.

A different technique for getting people to jump on a particular bandwagon without thinking through an issue is to motivate them from the perspective of surface feelings. Knowing that feelings come and go quickly, this technique uses excitement to whip a crowd into thinking that they all agree with each other when, in fact, they are being manipulated.

Go through the poll below objectively and let’s see if we can get a look at how the bandwagon effect influences us. To learn more about looking at both sides of an issue the following links provide insight into what it means to jump on the proverbial bandwagon:

Understanding Why People Follow Trends

Bandwagon Effect

Think Before Communicating: Consider the Davis Case

  • When you are angry about an issue do you look at all its angles or just one side’s reports?

    • All Angles
    • Only One Side’s Reports
  • Have you ever agreed with a group on anything because you did not want to be left out?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you exercise critical thinking skills (and your right to do so) before agreeing with a group?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever decided not to wear something you like simply because it is no longer fashionable?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever decided to be courageous and take a stand that was in opposition to popular opinion because you took an objective look at the issue?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Can you remember a time when you stayed calm and worked to understand all facets of an issue when everyone else was panicking?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever wanted to be bold about something important to you but decided to go with the group because you were afraid of being laughed at?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

6 points

Written by robertatalloni

Thankful to know that life is less about where I've been and more about where I'm going... John 10:10

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  1. My late husband’s favorite motto was “Silence Implies Consent” and I go along with that with the exception of the internet, where it is too easy for something to be misspelled, manipulated, taken out of context, and so on. That is one of several reasons why I am very unlikely to enter into a conversation about politics or religion online or at the dinner table. I did let one thing slip out during our local 4th of July BBQ yesterday. A good friend said “Amen” after the Pledge of Allegiance and I don’t find that comical and pointed out that on 4th of July we should be especially careful not to confuse politics with religion and as you can imagine that went over rather well (sarcasm intended) –but the fact is when people say amen after the pledge that just really annoys me.

    • I can sort of see why an amen after the Pledge of Allegiance could annoy because it is not a prayer. If it were one of the national anthems that is actually a prayer (as many are throughout the world) then an amen would be more understandable. Perhaps the person had quietly prayed for our country or its leaders as she recited the Pledge and therefore wanted to say amen. Or perhaps she understands that most of our patriotic songs are true prayers in hymn form and was relating the Pledge to that fact.

      While it is not a prayer, as of 1954 it was officially established by Congress that our country’s Pledge of Allegiance is comprised of the phrase “ nation under God, indivisible…” Written in August of 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was officially adopted on Flag Day, 1945. Challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance continue to be presented to the Supreme Court but support of the original position by legislators, “A distinction must be made between the existence of a religion as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God,” still stands.

      It’s important to note that “separation of church and state” is nowhere in our constitution. A strict separation of church and state is not promoted by the Constitution or First Amendment. As explained in their written records, that would be an utter contradiction to their intention of religious liberty. How confusing would it be if they both forbid policies against the free exercise of religion and enacted law against the free exercise of religion?!

      The Supreme Court has discarded “separation of church and state” phraseology because, in spite of efforts to say otherwise, it is clear that the Constitution was designed to equally protect people’s religious choices (their groups and activities) in all lawful arenas as well as to protect tolerant acceptance of religious people (their groups and activities) from intolerance. The Constitution/First Amendment does not allow anyone or any organization, religious or otherwise, to force others into or out of any religion/religious activity.

      All this, of course, was established within the boundaries of the laws of our nation. For instance, neither religious or non-religious people can justify robbing a bank based on their freedoms under the Constitution. Confusing politics with religion is important to avoid, indeed, though for some, politics is their religion. However, American holidays are when we do celebrate “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” according to our Declaration of Independence.

      I am thankful that our Pledge of Allegiance lines up with our Declaration of Independence’s words “…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” And I am thankful that our Constitution protects those words.

  2. Wow that was a lot of questions. I answered some from when I was still in high school. I remember peer pressure being so bad on all of us. But now as an adult I have learned to stand on my own, make my own decision, no matter what others think. Great poll!

  3. Anastasia Vsplyshka:
    Thanks much for adding your comment here. Yes, it can be hard, mainly because it takes patience and effort to get all of the facts so we can get to the truth of an issue. It’s just easier to jump on the bandwagon with popular opinion. We need to encourage each other to stop, take a breath, and think through all the angles before making up our minds on news stories, on what we purchase, and more. Helping each other to be unafraid of crowd (or herd) mentality is a good thing.

  4. You’ve touched so multilateral issue in your poll!!! To my mind, the problem of depending on popular opinions/propaganda/fashion stays actual in all times no matter what century or country it is. Think, that it’s very hard to stay belonged to “uninfected minority” because of many factors which you’ve mentioned.

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