Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,
Why, when it is obvious someone is absolutely nuts, do some seemingly non crazy people follow them?
Dear Dr. Rapture,
Humans as a social animal have both instinctual pecking order and herd order behaviors. If an individual states something with absolute conviction, others tend to believe them no matter how absurd their words may be. We defer to the strongest belief or reality no matter how “crazy” it is. Look at any religion and they all contain absurd beliefs… but faith comes from deferring your reality to another’s story. If you examine any religion you are not part of, you might say “that’s nuts!”
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
As those other religions might also say of you.
I think that one of the reasons people follow charismatic speakers is because they themselves lack conviction and feel weak and helpless. When they see someone who stands tall and speaks without fear, they imagine a strength and clarity which may not be present.
An actor can make a convincing speech if it’s his role, but he didn’t write the lines. A politician can have had a team of workers help him determine exactly what he has to say to win people over and believe little of it himself. Yet we suspend our disbelief because we want to hope that somewhere out there, someone knows what they are doing.
Unfortunately, in our world, the people who seem the most convincing in their game are usually the con artists and salesmen on our screens.