Group Dynamics II – Circular Firing Squad

On the one side is a circular firing squad – a group of people “engaged in self-destructive internal conflicts and mutual recriminations.” This circular firing squad is of course as in my previous post – the small group comprised of the six leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

On the other side are not only the Republicans but the Russians who, as long predicted, are already interfering in America’s 2020 presidential election. Putting their thumb on Trump’s side of the scale.

Given this, any reasonable person would conclude that instead of aiming at each other, Democrats should be cooperating with each other. Training their fire as one on their real opposition: Republicans buttressed by Russians. However, as the term circular firing squad suggests, reason does not always prevail. The Democrats continue to cannibalize each other rather than on taking on those hellbent on doing all of them in.

What the Democrats are doing in 2020 is reminiscent of nothing so much as what the Republican did in 2016 – when the likes of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were so busy shooting at each other that in the end it was the putative outsider, Donald Trump, who prevailed. This time around threatens to be the same: Democratic moderates will knock each other off while the outsider, the Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders, will emerge the last one standing.    

This outcome would be as foolish as dangerous. It would also be altogether illogical, for as every state and national poll suggests, Democrats in the center outnumber Democrats to the left of center. But, of course, so long as Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and, arguably, even Elizabeth Warren continue to carve up the centrist slice of the Democratic pie, so long will Bernie Sanders hold the largest single slice of all.

What does this have to do with leadership and followership? Everything.

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