“Birds of a Feather flock together.”
Nearly every living creature on earth experiences a sense of comfort and safety when it is surrounded by others of the same species. Birds flock. Fish swim in schools. Cows gather in herds. Parents warn their teenage children that “there is safety in numbers” as their offspring are venturing out with friends for the evening. This tendency is almost universal. Of course John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and I do not share that predilection. “Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil… for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley!”
Conformity is defined as “action in accord with prevailing social standards”. Sometimes, conformity can be a good thing. Driving on the right side of the road for example. Anyone who does not conform to that standard is usually dead in a head-on collision a few moments later. Except for specific instances like this, conformity is a weakness. Conformity is also defined as “compliance, acquiescence, or obedience”. A character flaw. A personality trait that I find reprehensible. Years ago there was a trend where some adolescents would go “punk”, dressing in all black, wearing leather, with a spiked Mohawk and body piercings of various kinds. “We’re all going to dress alike so we can all be unique the same way.” What?!! It dawned on me recently that this is the psychological factor that makes Communism so successful. The idea that “we’re all in this boat together”. Not only do we feel safer among people who are just like us, we will actively support a form of government that requires everyone to be the same. Very few people are willing to risk declaring their independence.
Baseball is referred to as “America’s favorite pastime”. Why? I hate baseball. I have to get up and stretch long before the seventh inning. When I was a boy, my father wanted to take his three sons to a White Sox game. I refused to go. Dad literally begged me to go. He promised me hot dogs, popcorn, as much soda as I could drink, and… he tried to bribe me with twenty dollars to spend any way I wanted when we got home. “No, thanks”, I said nonchalantly. I realize now that my father was hoping to organize an experience where he could bond with his boys, but I wasn’t having any part of it. If you love baseball… fine. “Play ball!” I prefer scuba diving with sharks, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, and keeping the sailboat afloat in the face of thirty-five foot waves. Not many people are willing to join me in my adventures. In fact, most openly accuse me of being insane. Perhaps. My point is that I have never, ever been influenced by peer pressure, or the “group think” more commonly referred to as “being politically correct”.
I never cease to be amazed at the nonsense some people are willing to believe. Years ago I attended a birthday party during which a young man whispered conspiratorially that “Unicorns are real! I’ve seen them.” I suddenly remembered a root canal that I was late for and I walked away. The Flat Earth Society has members “all around the globe”. Really?! Galileo didn’t settle that for us once and for all? And now there is overt social pressure to concede that there are more than two genders. While waiting at a local clinic for my employment drug test, the young man at the desk asked me if I identified as a male for a female. “What did you say?!” I was wearing my cowboy hat, boots, jeans, and my favorite Texas belt buckle. I stood up and said, “LOOK AT ME!! Do I LOOK like I’m wearing a pink thong?!” Sperm and egg. Boys and girls. Men and women. Head and tails. True and false. The question is BINARY! Evolution settled that millions of years ago. Sexual preference is not a gender, and identity confusion is not a third option. I’m not telling you how you should live your life. Have sex with anyone or anything you want. But you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting me to validate your view of reality.
I fail to understand why there is widespread fear of being different. The most significant lesson to be learned from the Covid experience of the last few years is just how submissive Americans in particular, and humans in general, really are. The government announces an “evil pandemic”, and everyone rushes to wear a face mask and stand in line for a vaccination. It is bad enough when people volunteer to do what their neighbor is doing, but it becomes even MORE dangerous when some members of the society believe they are authorized to make that decision for you. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is quoted as saying, “We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. [ ] The voluntary phase is over. It’s time for mandates.” In 2003 I began my presidential campaign in the naive belief that I could influence public opinion. (Pretty stupid. I know.) The first question at my very first press conference was, “Mr. Badnarik. What is your position on mandatory vaccinations?” My now famous response was, “You bring the syringe, I’ll bring my .45, and we’ll see who makes a bigger hole.” You want to force me to get a vaccination?! “Flock you!”