Over the last few weeks we have seen group think in action. Group think is a process where groups make really dumb decisions because no one speaks up and asks why. Without the devils advocate, if you will, no one questions whether an action is in the best interests of stakeholders.
The IRS fiasco is a classic example of what group think is. As Peggy Noonan stated this morning, “The Benghazi scandal was and is shocking, and the Justice Department assault on the free press, in which dogged reporters are trailed like enemies spies, is shocking. . . But nothing can damage us more as a nation than what is happening at the Internal Revenue Service.”
A President’s use of the IRS to go after enemies has been used in the past, but it does not make it right. Richard Nixon found this out when using the IRS for bad reasons became one of the articles of his impeachment. However, I don’t think even Nixon was as invasive as the current expression of abusive power.
“The abuse was systemic – from the sheer number of targets and the extent of each targeting we know many workers had to be involved, many higher-ups, multiple offices. It was ideological – only those presumed to be one political view were targeted.”
The Washington Examiner described this event in words that should make us shudder. Describing the situation at the IRS Cincinnati office, which is where the abuses occurred, “In the 2012 election, every donation traceable to this office went to President Obama, or liberal Sherrod Brown.” This demonstrates the politicization of government employees, however, everyone has the right to their own opinions, but when we disregard other’s rights to an opinion the politicization becomes problematic. This is the shudder part.
Look at Facebook, those on the left and those on the right demonstrate their political beliefs by denigrating the other side. Our culture is becoming more “political, more partisan, more divided, and more aggressive.” We’ve forgotten that to become great in God’s kingdom we need to be the servant of all.
I agree with Noonan that there must be a different path; one that allows us to disagree but carve out good decisions through solid debate and consensus. I agree with Noonan when she states, “What does it mean when half the country [the conservative half] – literally half the country – understands that the revenue gathering arm of its federal government is corrupt, sees them as targets, and will shoot at them if they try to raise their heads? That is the kind of thing that will kill a country, letting half its citizens believe they no longer have full political rights.”
It doesn’t matter which party is on the throne, if these abuses occur they are detrimental to the advancement of freedom. Noonan calls for an independent counsel to review this event, which is probably needed. However, I want cry out from the house top that it is time that we stop living like we are the standard of behavior and remember that there is an independent counsel who is judging our behavior, and one day He will return to separate the sheep from the goats. This separation will not be abased on political affiliation, but on our affiliation with Him and how we lived for Him.
And that is my thought for the day!