I’ve previously looked at how conflicts can get resolved through exercising power. But what about influence? It’s hard enough to define, but the results of it being used can always be felt, sometimes in controversial ways.
At least that’s what a recent USA contraception scandal brought to mind. Long story short: a (female) law student testified before a House committee in favor of health insurance plans covering the cost of contraception; as a result, she was called a “slut” by popular conservative radio talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh. The result? Controversy and media uproar, including public statements against Limbaugh’s gesture from president Obama and Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73549.html
Despite this, the fact remains that Limbaugh is extremely popular with Republican voters. A popularity which can easily translate into influence. Freedom of speech dictates that anyone is free to express their views, so there is no question of legality here. But, to my mind, this illustrates how using one’s influence can result in full-blown manipulation, which, let’s face it, major parts of the population are quite susceptible to.
… That brings me to my next example of influence where it doesn’t belong: religion. I have nothing against religious people, as long as they don’t have anything against me for not being religious. But after reading this gem: http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16117269, I can’t help but get angry.
While it is completely understandable to want to try every possible option when desperate times strike, it obviously takes a great deal of blind faith to decide on stopping the confirmed solution in favour of a hypothetical one. So, when using the massive influence that an established institution like the Church has accumulated over its supporters, should members of the clergy not be supervised in some way? And in the extreme cases where people actually suffer and die because of their beliefs, should the people who “sold” these notions to them not be held accountable? It is my strong opinion that they should.
Therefore, as hard as it is to exactly quantify it, I believe there are cases when a lot of influence can become too much influence. And, sadly, the world is full of such examples, from corporations to biased media to that one colleague you can’t stand but always act nice to, because of their standing within your social work environment. Go ahead and contradict me!
- My Top 3 #lastfm Artists: Beirut (19), Travis (3) & Maybeshewill (3) bit.ly/zunGge 13 hours ago
- I was gonna tweet a pic of me and this awesome arcade machine so i can win it but @Zero_HP won't give me my pic #want http://t.co/kMqpaK328H 13 hours ago
- @ECMSquared so jealous! Do you get to work via portal then? 1 day ago
- Someone has a portal gun for show and display next to me. I WANT TO TEST. 1 day ago
- @idlemichael nope, getting the mcm card punched again this year. Have fun! And tweet pics! 1 day ago
- @DanielaOana o.O for realz? hell yeah FIRE AND BLOOD! 10 months ago
- @Clairehodson @CSweetPR @A_FOSTA THANK YOU! XXXXX :D 10 months ago
- Do you shut out ads that aren't aggressive? wp.me/p1V3Rz-2K 1 year ago
- Latest post: sex, ads and aggression. Comments most welcome, as always: wp.me/p1V3Rz-2K 1 year ago
- wp.me/p1V3Rz-2E The Church: making people stop their HIV treatments... Please comment 1 year ago