The animal herd instinct to follow the leader is based on the desire to survive. Of course, animal leaders are chosen for their strength, courage, and ability to lead. Survival isn’t always the outcome though, if the leader doesn’t choose the right path of escape, the right location to breed, etc. In the face of danger, some of the herd might escape at the expense of the frail, infantile, or just unfortunate members. With humans, whoever the leader is has the ability to majorly impact every facet of our lives. This we’ve especially realized under the rule of the arrogant Bush team. A leader needs to know (and care) about much more than how to wage or continue war. So if Americans are swept up by herdism this November, our entire population can suffer the consequences. The "polls" being published are an affront to us. Their authenticity and credibility depend on their origins. For example, a poll that originates with Fox (even if elsewhere published) will reflect their strong Republican leanings. The intent of published political polls is not to inform, but to influence.
If McCain is really on a poll par with Obama, something is really askew. If we’re to believe that most Americans want change regarding war, economics, torture, and health care, how can we then also believe that many of those same people would vote for a man who is steeped in war, knows nothing about economics, and doesn’t have a plan for health care? Polls are propaganda tools being passed off as legitimate information. Mentioning the word "torture" above reminds me that I recently read the post of a fellow-blogger (and one whom I greatly respect) that says there are now reports of Rice being considered as McCain’s VP; the post also reminds us about Rice’s sanctioning of torture.
Getting back to my thought on herds and "herdism" (I was tempted to look that word up to see if it exists, but decided to just go ahead because you know what I mean), for the love of whatever we hold dear, please let’s be thinking people and not follow herds and pollsters.