Note: This is another article on politics from my liberal perspective. If you lean to the right, you might wish to skip this one…. MM
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About 1 percent of the people in the world are psychopaths. Grandiose sense of self-worth… no feelings of remorse or shame… no sense of responsibility for their actions… cold-bloodedness in relationships… They can lie, cheat, steal, even kill… and remain composed and straight-faced afterwards.
A Canadian psychologist named Robert Hare has studied psychopaths since the 1970s and developed the consummate test to determine the degree of a person’s psychopathic tendencies.
Hare has found that most mass murderers and serial rapists are psychopaths, as are 20 percent of the people in prisons. Still, it’s just a small percentage of psychopaths who become Hannibal Lecters. Most of them learn how to integrate into society… usually as charming predators and con-men. They’ll enter one relationship, take what they can, and move onto the next, without forming any emotional bonds. They’ll become stockbrokers, high-pressure salesmen, politicians, aggressive lawyers, and corporate executives, garnering wealth and power at other people’s expense. People who prevail in highly competitive work environments are more likely than the norm to be psychopaths. Studies suggest, for example, that 4 percent of corporate executives are psychopathic.
Psychopaths know how to manipulate the system. At one crime scene, a footprint perfectly matched that of a known felon who lived nearby. When asked if he’d committed the crime, he denied it. When told he’d left a footprint, he said, “No, that’s not my foot.” Psychopaths will deny reality until victims and interrogators nearly have a nervous breakdown… at which point the psychopath informs them they’re delusional and mentally unstable. They often tell so many lies that they blatantly contradict themselves… and only then does the ugly truth starts to become apparent.
They don’t respond to interrogations the way normal people do. Several years ago, police in Seattle arrested a man for two murders but suspected him in others. Trying to get a confession, they urged him, “Think how much better you’ll feel, think of the families left behind….” to no avail. The murderer showed no reaction and offered nothing. Then, employing Robert Hare’s knowledge of psychopaths, they tried a different approach. “So you murdered a couple of prostitutes. That’s little league next to the likes of Bundy and Gacy….” Immediately the psychopathic prisoner began boasting about all of his murders.
Which brings us to Barack Obama, who’s spent three years as US President trying to bring unity to the sharply divided Congress. Every step of the way his efforts have been halted by far-right Senators who attack every conciliatory effort with the same response: “No!”
In his recent mailing to supporters he writes, “I still believe that what draws us together as Americans is stronger than what drives us apart… that the solutions are within our grasp, that we can work together to achieve them.”
Well, after watching US politics closely for three years, I believe differently. We (the left and the right… the liberals and conservatives here in the States) can’t work together. The far right political element in the US today has become a collective psychopath. It has no regard for the well-being of the people and is concerned only with self-interests and the interests of the wealthy Americans and corporations who pay them and whom they’ve come to represent. The Bush-Cheney regime (2001-2008) established a psychopathic political tone of lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, fear-mongering, war-mongering, and character assassination for conservative leadership, and the right wing has conducted its business along similar, only slightly toned-down lines ever since … and they keep a straight face through it all.
For Mr Obama to appeal to the conscience and scruples of the far right will do nothing to bring the unity this country needs. As a collective psychopath, the neo-conservatives have no conscience or scruples. They put on a façade of moral integrity and use words that mimic good will, but their policies and votes indicate clearly that they have no concern whatsoever in the welfare of anyone but rich people and fetuses… and concern for the latter is clearly a false one used only to garner conservative Christian votes. (They’ve even turned the word “welfare” into a stigma, as though helping the needy is a travesty.) And through it all, they deny the fact that their policies worsen the lives of the children, the elderly, and the poor.
I think it’s time for Mr Obama and liberal leaders here in the States to try a different approach. Don’t appeal to neoconservative leaders’ sense of good will, which they lack. Get them to boast about the social carnage caused by their psychopathic policies—Congressional deadlock, class split, mounting desperation among the poor, failing schools, the worst health-care system in the modernized world, hogs-at-the-trough economics, growing ranks of homeless and jobless….
Don’t implore Tea-Partiers and other far-right conservatives to think about the needy or about political unity—they couldn’t care less about the needy or unity. Instead, goad them into bragging about their “successes”… and watch the evidence and the contradictions… and the ugly truth unfold.
Other posts on health and well-being:
Spiritual Growth: Embrace the divine; it’s where we shine – Go to the light – Healing and the human spirit – Love and good will… but what about trust? – The carnal line between noble and savage – An apology can lift the spirit – Being a noble force