Thursday, December 6, 2012

Conservative Crazies Hold America Hostage

Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote a piece for, "Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding America Hostage," an essay suggesting that our political leaders aren't quite the best examples of mental health that our country has to offer:

"Not all criminals are psychopaths, and certainly not all psychopaths have violated the law. Serious mental illnesses are family tragedies not to be trivialized. But in ruminating about a post-election America, I've been struck by how large portions of the country are mired in schizophrenic distortions of reality and how prominent business leaders and politicians overtly display personality traits common to psychopaths. Vestiges of widespread mental illness abound.

"Psychopaths often appear normal, even charming. Underneath, they lack conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal
. The psychologist Kevin Dutton in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, notes society, and especially Wall Street, admires and rewards many of the qualities of psychopaths - fearlessness, emotional sterility, supreme confidence, ruthlessness, lack of remorse, refusal to take responsibility, narcissism and delusions of grandeur. Who could argue that those characteristics virtually defined the Wall Street crowd responsible for blowing up the world's economy in 2008? In fact, a recent study showed psychopaths were four times more common among business leaders than among the general population.

"A 2005 British study compared the psychological profiles of 39 senior business executives at leading British companies with those of mental patients in the UK's Broadmoor Special Hospital. The business leaders scored a clear "victory" in the three traits normally used to identify the emotional dysfunction of psychopaths: histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and compulsive personality disorder.

"Other studies suggest that financial elites, like psychopaths, are more likely to feel like rules and societal constraints don't apply to them. Mitt Romney's entire business and political career, especially his approach to paying taxes, is the freshest, most conspicuous example of this personality trait.

"Dr. Dale Archer, a psychiatrist and frequent guest on ' Live' of all places writes, 'Physically, studies have shown that the brain chemistry is different in powerful politicians, leading to sensation seeking and risky behavior. They have lower levels of the brain chemical monoamine oxidase-A, which means they have higher highs when they engage in risky behavior and that they get bored much more easily than the norm.'

"Psychopaths are notoriously refractory to treatment or behavioral modification, another trait they share with business and political elites. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, 'Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me...They think, deep down, that they are better than we are.' Our nation's responses to the climate crisis, the federal deficit, our economic stagnation and many of our other serious challenges are still being held hostage by people who manifest a detachment from reality as profound as that of schizophrenics. We are still allowing a powerful elite, who behave like psychopaths, to steer our government towards protecting their interests at the expense of everyone else. The greatest threat to the United States will never be Al Qaeda, Russia, China or Iran. It will be our failure to wrest control of public policy from the inmates of our own insane asylum.

"One of my professional friends - smart, well-educated, and seemingly otherwise sane - has been relentlessly trying to sell everyone I work with on the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama's real father was an African-American communist activist, Frank Marshall Davis, and that Obama's secret agenda is mind control and the collapse of the American way of life through diabolical UN-mandated sustainable land use planning - a pillar of Glenn Beck's circus tent of amazing conspiracy theories. People who believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them are usually medicated to make them safe to live among us. But institutions that promote the same paranoid delusions are rewarded with handsome profitability.

"For the first time since the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of American citizens have petitioned the federal government to allow their states to secede from the union. This is more than just a new expression of undying racism. It is also a sharp detachment from reality. The efficacy of tax cuts for the rich as an economic stimulus, has no empirical substantiation - in other words no basis in reality, just like global warming denial.
"Much has been written about the Karl Rove/Republican/right wing/Fox News bubble and their group delusion in truly believing that their polling heralding a Romney victory was superior to everyone else's reality. Rove is also widely thought to be the source of the famous quote from a George W. Bush insider, offered to Ron Suskind for an article in the New York Times Magazine in 2004, 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.' That's how schizophrenics talk and think."

We've talked about Conservative followers and their intellectual dysfunction many times in the past; the mental illness that permeates the right-wing in the form of Authoritarianism coupled with this low intellect spells disaster for America when Conservatives are elected to power and the wealthiest among us are able to finance Conservative campaigns without disclosure.

We are tied by four chains of Conservative bonds: the bonds of stupidity, insanity, criminality, and incredible wealth.  And now we discover that the inmates are truly running the asylum: but it's the sociopaths that are taking care of the psychopaths, the schizophrenics, and the paranoids.  Only when Conservative is made illegal will we emerge from the insane asylum of the right-wing, only when Conservatism is criminalized will we achieve the dreams of democracy brought to life by our Founding Fathers.

"It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions." -- Thomas Jefferson to Richard M. Johnson, 1808. 


"A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and

announces: 'I'm looking for the man who shot my paw.'"

Tommy Cooper