The Pathology of Liberalism
February 8, 2007
From the inception of psychology over 100 years ago, conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissism and Tourette’s syndrome were thought to be psychological in origin – and that with enough therapy, enough blaming inadequate parenting, enough talk, enough delving into “feelings,” the sufferer could be treated successfully or even cured.
We now know – thanks to tools like PET scans, MRIs, and pharmaceutical advances – that these conditions are all biological in nature, more receptive to medications, augmented with behavioral techniques, than to any of the other “therapies” that were inflicted so ineffectually on millions of people over the past many decades.
The scans, in fact, have revealed the specific areas of the brain that give rise to anger, revenge, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, stuttering, pathological lying, cheating, manipulation, obsessive-compulsive behavior, depressive disorders, even cravings for chocolate!
How do we know these conditions are biological? Because in addition to the fact that medications have treated these mental disorders successfully (for example, Haldol for psychoses, lithium for bipolar disorder, Wellbutrin for depression, and Xanax for anxiety), they have identical symptoms (albeit some more severe than others) in people who are raised in luxury high-rises in Buenos Aires, slums in Los Angeles, kibbutzim in Israel, huts in rain forests, and penthouses in Manhattan. And also in people raised in both happy and dysfunctional homes.
What we also understand is that most intractable mental conditions seem to be genetically driven, rooted in centers of the brain that are still not fully understood. Perhaps this is why political affiliation – with exceptions, of course – seems to run in families.
I suspect that at the core of liberal “thinking” is the same kind of pathology that characterizes other mental disorders, i.e., a glitch in the brain that produces “feelings” and behavior over which liberals have no control.
For instance, liberals are uniformly glum, not only in their grim demeanors and persistent anger, but also in their outlooks. Even in the flush of their midterm victory, they could hardly conceal their endemic rage, in spite of a brief moment of toothy, appliquéd smiles.
This is because their worldview is uniformly negative. When things are good, they see only the bad and invoke the Misery Index cited routinely by Jimmy Carter and resurrected by the dour wannabe president John Kerry. When things could be better, they see only that things could be worse. When their theories are refuted by hard fact, they are unable to process the true from the untrue because their feelings tell them otherwise. For instance:
Liberals are like children
Liberals, like children, live in a world of utopian dreaminess, clinging to a narrow, circumscribed reality and believing that if everyone would just be nice to each other – let’s talk, let’s chat – all the noisy death threats and pesky suicide bombings would go away, and all those grumpy grownups in the current administration would see the light.
And so they do what children do when they’re mad at grownups. They call names.
All of these children – er, politicians – have gone to great lengths to undermine President Bush, often in foreign countries and always in contradiction to the unspoken but historically honored rule to support a president in time of war – or at least to refrain from insult.
A rage that knows no bounds
Children take things personally. “My father is bigger (stronger, smarter) than your father” is just about intolerable to the average child. “Is not!” “Is too!” is an exchange that inevitably results in either tears or fists. In 2000, when George W. Bush ascended to the presidency, the initial despair of liberals quickly morphed into childlike, irrational anger, which has obsessed them for the past six years.
Not only have they called names, spewed insults and stamped their feet, but they’ve also lined up like-minded friends in the liberal media and leftwing think tanks to do the same. Much worse, they’ve aligned themselves with America’s mortal enemies.
According to Vasko Kohlmayer in World Defense Review, “the affection in which [liberals] are held by our foes is neither unjustified nor surprising. They have more than earned it by systematically subverting this country’s war effort while simultaneously proffering assistance to those who have pledged to destroy us.” Kohlmayer lists some highlights of liberal treachery:
· They have tried to prevent us from listening in on terrorists' phone calls
· They have sought to stop us from properly interrogating captured terrorists
· They have tried to stop us from monitoring terrorists' financial transactions
· They have revealed the existence of secret national security programs
· They have opposed vital components of the Patriot Act
· They have sought to confer unmerited legal rights on terrorists
· They have opposed profiling to identify the terrorists in our midst
· They have impugned and demeaned our military
· They have insinuated that the president is a war criminal
· They have forced the resignation of a committed defense secretary
· They have repeatedly tried to de-legitimize our war effort
· They want to quit the battlefield in the midst of war.
If nothing else proves the rigidity – indeed the pathology – of the liberal brain, it is what Kohlmayer says of liberals today: “Almost all of the current democratic leadership was actively involved in [the Vietnam anti-war] effort. Bill and Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi were all in one way or another personally engaged in the anti-war movement. And when at last it bore its disastrous fruit, they gloated and danced in the streets. Exhilarated and jubilant, they deemed America's disgrace their finest hour. In their skewed world, America's defeat came to represent their personal triumph.”
Fathoming liberal rage
To understand the left’s treasonous rage, it is important to understand that the most cherished value in the life of children (read liberals) is to be “liked” by their peers, a theory that Judith Rich Harris has exhaustively documented in her best-selling and revolutionary book, The Nurture Assumption.
To be liked – according to the evangelical religion of liberalism – is not to engage in conflict, not to fight, not to judge, After all, if you fight with anyone, including Islamic terrorists, they won’t like you. And if you judge them as savages, murderers, enemies of democracy, they will fight you. So don’t judge them and they won’t fight you and everything will be hunky dory. Such are the fantastical fantasies of children (read liberals).
fantasies that flourish, says writer Evan Sayet, because liberals are “wedded
to the childish philosophy of ‘multiculturalism’ … the fantasy that all cultures
are equally good and equally right. It is why liberals “believe we should
‘celebrate diversity,’ as if all differences – say freedom of religion and
massacring all infidels – are equally worthy of celebration.”
Rage trumps rationality
The reason why liberals have remained so intractably unhinged about President Bush is not because of their ideological differences with his conservatism. It is because of their collective inadequate egos. This is no surprise because children have “developing” egos, not fully-fledged senses of themselves, their places in the world, and their worth. Children are wildly egocentric, seeing themselves as the center of the universe and having no appreciation of the vast world that lies outside their limited awareness. In fact, they echo a saying from the Talmud: “We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.”
Liberals entertain the conceit that they are quite evolved and superior, both morally and intellectually. In their childlike minds, they are “good” and the people who set limits, demand accountability, expect empirical results, fight their enemies and also make judgments about what is good and bad and right and wrong are “bad.”
But Rabbi Aryeh Spero says that liberals are “morally inferior, given their lack of heartache over what grieves normal people – the actual torture of our soldiers, the real beheadings, the tearing of Israelis limb by limb, and the burning and dragging of American, British, and Israeli half-dead. Their silence shows their amorality; their selectivity proves their concern is not with human dignity but tarnishing their country’s image.” He calls this thinking “a psychological aberration.”
This, again, is no surprise, given that children cannot be expected to have fully actualized moral compasses. Or egos. Which is why it was a mortal wound to the egos of the monumentally egocentric and childlike liberals in our midst that a Southern-drawling, non-King’s-English-speaking Texan could possibly defeat – not once but twice – the collective forces of a hot-air-spewing Al Gore, the Vietnam war traitor John Kerry, and a liberal media of such great numbers that it would not even fit into the vast acreage of Guantanamo Bay!
But liberals are educated, you may say, credentialed, accomplished, smart in all areas of life – business, the arts, medicine, law, even politics. Which only goes to prove what most people know instinctively: Emotion always trumps rationality!
Symptoms of liberal pathology
As I’ve mentioned, liberals want to be liked. They believe that if America were not so strong, so powerful, so rich, so successful – so enviable to the rest of the world – things would be better. This is because liberals hate strength and power and wealth and success, except, that is, when they are the beneficiaries! It is interesting to note here that the richest politicians in Congress are liberal Democrats. Think Kennedy, Rockefeller, Reid, Byrd, the list goes on and on.
In our nation’s Mecca of Liberalism, Hollywood, those who announce the Oscars always refuse to say, “And the winner is …” Instead they say, “And the Oscar goes to …” This is because liberals don’t like the concept of winning or losing – someone might feel bad and get angry and pick a fight … and then they won’t like me! In the world of liberalism, it’s always all about me!
Among the many symptoms of liberal pathology is out-of-control anger. When things aren’t going their way, liberals behave much like any child who has not yet learned to debate and so resorts to his or her most primitive emotions. Here’s a very brief sample, provided by conservative columnist JB Williams:
Simply, the liberals’ childlike rage completely eclipses any semblance of rationality. Their opposition to and obsession with President Bush has frozen the higher centers of their brains, effectively preventing them from ever presenting any intelligent alternative to the domestic and foreign policy strategies they object to, outside of socialist let’s-all-get-together ideas that eliminate capitalism, the competitive spirit, and American exceptionalism.
Raymond S. Kraft, who has written at length about American exceptionalism, cites those who “want an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq: Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iran, Muqtada al Sadr, and Osama bin Laden … and America's Democrats.” [Read liberals].
That is why the only liberal “plan” for Iraq is cutting and running. Hillary Clinton spoke for all liberals when she said she “resented” the president’s saying that the next president would have to withdraw troops from Iraq. In essence, she was whining: How dare he inflict me with that adult responsibility?
And on the domestic front, liberals offer no better plan for education than more unions, no better plan for the economy than raising taxes, no better plan for Supreme Court justices than more rule-from-the-bench liberals, and no better plan for healthcare than socialized medicine.
In addition, liberals are intellectually lazy. Like the children they are, their feelings supersede their self-described much-vaunted intellects, rendering them biologically incapable of objective thought or reasoned debate. So controlled are they by the emotional centers of their brains that when President Bush says we must defend our country with every means possible – diplomatic, strategic, and military – liberals figuratively say, or rather screech, “I don’t like those rules, Dad!” and then they have pathological temper tantrums.
Another symptom of liberal pathology is a deep identification with “victims,” who to liberals are all women, all African-Americans, all Hispanics, all union members, and all denizens of Third World countries, as well as anyone else they perceive as being either “victimized” by big, bad corporate America or by those subscribing to conservative ideology.
This is because suffering, or perceived suffering, animates them, makes them feel useful, like saviors, and, of course, “good.” The most dramatic example of this symptom is the left’s unanimous embrace and support of Israel when that fledgling state was born in 1948, comprising largely the bedraggled, starving, half-dead Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. When Israel won her first war against seven Arab states, liberals cheered for little David against Goliath.
But then Israel began to flourish, to prosper, to develop superior military and intelligence systems, to thrive as a capitalist society – in fact, to resemble America in ways that offended leftists, who historically have loathed anything resembling strength, because strong people are not victims!
And so today, when Israel is once again under siege, assailed by a new wave of international anti-Semitism, surrounded by sworn enemies and threatened by Iran with annihilation, American liberals are thunderingly silent.
Yet another symptom of liberal pathology is childlike insecurity. Adults, to be sure, have insecurities and go about dealing with them in adult ways, for instance taking courses or acquiring skills to become more proficient in this or that area. But adults don’t routinely ask 100 people what they think before making a decision, then act on that collective decision, then change their minds if they get a different consensus based on another 100 opinions.
Liberals do! In fact, wasn’t it Bill Clinton who elevated polling to an art form? Wasn’t it John Kerry who placed the word “flip-flopping” into the lexicon? And isn’t it Hillary Clinton who in a recent two-day time span told different audiences that (1) she was, in essence, a dove who would "end the war" in Iraq if she were elected president, and (2) she was, in essence, a hawk, who thought that Iran "cannot be allowed" to acquire nuclear weapons and that we “shouldn’t take any option off the table”?
Diagnosing liberal pathology
In what he calls the psychopathology of the liberal mind, Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D., a psychiatrist and the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness,” says:
“In his determination to control the world, [the liberal] constantly defends himself against what Karen Horney aptly described as the most basic of human fears: being alone and helpless in a dangerous, indifferent world, the nightmare of the abandoned, terrified child. Persons plagued with such fears easily conclude that it is in their greatest interest to dominate others, or to imagine that they can, and to set about achieving that goal through the manipulation of government power.”
And what does this domination and manipulation lead to? Rossiter says it is nothing less than the “liberal agenda’s principles of coercive collectivism [in which] the citizen’s choices will be influenced by ideals of entitlement, welfare dependency, state regulation [and] moral relativism.”
The liberal, Rossiter adds, is “not called to maturity but is instead invited to begin a second childhood. Like the child at play, he is given, or at least promised, ultimate economic, social and political security without having to assume responsibility for himself.”
Rossiter’s “diagnoses” complement those found in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.
In narcissistic personality disorder, people feel they are special and therefore entitled to the things they want at the exact moment they want them. When denied, narcissists become irrationally angry and lash out with personal attacks. But because they crave adulation, they can become irresistibly charming in the very next minute.
Sound familiar? For eight long years, President “I feel your pain” Clinton failed to pass a law to provide senior citizens with prescription drug relief, failed to muster up the morality to pass a law banning third-trimester abortions that kill fully formed babies on the very verge of birth, failed to free the black people in this country from the slavery of welfare until a Republican Congress accomplished this sea change in America’s landscape. But he did not fail cut and run from Somalia, bomb an aspirin factory or wage an air war against people who were no threat to the United States, or to ignore numerous Al Qaeda attacks on our country and throughout the world, effectively setting the stage for the devastation of September 11.
Narcissism, in fact, is at the root of liberals’ embrace of abortion. While “power to the powerless” is their anthem, no legislation has ever been more passionately embraced than the abortion-on-demand law of 1973 that allows all “caring” liberals to kill the most powerless among us. Of course, this does not conflict with their horror at the deaths of minks, because in their minds these rodents are already here while developing embryos – with heartbeats and nervous systems, eyes and ears – are simply “tissue.” Nor does it conflict with their horror at “civilian” deaths, even when they result inadvertently from American military forces.
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by a complete inability to tolerate the gray complexion of life – or politics. Liberals always cast those who disagree with them in stark shades of black and white and often resort to “scorched earth” retaliation. They also go out of their way to conceal the fact that, like other sociopaths, they have no consciences and no remorse – except for the likes of minks, of course.
Such is the nature of liberals, whose identification with and empathy for our enemies is a hopeless muddle of self-congratulatory “understanding” and hatred of authority. Instead of seeing the epic struggle we are now engaged in as an opportunity to stand with America for the spread of freedom and for defeating our enemies, liberals choose to stand against everything that is good and great and exceptional about our country.
To most people, this is self-defeating, irrational, even dangerous behavior. But remember, that’s how some children are! However, when fully grown adults act this way, in spite of the fact that they’re fixated between the ages of 6 and 12, such behavior is not only treasonous, it’s also pathological.
So the next time you’re watching or listening to a liberal, observe the symptoms I’ve mentioned. Note the anger, the pessimism, the negativity, the name-calling, the bursts of rage, the gratuitous insults, the desire to present an image of “goodness,” the transparent attempt to be liked, the willingness to change an opinion if the old one isn’t polling well, and the eagerness to placate our enemies, the better to avoid a fight so that those enemies will “like” us.
Ask yourself: Is this behavior different in any way from a child’s behavior? Then ask yourself: Do I want a child to be the President of the United States and the Commander in Chief in a time of war?