Pathology of the Left
Recently, the American Psychological Association published a study by a few "academicians" from Cal-Berkeley and the University of Maryland. The study, entitled "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," purported to have identified some determinants that are common to those holding a "conservative" worldview.
As one reads the report, it becomes readily apparent that their "norm" -- that is, their control group -- was somewhere to the left of Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi and her Ya Ya sisters, Babs Boxer and Di Feinstein -- but then, what are we to expect from Cal-Berkeley and UM, or just about any of our nation's "leading academic institutions"?
The authors received more than 1.2 million of your hard-earned tax dollars from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in order to, by their own account, "consider evidence for and against the hypotheses that political conservatism is significantly associated with (1) mental rigidity and closed-mindedness; (2) lowered self-esteem; (3) fear, anger, and aggression; (4) pessimism, disgust, and contempt; (5) loss prevention; (6) fear of death; (7) threat arising from social and economic deprivation; and (8) threat to the stability of the social system."
In other words, if you (1) have an opinion; and are (2) humble; (3) assertive; (4) a realist; (5) a conservationist; (6) not suicidal; (7) from modest means; and (8) a constitutional constructionist, or worse, a Christian, then you're probably a wacky conservative.
Actually, what taxpayers got was re-warmed 1950-vintage rhetoric on what the authors call "authoritarianism and the fascist potential in personality.'' They assert that "one is justified in referring to Hitler, Mussolini, Reagan, and Limbaugh as right-wing conservatives..." (Is it just us, or is that a rather tendentious juxtaposition of murderous tyrants and conservative icons?) All in all, this research stands as a sterling example of academic twaddle, providing "an integrative, meta-analytic review of research on epistemic, existential, and ideological bases of conservatism." The authors' ultimate finding -- for what it's worth -- is that conservatives tend to "arrive at premature conclusions and impose simplistic cliche's and stereotypes," which, ironically, is precisely what the authors have done.
I waited for conservative behaviorist academicians to respond to this farcical pseudo-scholarly diatribe with a brief essay outlining the pathology of liberalism (contemporary, not classical). However, most conservative behaviorist left the academy a long time ago. That being the case, what follows is a rebuttal to this Leftist invective, in the most general terms -- sans the $1.2 million in confiscated wages and a forest of pulp for reprinting in "scholarly journals."
Now then, what, in the broadest terms, constitutes a contemporary liberal -- and why?
Liberals are uniformly defined by their hypocrisy and dissociation from reality. For example, the wealthiest U.S. senators -- Democrats -- fancy themselves as defenders of the poor and advocate the redistribution of wealth, but they hoard enormous wealth for themselves and have never missed a meal. They have always been far more dedicated to their country clubs than our country.
Liberals speak of unity, but they seed foment, appealing to the worst in human nature by dividing Americans into dependent constituencies. What constitutes these liberal constituencies? They support freedom of thought, unless your thoughts don't comport with theirs. They feign tolerance while practicing intolerance. They resist open discussion and debate of their views, yet seek to silence dissenters. They insist that they care more about protecting habitat than those who hunt and fish, and protest for the preservation of natural order while advocating homosexuality. They denounce capital punishment for the most heinous of criminals, while ardently supporting the killing of the most innocent among us -- children prior to birth. They loathe individual responsibility, and advocate for statism. They eschew private initiative and enterprise while promoting all manner of government control and regulation.
Liberals constantly assert their First Amendment rights, except, of course, when it comes to religion or speech that does not agree with their own. Here, they firmly impose the doctrines of secular atheism on everyone else. They hate the idea of self reliance, and Second Amendment rights cause them much consternation. They believe that second-hand smoke is more dangerous than marijuana and crack smoke. They believe that one nut accused of bombing an abortion clinic deserves far more law-enforcement attention than Jihadi cells planning the 9/11 attacks. They call 9/11 victims "Hitlerian" while calling their murderers "oppressed." They hate SUVs, unless imported and driven by their soccer mom constituents. They advocate mass transit but commute on private jets. They are earth-worshippers and see themselves as the ultimate arbiters of ["climate change" | http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2007/09/17/global-warming-fact-fiction-and-political-endgame/]. They believe trial lawyers save lives and doctors kill people. They believe the solution to racism is to treat people differently on the basis of the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. They deride moral clarity because they can't survive its scrutiny. They promote peace but foment division and hate.
Why do liberals believe what they believe -- and act the way they act? Psychopathology dictates, or frames, worldview, and worldview manifests in such things as political affiliation. Liberal pathology is very transparent and, thus, well defined.
Generally, liberals tend to be mentally rigid and closed-minded because they are insecure, the result of low self-esteem and arrested emotional development associated, predominantly, with fatherless households or critically dysfunctional families in which they were not adequately affirmed. They exhibit fear, anger, and aggression -- the behavioral consequences of arrested emotional development associated with childhood trauma (primarily rejection by a significant family member of origin as noted above). They display pessimism, disgust, and contempt for those who are self sufficient for much the same reason. They believe that conforming to a code of non-conformity is a sign of individualism, when it is nothing more than an extreme form of conformism for those who are truly insecure.
Liberals fear loss because most have suffered significant loss. Liberal personality disorders are the result of broken families. They fear death because they have little or no meaningful connection with their Heavenly Father -- often the result of the disconnect with their earthly fathers. They often come from socially and/or economically deprived homes, the result of fatherless homes, but those who are inheritance-welfare trust-babies (see Kennedy, et al.) manifest similar insecurities about being helpless without external sustenance. Liberals reject individual responsibility and social stability because these were not modeled for them as children -- the generational implications of pathology.
Sound familiar? And I suspect the profs at Cal-Berkeley and Maryland attributed their own pathological traits to their opposition. It's called projection -- or, yes indeed, hypocrisy.
While the aforementioned environmental and behavioral factors are not universally causal in the emergence of a liberal worldview, they certainly are predominant. Close examination of the early childhood of most liberals will reveal they were "victims" of many of these circumstances, which is, in part, the basis for their "victim mentality."
Medically speaking, there is a diagnosis for Leftist over-achievers like Bill Clinton, Albert Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, et al. They are pathological case studies of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- the standard reference used for psychiatric evaluation.
The diagnostic criteria for NPD includes a "pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts," which manifests as "a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);" "a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; and a belief that he or she is 'special' and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)," and the subject "lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others...shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes."
Dr. Henry Miller, a 20-year veteran of the National Institutes of Health, notes, "People who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder are tough to be around. They make terrible bosses, unbearable in-laws and insufferable neighbors. That's why I don't want Al Gore to be president -- or to live next door to me."
Of course, there are many conservatives who were raised by a single parent or in critically dysfunctional and/or impoverished homes. However, somewhere along the way, they were lifted out of their misery by the grace of God -- often in the form of a significant mentor who modeled individual responsibility and character. As a result, they have the courage to internalize their locus of responsibility, unlike liberals, who externalize responsibility for problems and solutions, holding others (read "conservatives") to blame for their ills, and bestowing upon the state the duty for arbitrating proper conduct -- even proper thought.
And a footnote: It's no coincidence that conservative political bases tend to be suburban or rural, while liberal political bases tend to be urban. The social, cultural and economic blight in many urban settings are the catalysts for producing generations of liberals. Many urbanites no longer have a connection with "the land" (self-sufficiency) and, thus, tend to be largely dependent on the state for all manner of their welfare, protection and sustenance -- "It Takes a Village" after all.