What’s the difference between Hannibal Lecter and the GOP? One is a crazed sociopath that wreaks destruction on innocent victims and the other was played artfully by Anthony Hopkins.

We may have become so accustomed to the outrageously hostile and vicious conduct of the GOP and the matter-of-fact presentation of it by the Mainstream Media that we may be allowing the abnormal psychological reality of it to slip past us.

It is not normal in a truly representational government to have one of two major parties controlling a nation, dedicated to harming 99% of the people in that country. It simply is not.

Nor is it psychologically well adjusted for a group of people to intentionally threaten the safety of or damage an entire nation of people purely to gain greater power and wealth.

There was a brilliant method presented in the remarkable and highly recommended documentary, The Corporation, which, in one segment, psychologically analyzed corporations as if they were people and their indisputable conclusion was that if corporations are people, they are sociopaths.

In light of the last year of destructive and vicious behavior of Tea Party Republicans in the House and the ongoing hateful rhetoric from the GOP and their Presidential candidates about gays, blacks, the poor, women, the unemployed, Latinos, Muslims, those exercising their Constitutional right to protest, etc., I wondered, if the GOP was analyzed as a person, would it fit the definition of a sociopath?

Here is a list of traits, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, that are commonly displayed by people who have Antisocial Personality Disorder…aka “sociopaths”:

  • Disregard for right and wrong
  • Persistent lying or deceit
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others
  • Recurring difficulties with the law
  • Repeatedly violating the rights of others
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Intimidation of others
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Lack of remorse about harming others
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Agitation
  • Poor or abusive relationships
  • Irresponsible work behavior

I don’t know about your count but when I consider the actions and words of Republican Politicians, the Tea Party, the GOP Presidential Candidates and the corporate financiers of the GOP, I found it a 100% match up.

So let’s consider for a moment two things, the normalization of sociopathy as a legit political mindset and sociopaths controlling power locally and nationally in the U.S..

Thanks to the news industry merging with the prostitution industry (“Hi, you lookin’ a date or an update?”), EVERYTHING can be legitimized as long as it attracts viewers and raises advertising rates. So, sociopathic outbursts and actions are presented by the MSM as just as palatable and considerable as those coming from well adjusted politicians.

If there is no critical filter, no ethical standard, no discernment by the media that bombards us from every direction, between what is insane and what is sane, if both are merely “different opinions” of equal standing, then we, as members of this society, can become corrupted and in a way, sociopathic as well.

There is no public good served by sociopathic pursuits or the validation of them. And yet, the obvious lies and deception served up by the GOP to the media to justify their actions and intentions to assault the majority of Americans are freely broadcast to the country in an alleged display of being “fair and balanced”.

This one-two punch of thinly disguised sociopathy by a political party and the media’s presentation of it as being as legitimate as any other political sensibility has brought our society and politics to a point of absurdity never witnessed before in American history.

From Supply side economics insisting that the only way to make 99% of Americans rich is to make the top 1% richer.

Or the solution to joblessness in America is to cut the deficit so that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans in government jobs would be put out of work.

Or the way to reform healthcare and make access and affordability better than when insurance corporations had all the power over that is to repeal all the reforms made in the Affordable Care Act and let the health insurance corporations go back to calling all the shots.

On that last point, it’s too bad we don’t have single payer health insurance for our entire country because The GOP in particular seems greatly in need of mental health services.

And the sobering thing is, our nation and many state and local governments are being controlled by such sociopaths. Putting aside the damage they have and are doing (instituting Voter ID laws that could prevent five million or more eligible citizens from voting, outlawing collective bargaining, slashing programs that help the most desperate and vulnerable among us, etc.), the damage they are doing to the character of our society is profound.

It is now a given that we may have leaders of our cities and/or states who are a threat to our best interests as the majority. It’s a deterioration of our democracy to have to accept such a reality, an affirmation that the sociopathic corporations have so much power over our democracy that they can foist their sociopathic surrogates upon the people.

What is emerging as a silver lining in this very dark cloud is that the American people are rising up chanting the famous Howard Beale line from the movie Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

There is only so far that you can push people. Sociopaths have no sense of that, they will simply continue serving their own gratifications no matter the impact on others because they have no empathy for the feelings of others…and that is their downfall.

It certainly seems that national sentiment is strong and growing against the GOP and Corporate sociopathy that continues to be foisted upon the citizens of this country.

And that is doing wonders for my mental health.

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agrippa
Member
agrippa

Nihilists.

Most of these people have no fact, no logic, no ideas.

They may have attitudes, but that is a far cry from facts, logic or ideas.

RF Dude
Member

AdLib – you said it all, man. Brilliantly stated!

It is a measure of how bad things have gotten that the people supporting the GOP these days (or what used to be the “GOP”…) are, by and large, the very SAME people who stand to lose the most from proposed GOP policies!

Is this something wired deep in our heads? That humans as a group follow a destructive path, regardless of the eventual outcomes and against their own self-interest, because of an effective combination of denial and propaganda?

Or are humans as a group just less intelligent than we would like to give credit?

Whatever it is, the path leads all too often to an unhappy ending for all – regardless of belief or political stance…

kesmarn
Admin

There is only so far that you can push people. Sociopaths have no sense of that, they will simply continue serving their own gratifications no matter the impact on others because they have no empathy for the feelings of others…and that is their downfall.

That is a terrific paragraph, AdLib.

Like you, I really can’t think of a personality trait of the typical sociopath that the GOP as a whole, does not possess.

The only other explanation for their really amoral behavior that I’ve ever been able to think of is a physical brain abnormality. Something like a form of autism. To a person, they seem to be able to relate to objects (most particularly money) with much more genuine attachment than to humans.

Other humans don’t seem real to them. Except possibly as “work units” and “soldiers.” The former to produce wealth for them (and then to be thrown away after they’re used up) and the latter to protect it (and to literally be thrown on the ash heap if they happen to die in the process).

It must suck to be them, don’t you think? Even if they win, they lose.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Well done AdLib. It’s funny, as I began to read this I was thinking of a famous scene from the movie “Network,” and further down I saw you mention Howard Beale. It is so true about our media and our society today.
I think such an unbalanced lust for power and money does blind one to most everything else, as far as virtues go. The really sick part of it is the absolute lack of concern for others. Sociopathic indeed.
Thank goodness for the internet, huh? What we are seeing, as far as a backlash to the utter bullshit we get from the MSM, is surely the result of the flexibility and broad scope of information and social networking that the internet affords us. Steve Jobs and his partner Wozniack were “hippies,” to a certain extent and it was a big part of their goal to create a mechanism for spreading information to extents far greater than any of us could have imagined at the time. They literally saw the future.
I’ve heard it said that without radio and the loudspeaker, Hitler may very well have failed to rise to power. Technology though is a double edged sword and today’s technology is on the side of the people. We have a means to fight back against those who seek dictatorship or a sort of aristocracy divided between a relative few.
The self created “blindness,” of the GOP will cause them to fail. In their lust for power, they simply can’t see that their actions and words are detrimental to their goals. They are so arrogant and think so little of “we the people,” they simply can’t see the results of their anti-social behavior. Gingrich actually said that he knows how a society should be organized. Ha! He has no frickin idea.

jjgravitas
Member
jjgravitas

The narrow minded get all this media exposure thanks to the genius of “narrow casting.”

Emerald1943
Member

Adlib, excellent piece! Spot on!

Just to bring the point home, today the GOP came out with their “plan”, not to extend unemployment insurance for millions of people who are one step away from disaster, but the GOP proposes to CUT unemployment benefits back to 59 weeks!

When I hear of things like this, I try to put myself in the shoes of those workers who, through no fault of their own, lost jobs as manufacturing plants were shuttered in this country over the past decade…some 58,000 plants! I cannot imagine the despair that these people must feel, especially when they know that their benefits will soon run out. Where do they go? What will they do? How will they feed their families? Will they, like many others, lose their homes?

In my opinion, you have hit the nail on the head…sociopathic government has us by the throat! But yet, I am encouraged. There are thousands of Americans in the streets, and not just the OWS movement. Today, there were rallies in 25 major cities across the country for “Jobs and Justice”. People are rising up against this tide of obstructionism and unfairness. The American citizens are beginning to realize that we must take to the streets if we are to preserve our democracy.

Some might argue the point about the GOP being sociopathic at its core. I could see how it might rather be viewed as completely out of touch with the average American. These elites in Washington have no idea what it means to subsist on $30,000 for a family of four, to work long hard hours on the floor of a factory or in a fast-food restaurant. They live their lives in an insulated bubble of short work days and an endless string of dinner parties in posh restaurants, being wined and dined by those who would influence their votes. Sociopathic? Perhaps. Out of touch? Definitely!!

Thanks for your article! Always insightful and thought-provoking! 🙂

KQµårk 死神
Member

Great point about being out of touch. But a rich person can have empathy for a less fortunate person like FDR did. You don’t have to see the homeless every day or see families being evicted ever day to know it’s happening. So I guess I just don’t give them that out.

SallyT
Member

And, why KQ, do the less fortunates keep voting them into office? There are far more people in the 99% but we keep getting those in office that don’t care.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Three reasons and let me qualify that they are all generalizations and not true of everyone in that group at all.

I saw a good presentation from a progressive on CSPAN that discussed voting trends and demographics. They said the only demographic that voted by a wide margin for the GOP in the last two elections where white working class voters. College educated, minorities of all classes and even the more affluent all voted for Obama and Kerry.

The first reason the GOP appeals to these voters is on identity alone. These voters don’t blame the rich for their woes the blame illegals, AAs, Latinos, etc… These are your fringe city or suburban types.

The second reason is this group thinks there is still upward mobility and it’s the Dems that are holding back business with regulations and taxes. These are you libertarian types in Mountain states and NE.

The third reason is this group contains the highest percentage of social conservatives. Many vote for the GOP just on the basis of being anti-abortion alone. This is you Southern and Midwestern base types.

Obviously there’s allot of crossover but this is what appeals to this demographic of voters.

Let me add this is a very loyal group of voters too. They are very difficult to change party affiliations because their voting preferences are based on identity and religion. But obviously this is why the GOP is against education and want’s to suppress minority voting rights.

SallyT
Member

I was hoping, KQ, you were staying up with me tonight since this medicine I had to take is keeping me awake. Well, all that makes sense to them I guess. But don’t the facts show they are wrong? Okay, not the religious right. They are lost. Those that blame the illegals, well, do they want those jobs? No. And, the big corps don’t pay taxes and regulations haven’t cost jobs according to research done by independent researchers. Of course, you know that but how do you get them to? Not with FOX.

choicelady
Member

One of the hallmarks of the decline of civilization is the rise of the sociopath as the norm. Tonight on PBS News, they projected Obama’s loss since 68% of Americans think he’s doing a bad job on the economy. Oh? Really? I am momentarily in NE Ohio (sorry all my Ohio allies and friends – family crisis, no time for fun such as meeting up with you all) where I am meeting innumerable people who think things are getting better for them, feeling optimistic and hopeful – and these are conservative Dems who could go either way but DO think Obama is making progress.

Allow me to say that if Newt wins in 2012 or if we lose the Senate and still don’t regain the House, I seriously am moving to Canada. I cannot take any more from a nation of people who cannot see the truth and a way forward other than doing what we’ve always done in lifting up the 1 percent.

I make policy based on Peggy – Peggy is a housecleaner with her own business. She and her daughter do it, and her daughter has just gone back to school to get her commercial drivers license to drive trucks for the companies engaged in Marcellus shale fracking. Is Peggy stupid? No. Is her daughere? No. For years their house was across from stip mining – and they had “black water” that was unpotable. She does not want that back – but she pays attention to who is doing what. She approves of the METHODS of the company her daughter will drive for – and her daughter suddenly has the chance to earn upwards of $3000 per month net – maybe considerably more.

Peggy, her husband, and her daughter are the salt of the earth. They are “one foot in front of the other”, living in a nice trailer they renovated and improved, making ends meet however they can. Peggy and I share herniated disc problems – and she STILL does house cleaning and did through the entire 4 months it took her to get health insurance so she could have surgery. She showed up, in great pain, every single damned day and did her work. Peggy is amazing but not unique.

So her daugher is leaving the business to drive for a company doing fracking. Can I oppose fracking? Of course. Will I oppose ALL companies and ALL method? Nope. I will listen to Peggy and the EPA in equal measure – if it can be done well, with minimal environmental impact AND give Peggy’s daughter her job – then I will not oppose it.

And I will watch this president give the same thought and consideration to the pipeline, to fracking, to every issue – it’s NOT cut and dried. The people impacted environmentally are also impacted economically – they will tell me what I need to know. They will be heard by this president.

And if any fool decided this president as opposed to the House is the source of our problems, then I REALLY do not want to live in this nation any more. There is such a thing as being too stupid to live. I fear we’re nearly there, just like ancient Rome.

Sigh.

I want what’s best for Peggy and her family. They have lived on the edge for over 30 years since the steel mills closed and we blew off all blue collar people. This president hears them. I don’t know Peggy’s politics, but I sure as hope she hears this president. I hope this nation does because any other choice is a step backwards, away from Peggy’s stability and toward consolidated power for the 1%. Voting is imperative for us all, but for me it’s also for Peggy. She deserves a break today. So do we all.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Actually if the worse case scenario does happen I might have to move closer to you guys in CA. 😎

SallyT
Member

CL, I have said the same thing but I can’t go to Canada because it is too cold and the old body can’t take it. So, where do you go? The whole world has problems. It is frustrating and you wonder why people are so willing to be cattle and follow the one in front to the slaughter. But, I have found the Occupy Movement encouraging. When you read the things they want changed, they are on the right track. Will they succeed? I don’t know but they do know enough to get up and react to the wrongs our country are allowing to happen.
Everyone looks out for themselves first. They have to eat and have shelter. Sometimes they have to do something that they are against just to survive in the present. They probably wouldn’t if there was some other way. However, there has to be those that will fight the things that are damaging our environment and the human race in order for there to be more years ahead. Yes, you have to be open to hear both sides to an issue. But, willing to accept the facts regardless.
I didn’t see the PBS program but they were probably going on historical numbers and in comparsion Obama would lose. But, history does change as well as repeat itself. I remember during the last Presidential election history showed that the state of Missouri had always voted for the person that was elected. Well, they voted for McCain. WRONG! Missouri record was broken! It can happen, CL. They can be wrong.
However, if Newt is elected Prez and the House and Senate goes Repub, well, I might just have to consider packing up. Now where is a nice warm country that one can live peaceful with the things one needs in the late years of life? Oh, and preferable speaks english, yet not to far away to get back to see the grandkids……????

KillgoreTrout
Member

Sally, Australia seems like a good place. 😉

KQµårk 死神
Member

No CL you can’t leave because we need a fighter like you. This too shall pass. You have to realize at this point it’s not just America that’s going to struggle. Look at Europe their fates our worse than ours in some ways with their austerity plans.

We’re moving from a Red State to a Blue State next year which almost is like moving to a different country for us.

Don’t forget Canada is all in on all kinds of oil. I don’t know about fracking. The US is actually doing much more with green energy right now. Canada too has liberal and conservative areas just like the US. Of course their healthcare system is better but I link CA’s healthcare system will be much better relatively soon as well (mostly because of what I hear from you).

I know you won’t give up but just trying to make a case to stay.

SallyT
Member

KQ, according to this article Canada doesn’t look to much better.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28118

KQµårk 死神
Member

Bravo AdLib great extension of the absolutely correct conclusion from “The Corporation”. The GOP indeed is a collective sociopaths organization. The defining symptom for me is that the current GOP is devoid of empathy. Like all generalizations just because the GOP is a sociopaths organization does not mean every member is a sociopath, like with corporations most people that work for corporations are not sociopaths. Many members of the GOP mentally engage in the destructive practice of building a wall of rationalizations which justifies their illogical views and enables them to vote against their own self interests. But their is no doubt a preponderance of the true believers are lacking empathy and many are complete sociopaths.

Here’s a good example of sociopathic behavior.

Santorum: ‘Science Should Get Out Of Politics’

KillgoreTrout
Member

If it were up to Santorum, we would be living back in the middle ages. Complete with inquisitions!