We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, July 26. 2009
God, honor, duty, family and country should be enough to keep any sane person busy and satisfied for a lifetime in a free country - with a little huntin,' fishin,' gardenin,' Scotch whiskey, and writin' and bloggin' on the side, of course.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:26 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
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I'd make a slight change, politicians like nothing better than those looking for a "cause". Easy to lead, easy to fleece. Even of their freedoms, apparently.
Any ideology-any-can serve narcissistic aims. It is not the particular ideology, but the function(s) it serves in protecting a primitive sense of grandiosity for a particular individual. As a Christian, it is not knock on Christianity to say that God is a narcissistic self-object for many believers.
Now there is such a thing as healthy or normal narcissism which is necessary for aspirations and to experience a sense of purpose tempered by realism. It is normal for us to have a sense of purpose and commitment to causes that reflect our ideals. It is pathological narcissism when the realism is absent and the commitment to a cause is experienced as imputing perfection to the self--shielding the narcissistic individual from a genuine reckoning with his or her own failings and limitations.
Can the concept of "narcissism", at times, be the "other" that is in service of the self?
Has there been some sort of release of grant money (maybe from the "stimulus" package) to study narcissism? I perceive that it's not just a recurring theme here, as it seems to be cropping up in other disassociated places. Or maybe it's just that same sort of perception I get when an annoying song becomes popular.
ha ha. Grant money from the stimulus.... :) The reason narcissism crops up all the time now is because our newly elected president is one. Classic example of a narcissist is they cannot stand in the shoes of another. Show empathy, understand it. Obama spanking the police in Cambridge is a perfect example. So is his inability to apologize properly: "I regret that you assholes were offended by what I said. Your problem, not mine. Next."
While he certainly exhibits narcissist behavior, and while it's fun for lay people like us to throw shrink terms around to disparage those we do not like or agree with, I think this diagnosis-at-a-distance crap is out of hand. If this constant refrain of narcissism is coming from the shrink community (the small, conservative end of the shrink community) with the intent of making political points, I find it not only disturbing but in the long run, counter productive.
Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford (to name a few...or Algore or some other over-educated "smart" people) also preen like narcissists at times (or a lot, depending on one's perspective), but that should not disparage nor (ironically, but given the times) enhance their political/philosophical positions. Did I also mention, it's tiring?
I don't know, but I think it is helpful to ascribe certain types of behavior to a particular 'disorder' or trait. Understanding goes a long way in figuring out a person's motives and aspirations. With Obama, I think it's classic. I don't know about Newt. He is finely tuned into others, and that is not a trait of the narcissist. Newt understands the needs and motivations of human nature. That he capitalizes on it worked well for him once. Maybe he'll do it again, but he's a smart man who does not appear to care what others think of him. Sanders fell in love and just about sacrificed everything for it. No narcissist would have wept and mewled as he did long after he should have dumped the wife, married the lover and refused to give up his governship.
The thing is, neither of those men affect our lives the way our president does. Narcissism runs on a continuum from benign to malignant. You pick where you think Obama sits. Know thy enemy in this day and age means understanding what makes them tick. Tiresome, yep, but necessary when it dawns on you that their psychic make-up is their political philosophy.
The enemy to me are the bad ideas that will lead to trouble further down the line. Time spent on ad hominem attacks is wasted when a new hominem replaces the old one. Then you have to start all over again with the new guy/gal/whatzit. I don't care what personality problems our leaders have so long as they get the job done. The point is getting the job done. Churchill had his problems, Patton had his. What kind of a world would we be in without their human frailties, properly applied? Of course, not to compare Obambi to C & P, God forbid.
If this narcissism theme is some form of "strategy" it's a bad one. It's definitely a double-edged sword.
"The enemy to me are the bad ideas that will lead to trouble further down the line."
Exactly. And you don't have to name it. You can watch it in action without giving it a 'diagnosis'. The only thing labeling does and understanding what the label means is it's easier to figure out motive and the why's of the action. For those who work face-to-face with him (the president, for instance) they might use strategies that appeal to his nature and avoid strategies that are going to pin him to the wall. That's all.
Go back to the Gates' thing. We the people 'obsessed' by Obama's words were all fools until the FOP demanded an apology and no doubt a few close aides whispered in Obama's ear that he'd pissed off half the country. Obama probably got to hear the recording of the arrest and things changed fast. What was it Obama cared about? Gates? Crowley? No. He cared about how he was perceived. The beer thing? Great thinking there - that will quiet the rednecks doncha know.
Comparison is always good - Would Bush have mouthed off like that? And to find out Obama had knowledge ahead of the question?? Good grief, he didn't give a thought to what he said other than to align himself with the distinquished black professor of his Harvard days and to ignore those he considers beneath him. You don't have to name it, but it's the 'n' word all the way.
Tiresome.. I hope this affair haunts him to death.
By the way, every espionage agency in the world employs shrinks just to give psychological profiles of leaders. They know everything.... down to what they like for breakfast and why.
"Understanding goes a long way in figuring out a person's motives and aspirations"
Obama seems to me to be a light-weight, panty-waist,
I had his number as soon as he walked through the door.
Big Chip on his shoulder, hates America, easy to read.
Newt wants to be president, he will run, he's got my vote.
As for Governor Sanders, he was P.W'ed, and smitten.
Then is was balls to the wall, nothing makes sense,
war-room strategy, I might die tomorrow on the
Appalachian Trail, but to me, she's worth it.
Newt Gingrich is probably the most astute political mind of
my time...saw him in the Cleveland airport and wanted to say thanks and shake his hand. Considering he was raised in the well mannered south, I saw no problem with my overtures.
He acted as tho he was offended by my out stretched hand.
but on the other hand, was on a flight with Steve Forbes,
( why he was flying commercial-no idea)
I said, 'thanks Mr. Forbes for your service to the country',
"Thank you very much", was his gracious reply.
Obama is the product of 50 years of P.C.
He's sold out to the, 'white guilt' butt suckers.
From what little chance I've had to observe a very few public people in candid encounters, there is quite a significant personality difference between their "show time" and "on the street" demeanor. A difference sometimes beyond what I expected. Personally, I don't think I would like to lose my anonymity. Those who lose it by accident of fate still seem more genuine "on the street" than those who have chosen/pursued those professions that seek it out. Just my observation, ymmv.
I don't know how much it really helps me to understand the President's undeniable narcissism. After all, I always knew I despised his policies, so I was not that inclined to be influenced by anything he said, and he'll never even know I'm alive (with luck). There's no interaction.
It does help me in my personal life to identify a narcissistic streak in someone. I'm more on my guard then against the classic manipulative techniques, such as turning every occasion for a simple apology into an all-out attack intended to demonstrate that I'm the one with the pathology for thinking that a minor emotional repair is in order. When you know that kind of garbage is coming, you can more easily keep in mind that what you've asked for is a normal interpersonal human right. You can also keep in mind that the person you're talking to is very brittle and frightened, so it will take a lot of trust before he's able to relax enough to admit even a small fault.
It's hard for narcissists to be authentic, but if they slip into a little authenticity from time to time and meet a warm response, they can learn that the only way to feel alive is to be authentic. With luck, they'll remember that and contrast it with the dead feeling they have when they go back into their brittle self-protective blind mode. Someday they may learn to choose life. And it's not like I'm free of the tendency myself, so it helps me in my own quest to learn to choose life.