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  • Jerry Caskey 07:12 on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Political Psychopaths Are Not Our Only Problem 

    You don’t learn how to spot a psychopath by simply learning their personality traits, because the definition of a psychopath is not a “Yes/No” or a “Is/Is Not” personality disorder. Psychologists and psychiatrists have devised a list of traits for a psychopath, and a person can have none, some, or all of those traits. In other words a psychopathic disorder can exist in varying degrees. When you look carefully at a large percentage of our political leaders, it is very hard to avoid noting that there are a few fall into the “none” group. The majority fall into the “some” group, but our biggest problem is that the politicians that fall into the “All” group are the ones that hold leadership position. Well to be honest, they don’t “hold” a position, they “took” the position. That’s how a psychopath works. They need power and control and it isn’t going to be handed to them, so they devise whatever tactics and schemes are needed to “take” control. But how do you simply “take” control?

    A political psychopath can only “take” control by winning an election, but that means they need a willing accomplice to vote for them. This seems to indicate that we have a check against a psychopath being elected. When you notice that the person is lying, cheating, stealing, or any other tactics that are normal operating procedures for a psychopath, just vote for the other person. Here’s where our second problem enters the fray.

    Every heard a politician say “global warming is going to destroy the earth”, and then notice the multitude of people who then run around like Chicken Little saying “we have to save the earth” – even though the scientific data is still inconclusive. How about “we have to save the bow-legged-brown woodpecker”, and a bunch of people take up roost in trees to prevent them from being cut down – even though extinction has always been a part of life. Some of those people are well balanced individuals who actually believe in the cause, and there are some people who are uninformed. We also have a group that is wired to jump on any bandwagon that strolls by. The last two groups are the psychopathic politician’s “willing accomplice” – the uninformed and the empath, which is a person who emotionally wired to empathize with anything. You mention a problem, and they are more than willing to feel sorry for it. Of course the psychopath doesn’t care one bit about the “supposed” problem they want to “fix”, and it doesn’t matter if the problem has any scientific foundation, they just want the uninformed and the adoring empaths to get on their side so they can garner their vote in the next election. That’s how a psychopath “takes” power and control, the uninformed and the empaths “give” it to them.

    In other words, the sheep (uninformed/empaths) are being preyed upon by wolves (psychopaths) in sheep clothing. We need a sheepdog (a well balanced, well informed, well educated voter) to keep the wolf at bay and protect the sheep from making a potentially fatal mistake. In order to preserve our nation we have to stop solely concentrating on the political psychopath, because they will always be on the stump trying to get power and control. Our only viable option is to out vote the uninformed and empaths that are drawn to the stump by the tactics of a psychopath, by mobilizing enough sheepdogs to influence the outcome of elections. While you can educate the uninformed to reduce the impact of their problem, you will never change the psychopathic politician or the empath, your only option is to out vote them.

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    • GeneticPsycho 10:16 on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Psychopaths do not come in degrees, either you have a conscience or you don’t. It is a neurological condition. In the past, psychopathy was approximated by the traits. The old checklists are based on personality cues, and the personality is their choice. The underlying void of conscience is the problem, not the measurement of appearing to fit in with society.

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    • Jerry Caskey 10:38 on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you completely. A psychopath is a psychopath is a psychopath. But the manipulative nature of a psychopath is to hide the fact that they are psychopathic. I was referring to the degree they can pull the wool over someone’s eyes. Some are better actors than others, but if you are aware of the various traits of the disorder, they can not hide completely. I should have picked a better description.

      Liked by 1 person

      • GeneticPsycho 10:56 on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Psychopaths are habitual. It is possible to spot all of them no matter what their acting ability. For example, they are contrary by nature. They very often contradict themselves. Spot a psychopath by their dysfunctional habits, not their personality traits. http://www.facebook.com/notes/psychopathy-genetics/how-to-spot-a-pro-social-psychopath/781795738538803

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        • Jerry Caskey 11:14 on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          Maybe for a lot of people it is possible to spot a psychopath, but I hope you agree that there are a lot of uninformed and uneducated people who are either not capable of spotting them, or just aren’t involved enough to try to spot them. Those are the very people the nature of the psychopath can work on, and have been working on. If everyone was capable of spotting them, we would not have any of them in office.

          Liked by 1 person

    • nowve666 18:21 on November 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m curious. You two don’t want us in public office. You don’t want us in corporations or banks. Where would you have us work?

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      • @GeneticPsycho (Tina) 07:06 on November 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        If the day comes when psychopaths are denied the privilege of holding policy-making positions, because of their emotional blindness, then the psychopath point of view might be useful in an advisory capacity.

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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 15:53 on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Narcissism: Why It’s So Rampant in Politics | Psychology Today 

    Narcissist politicians don’t serve the people; they serve themselves.
    Post published by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on Dec 21, 2011 in Evolution of the Self
    Excerpt

    Consider that two of the things narcissists most desire are money (i.e., lots of money) and power (the more the better). And these two assets can be tightly interwoven. Consider also that many of the individuals entering the political arena have already made their fortune, or inherited it. So what typically drives them is a lust for power, prestige, status, and authority. These (let’s call them) “objects of admiration” not only gratify their need for self-aggrandizement by feeding their oversized ego. They also provide them with compelling evidence to confirm their sense of superiority to others—probably their most coveted need of all.

    There’s little question that politicians—especially those on the federal level— wield vastly more power and control than the average citizen. Moreover, privy to non-public, industry-related knowledge affords them all sorts of opportunities (blatantly unethical but not yet illegal) to substantially augment their income through “insider” trading and investments. For many of them (and here, as elsewhere, I’ll resist the temptation to name names) their appetite for material riches can be insatiable. Which helps explain why it’s not uncommon for them to leave office with far more wealth than when they entered it. At times the liberty that some of them can’t resist taking with the public trust is so flagrant that (moralistically kicking and screaming) they actually end their careers behind bars.

    One of the primary characteristics of narcissists is their exaggerated sense of entitlement. It’s hardly surprising then that so many politicians (or narcissist-politicians) somehow think they “deserve” to game the system. After all, from their self-interested perspective, isn’t that what the system is for? In their heavily self-biased opinion, if they want something, by rights it should be their’s. So, nothing if not opportunistic, they take from public and private coffers alike whatever they think they can get away with. And given their grandiose sense of self, they’re inclined to believe they can get away with most anything. Sad to say, in today’s world of capitalistic politics their judgment isn’t that skewed. Which is to say they’re much more often right than wrong.

    Exploiting their privileged position in such a manner hardly leaves them plagued with guilt. In general, guilt isn’t an emotion they’re prone to. How could they be if they feel entitled to the objects of their desire? In their minds their very ability to attain something must certainly mean it was merited. So it’s only when they’re caught with their hands deep in the till and their various efforts at denial have failed them, that they’re ready to admit responsibility, and posture remorse. But even then, whatever alligator tears they might shed are calculated to lessen the penalties for their misbehavior—or the time that otherwise they might be required to spend in lockup.

    Ironically, despite the steadfast ethical values they profess, these politicians can be viewed as “moral relativists” in that what they adamantly deem immoral for others is yet somehow acceptable for themselves. Whether we characterize the personal “allowances” they make as constituting a double standard or outright hypocrisy, these privileged concessions to self clearly broadcast their overblown sense of entitlement. Which is precisely what enables them to regard themselves as sufficiently exceptional to exclude themselves from the rules and standards they impose on others (as, for example, a gay—but still-in-the-closet—politician striving to pass laws designed to restrict gay rights).

    Even before winning office, these individuals may have been inclined toward such “entitled thinking.” But there’s little question that once elected their newly elevated status promotes further exaggeration of this tendency—which, ultimately, must be seen as anti-social. As senator or congressman the whole nation has become one huge “narcissistic supply” for them. That is, the ego gratifications available simply from residing in congress are truly extraordinary: such an unusually prestigious role can’t but pump up their self-esteem to levels that further confirm their bloated sense of self. Whereas before they put themselves on a pedestal, now the whole country obligingly seems to follow suit. Moreover, once ensconced in office they may well feel accountable to no one but themselves—free to play their competitive power games with impunity (and frankly, the public be damned).

    Now perched high above the populace, they’re especially vulnerable to the vaguely camouflaged bribes that routinely come their way. If they didn’t arrive in office “pre-corrupted” (as it were), such temptations enormously increase the odds that whatever venality they brought with them will succumb to the various lures they’re subject to. And so, with all the perks of office and fawning by lobbyists representing private interests (frequently ex-office holders themselves, taking advantage of crony connections to further amplify their income), they can begin to exploit people and institutions with faint awareness that they’re doing so unscrupulously. And with their grandiose sense of self fully ignited, they can easily convince themselves that they deserve everything they receive—while experiencing little to no obligation to respond in kind (unless, that is, they’ve forged a “privileged” deal to legislate in behalf of their campaign benefactors).

    Beyond such pragmatics, implicitly believing that it’s better to receive than give, narcissist-politicians’ immense appetite for flattery, praise, and adulation is also abundantly gratified. Quite independent of professional achievement, they expect to be treated as superior. Their fragile psyche demands being admired and looked up to—and unquestionably holding high office almost guarantees that this ego requirement will be amply met. Such an enormous “fringe benefit,” helps explain why so many of them become “careerpoliticians,” holding onto such psychological blessings as long as possible. In such instances, the chief reason for remaining an incumbent isn’t to fulfill any idealistic aspirations. It’s to “secure” their inflated self-regard.

    In fact, much of their pompous demeanor and arrogant behavior is inextricably tied to this inflated sense of self stemming from their political “tenure.” Curiously, even when they piously tout their religious convictions, it’s done with such extravagant show that rather than reflect any sense of humility or submission, it betrays a smug grandiosity (as in, “I’ve received a message from God that this country needs my services and that I should therefore run for President!”).

    But while they may delude themselves that their country sorely requires their unique talents and skills, they experience little motivation to serve the citizenry as such. They’ve won their position primarily to serve themselves—and they can do so almost obsessively. The saying “Promises are made to be broken” rings particularly true for them. It’s become almost a joke that the devout pledges they make on the campaign trail bear only trifling resemblance to what they do once in office. The ability to convince voters that they’ll best represent their interests is what defines their success. Actually implementing what they avowed they’d tirelessly work for isn’t really an essential part of their agenda—which is typically well-hidden from constituents (and many times from their conscious selves as well). In short, their campaigns measure how well they can dupe the public, not how well they’ll fulfill their responsibilities once declared victorious.

    Ultimately, as regards honoring their compact with the public, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans is much less important than their character structure. And it’s unfortunately the latter that determines how well they’ll serve the people who elected them. This distinction between party and personality is crucial. For collectively, our politicians—by and large our narcissist politicians—really do run the country, regularly making decisions that affect the quality of our lives: our privacy and civil liberties, the education we receive, the social safety net so many of us depend on, the preservation and purity of ourenvironment, the wars we engage in, the people and groups we discriminate for and against . . . even the food we put on the table. And our welfare is almost always at variance with those of the corporations and the (one percent) wealthy elites, whose lavish funds are so instrumental in putting such politicians in office in the first place.

    Notorious for being empathy-challenged (though they may be extremely adept at masking this deficit), narcissist-politicians are frequently tone deaf as regards how some of their private, “entitled” actions can affect public opinion. Compartmentalizing their lives, they suffer from a peculiar moral myopia and lack of imagination, unable to anticipate how their sexual infidelities, or barefaced bribe-taking, might be held against them. In this sense, their exaggerated sense of privilege frequently undermines their better judgment. As cold-hearted and calculating as they can be—for they see others as essentially objects to manipulate for personal gain—they’re strangely naive (or even unconscious) about how their unprincipled acts could be negatively interpreted by others, who don’t necessarily assume such behaviors as “entitled” at all.

    Closely linked to their amoral or illegal actions is the dominance their office bestows on them. It’s this power—or the “corruptibleness” inherent in this power—that can create in them a reckless sense of invisibility. How else explain the foolhardy risks some of them take?—heedless, hazardous behaviors of such magnitude that the layperson can be left nonplussed, mystified, or downright appalled. “Is this the person I voted for?” they must ask themselves. No wonder that news headlines about their dalliances, debaucheries, and assorted depravities have become commonplace.

    And then, of course, there’s all the cover-ups and prevarications intimately connected to their various acts of entitlement. Lying on Capitol Hill abounds, and it can be executed with relative impunity since politician claims, however improbable, go largely unmonitored. (Truth-checking on the part of corporate-owned media seems increasingly rare these days.) Besides, no one equivocates or dis-informs with greater conviction than the narcissist-politician, whose blatant disregard for facts can at times be mind-boggling.

    It’s no coincidence that pathological lying has traditionally been perceived as a narcissistic trait. Which is almost intuitive in terms of understanding the related narcissistic tendencies to be arrogant, grandiose, contemptuous of others, interpersonally exploitive, ruthlessly competitive, hypersensitive to criticism, preoccupied with appearances, and manipulative of others’ impressions of them. On the contrary, honesty or straightforwardness doesn‘t characterize them. For to reveal what they’re really thinking and feeling—or the true motives driving their behavior—would be to render themselves more vulnerable to others’ judgment than their fragile (though artificially inflated) egos could bear.

    Eventually coming to believe their own falsehoods, they’re fiercely defensive, and even attacking, when their illogical, inconsistent, or even contradictory, positions are questioned. Expert at lying to themselves, as well as to others, their inability to experience much guilt when they’re found out is easy enough to comprehend. And tied to this distorted sense of entitlement (or “personal exceptionalism”), they can’t really feel genuine sorrow for what they’ve done to betray the public trust.

    Frankly incapable of emotionally identifying with others’ distress, the wrong they may have done them remains forever out of their focus. What is in focus for them is the deeply felt assault to their self-image that comes from being charged with wrongdoing. And, so threatened, their push-back reactions are self-righteously contrived to reclaim both their personal and ideological superiority over their attacker. Flagrantly falsifying facts and details beyond reason, they vehemently proclaim the moral high ground. Which is to say that many politicians deserve to be rewarded honorary doctorates in Rhetoric and Verbal Acrobatics (dual major, indeed!).

    But finally, is it possible that narcissism might just be an unintended prerequisite for being a successful politician? For to be elected to public service would seem to require a level of ambitiousness that may intimately relate to core narcissistic drives. As Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington, reflects: “How many of us would have the desire, much less the ability, to promote ourselves ceaselessly? You have to do that as a politician. It’s an amazing level of self-love . . . and need for affirmation.”

    And speaking of “ceaselessly,” the narcissist-politician’s ambitiousness might well be viewed as insatiable. That is, they’re always seeking to be more, have more, get more. Regrettably, they illustrate perfectly the Roman philosopher Epicurus’ dictum: “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” In other words, their desires have no end point. Their inexhaustible appetite for wealth, recognition, adulation, influence and power winds up being a travesty. To go outside America, such insatiability is most pathologically—and farcically—exemplified by Saddam Hussein’s literally cheating his country out of billions of dollars to “adorn” himself with some 75 shamelessly opulent palaces.

    Which is reminiscent of another saying: that “you can never get enough of what you don’t really want.” And it’s been noted countless times that what, typically, narcissists crave most (though it’s so deeply repressed that they’re hopelessly unaware of it) is the unconditional love, acceptance, and belonging they felt deprived of in growing up. So the outward trappings—or symbols—of fullness or fulfillment they so diligently pursue can never really satisfy them. Their single-minded, misguided quest for self-enhancement can never fill the enormity of the void that exists at their core.

    Because they don’t realize that their ancient narcissistic injuries can never be healed through the objects of this world, there’s a tremendous futility in their seeking. And because to deny their vulnerability they defensively objectify everything—themselves included— their lives may teem with gratifications that provide only solace for their heart’s actual desire. Given their detached, cynical approach to life, their gravest doubts about their lovability are unresolvable. And their prodigious compensatory efforts remain forever off target.

    But most tragically, as they “successfully” rise to prominence and power, the whole diseased condition of their lives infects us as well. For in devoting their lives almost exclusively to selfish, ill-conceived goals, the needs of the larger community surrounding them either get ignored or abandoned. Inevitably, we all suffer from the fraud that so thoroughly envelops them.

    NOTE 1: I’m quite aware that many of the points in this piece may seem overgeneralized, or extreme. Fiction writer John Barth, when criticized about the liberties he took with his characters, replied paradoxically in his defense: “I exaggerate for the sake of truth.” Hopefully, any hyperbole in this piece will be taken by the reader in the same spirit.

    NOTE 2: Though from different vantage points, I’ve written quite a few blog posts on this intriguing/exasperating subject of narcissism. Here are some titles (and links):

    “The Vampire’s Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out,”  

      “9 Enlightening Quotes on Narcissists—and Why,”

     “6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About,”

    The Narcissist’s Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . . “,

    “Narcissism: Why It’s So Rampant in Politics,”  [the present post]

    “Our Egos: Do They Need Strengthening—or Shrinking,”

    “LeBron James: The Making of a Narcissist” (Parts 1 & 2), and

    “Reality as a Horror Movie: The Case of the Deadly Sweat Lodge” (Parts 1 & 2—centering on James Arthur Ray).

    NOTE 3: If this post in some  way “speaks” to you, please consider passing it on.

    © 2011 Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

    —– Follow me on Twitter and join me on Facebook.

    Psychopath TEST Politicians

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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 14:48 on January 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Psychopath vs. Empath: the War Between Truth and Deception | Waking Times 

    By Gary ‘Z’ McGee
    Excerpt

    …”As it stands, mankind is caught in the cycle of fear, apathy and hatred. A society based upon fear, apathy and hatred sets up a system which is fundamentally incapable of producing health and happiness and thereby represses human development. And here we are: living in a world where human development is being repressed, at the detriment of our individual health and the health of the ecosystem. However, our escape from this unhealthy pattern lies not only in rebellion, but also in the cultivation of a personal freedom and a relinquishing of all forms of anesthesia and self-deception.

    Indeed, while authentic freedom is not easily attained, its deficiency is evident in the devastation to both the individual and the greater culture, as the myopic conformists seek to victimize each other and repeatedly inflict violence upon the world in order to maintain the illusion of comfort and power that is being protected by the banner of their deception. Like Arno Gruen said, “If people base their identity on identifying with authority, freedom causes anxiety. They must then conceal the victim in themselves by resorting to violence against others.”

    Understand: the world was made to be free in. Give up all the other worlds except the one in which you are free; whether that world be your family, your country, your religion, or your politics. Escape any world that doesn’t allow you to be free. A clear sign that you are not free is that you are being deceived. The question is: are you okay with being deceived? As Chris Hedges warns, “We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception,” It is precisely these virtual worlds that we need to turn the tables on. Virtual worlds are tools. We need to go from being irresponsible tools succumbing to a deceptive system, to using our tools responsibly and empathically so as to transform the system into a healthier version of itself.

    There is a war going on between manipulative liars and compassionate truth tellers, between psychopaths and empaths. Which side are you on? This also begs the question: are you lying to yourself, which happens to be one of the most difficult questions to answer honestly, but ask it you must, lest you fall too easily into the hands of the nearest con artist or snake-oil salesman. Beware the tyranny of habit. Be not inflexible. The more elastic and fluid you are, the more you’ll stay afloat when the crushing waters of vicissitude come crashing through, and the more you’ll be prepared to be a beacon of hope for others. Change is not easy, it never has been. But change is inevitable. We either wreck ourselves and the world trying to prevent it, or we adapt and overcome in order to evolve with it.”…

    Full Psychopath vs. Empath: the War Between Truth and Deception – Waking Times : Waking Times.

    Psychopath TEST Politicians

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