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The GOP debates and candidate mental health

by Dan Burns on August 12, 2015 · 3 comments

conservatism(Update: I strongly recommend reading “Inside the GOP Clown Car,” by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. At least the first five paragraphs or so. Masterful.)
I didn’t watch the debates – no way was I subjecting myself to the repugnant drivel of fourth and fifth-rate minds – but I’ve read all about both the varsity and JV efforts, in sources I trust. What we had is a conclusive demonstration of the epidemic of combined mental health issues that define conservative “leadership” in the contemporary U.S. Namely, these two.

Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness called a “psychosis” in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. The main feature of this disorder is the presence of delusions, which are unshakable beliefs in something untrue…
People with delusional disorder often can continue to socialize and function normally, apart from the subject of their delusion, and generally do not behave in an obviously odd or bizarre manner.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet.
(Psych Central)

I’m well aware that a bunch of these people were academic superstars in college, and blew people away as law clerks or whatever. That’s called “book-smart” – they can get straight A’s, sure, but in the real world they won’t deal with the facts, and they never learn from what went wrong. That’s, in a word, stupidity.
As long as they’re not dealing with politics, most conservatives aren’t like this. They have to stay grounded in reality enough to handle jobs, ordinary social interaction, and the like. Professional conservatives – politicians, media, propaganda mill hacks, etc. – get to live the crazy, always, and with constant groupthink to reinforce it all.
There was a time, as little as 4-5 years ago, when I would have intended a screed like this as partly satirical. These days, I’m 100% serious.
I used the “Donald Trump insult generator” at Mother Jones.

Liberal clown Dan Burns has zero cred. Average talent who is out of touch with reality. Show courage!

Fair enough.
Comments below fold.

From Mac Hall: Good points especially the reference to “delusional disorders” and “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” …. hmmm … does anyone remember someone who is currently running for President who when confronted with the infidelity of her husband, she blamed “a vast right-wing conspiracy” ? Somehow these definition seem to fit Hillary Clinton … but let us remember that she was president of the Wellesley Young Republicans — so that could be in her DNA. Or she is just like most politicians ~ out of touch with real family needs.
With Sanders now leading Clinton in New Hampshire, ya gotta wonder if some Democrats are wondering “Where is Warren ?”
Personally, I like to read about the candidates rather than watch the debates … and by reading, I mean their books. (That’s how I came to support John Kerry after reading his 1997 book, “The New War” and Obama’s “Dreams from My Father”.) I recommend Elizabeth Warren’s “A Fighting Chance” and John Kasich’s 2006 book “Stand for Something” … like Kerry/Obama’s these are written before there was even talk about the Presidency … they tell you a little about their views on a lot of things.
From Dan Burns: Mac, the following mini-rant is absolutely not directed at you, or at the majority of Bernie supporters who I know to be cool and righteous. I just find myself ruminating along these lines too often, and I have just GOT to get it off my chest.
The poll showing Sanders ahead in New Hampshire is very, very iffy, commissioned by a right-wing outlet and done by an organization affiliated with an institution run by Andrew Card.

Which brings us to my huge problem with much of Bernie’s online support. Gleefully and entirely uncritically passing along every hit piece they see, responding with extreme sensitivity to even the mildest criticism or effort at correction, trolling everywhere they can…basically, they’re acting like Tea Partiers. That is, making it about their own obsessive, embittered, petty narcissism, rather than directing their energies in constructive and worthwhile ways on behalf of Bernie’s candidacy, or for that matter anyone or anything else.
Is Hillary my dream candidate? Of course not. Not in a thousand years. But she’s very likely going to be the next president, and I would like to see Dems get behind her and aim for a big wave election, top to bottom, on that basis. Thankfully, there will be plenty of time to get that together, when Bernie and the others drop out and endorse Hillary next March, after getting crushed on Super Tuesday.
I am open to being convinced that Bernie can win the general, and becoming a supporter on that basis. But it’s going to take a lot of convincing. Does the guy look presidential? Unfortunately, that really matters. More than just about anything else, in fact.
The sad reality, and I don’t like it a damn bit better than any other progressive does, is that barring a literally miraculous change in the voting habits of young people we’re at least – at the very, very least – ten long years away from any kind of progressive takeover of federal governance. Left activists would do well to be aware of that, and steel themselves accordingly. Enjoy the wins we do get, which we deserve, and be aware that really better days are going to take a while, yet. That’s just the way it is. If people would actually trouble to read more history, they might begin to understand just how hard positive, lasting change really is to make happen. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it always has been, and there’s no sign of it changing in the near future.
From Mac Hall: Hi Dan,
I agree with you about the activists ~ be they right or left.
I am not a big Sanders supporter … nor Clinton. It should not be that much of a surprise that Sanders would do well in a poll in New Hampshire where maybe 300,000 Democrats will end up actually voting. My impression is that New Hampshire voters care more that a candidate “says what they think” than an specific issue … and that is Clinton’s failing and a strength for Sanders.
Sadly, we are a nation of uninformed voters who are easily manipulated by the slick media massaging ~ look at Kline’s ads last cycle in which he promoted getting the Red Bulls paid (that was the previous term), workforce development act (which Congress is now plotting to cut funding) and sex-trafficking ~ or Erik Paulsen’s “Math Guy” image which never mentions the imbalance created by his tax cut proposals … plus I love his tweets about national parks yet never mentions that he voted to cut funding. Walz is no better … his STOCK Act was never passed (Eric Canter’s version was) and his vet suicide bill (Clay Hunt) was only passed after the GOP stripped all funding.
What we should look for is somebody that can actually work with Congress … ya gotta think that on November 9, 2016 Mitch McConnell will pull all the Republicans together and announce “our goal is to make Hillary Clinton a one-term president” …
Actually, the only viable electable candidate that I see that could actually work with the other side is John Kasich …. remember he had allies in the House like Tim Penny, so this time, Ron Kind and the New Democrat Coalition would have a President they would work with.
Just my thoughts … and as I have said before, the election is determined by the Electoral College, so our Minnesota votes really won’t matter.
Yeah, it’s a sad reality.
Best regards,

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