Thursday, November 07, 2019

The diseased Leftist mind

Like all other human beings, the modern liberal reveals his true character, including his madness, in what he values and devalues, in what he articulates with passion. Of special interest, however, are the many values about which the modern liberal mind is not passionate: his agenda does not insist that the individual is the ultimate economic, social and political unit; it does not idealize individual liberty and the structure of law and order essential to it; it does not defend the basic rights of property and contract; it does not aspire to ideals of authentic autonomy and mutuality; it does not preach an ethic of self-reliance and self-determination; it does not praise courage, forbearance or resilience; it does not celebrate the ethics of consent or the blessings of voluntary cooperation. It does not advocate moral rectitude or understand the critical role of morality in human relating. The liberal agenda does not comprehend an identity of competence, appreciate its importance, or analyze the developmental conditions and social institutions that promote its achievement. The liberal agenda does not understand or recognize personal sovereignty or impose strict limits on coercion by the state. It does not celebrate the genuine altruism of private charity. It does not learn history's lessons on the evils of collectivism.

What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are "workers," "minorities," "the little guy," "women," and the "unemployed." They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character. None of the victims' plight is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the "root causes" of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: "Big Business," "Big Corporations," "greedy capitalists," U.S. Imperialists," "the oppressors," "the rich," "the wealthy," "the powerful" and "the selfish."

The liberal cure for this endless malaise is a very large authoritarian government that regulates and manages society through a cradle to grave agenda of redistributive caretaking. It is a government everywhere doing everything for everyone. The liberal motto is "In Government We Trust." To rescue the people from their troubled lives, the agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity and other-pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortion, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship. Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone's material welfare, provide for everyone's healthcare, protect everyone's self-esteem, correct everyone's social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions.

With liberal intellectuals sharing the glory, the liberal politician is the hero in this melodrama. He takes credit for providing his constituents with whatever they want or need even though he has not produced by his own effort any of the goods, services or status transferred to them but has instead taken them from others by force.

It should be apparent by now that these social policies and the passions that drive them contradict all that is rational in human relating, and they are therefore irrational in themselves. But the faulty conceptions that lie behind these passions cannot be viewed as mere cognitive slippage. The degree of modern liberalism's irrationality far exceeds any misunderstanding that can be attributed to faulty fact gathering or logical error. Indeed, under careful scrutiny, liberalism's distortions of the normal ability to reason can only be understood as the product of psychopathology. So extravagant are the patterns of thinking, emoting, behaving and relating that characterize the liberal mind that its relentless protests and demands become understandable only as disorders of the psyche. The modern liberal mind, its distorted perceptions and its destructive agenda are the product of disturbed personalities.

As is the case in all personality disturbance, defects of this type represent serious failures in development processes. The nature of these failures is detailed below. Among their consequences are the liberal mind's relentless efforts to misrepresent human nature and to deny certain indispensable requirements for human relating. In his efforts to construct a grand collectivist utopia-to live what Jacques Barzun has called "the unconditioned life" in which "everybody should be safe and at ease in a hundred ways"-the radical liberal attempts to actualize in the real world an idealized fiction that will mitigate all hardship and heal all wounds. (Barzun 2000). He acts out this fiction, essentially a Marxist morality play, in various theaters of human relatedness, most often on the world's economic, social and political stages. But the play repeatedly folds. Over the course of the Twentieth Century, the radical liberal's attempts to create a brave new socialist world have invariably failed. At the dawn of the Twenty-first Century his attempts continue to fail in the stagnant economies, moral decay and social turmoil now widespread in Europe. An increasingly bankrupt welfare society is putting the U.S. on track for the same fate if liberalism is not cured there. Because the liberal agenda's principles violate the rules of ordered liberty, his most determined efforts to realize its visionary fantasies must inevitably fall short. Yet, despite all the evidence against it, the modern liberal mind believes his agenda is good social science. It is, in fact, bad science fiction. He persists in this agenda despite its madness.


The above was written in 2006 by Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr.,a forensic psychiatrist.  It still makes a strong case today


Amy Klobuchar for sanity

A Leftist view

If Democrats want to win, and most do, they should give the senator from Minnesota a look

If you were among the 8m people who watched this month’s Democratic primary debate in Ohio, you might think Democrats are chiefly concerned about health care or foreign policy. To hear Joe Biden, you might even suppose taxes on people “clipping coupons in the stockmarket” is something their voters care about. But you would be wrong. Poll after poll suggests most Democrats are overridingly concerned to defeat Donald Trump. And they are willing to select whichever primary candidate they think likeliest to do that. While this has given rise to an arcane debate on the left about whether “electability” is even a thing (left-wingers, who win few elections, say it is not), Democratic voters might consider that one of their primary candidates already has a history of pegging back Mr Trump’s electoral gains. That is Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota—whom Lexington recently joined aboard her shiny new “Amy for America” bus in eastern Iowa.

Brisk, diminutive, with a line in self-deprecating humour—and another in comfortable cardigans and shoes—the 59-year-old politician offered herself to the small crowds of Midwesterners awaiting her as one of their own. The title of her autobiography—“The Senator Next Door” —“might have been written for Iowa!” she joshes in Cedar Rapids. She can see Iowa from her front porch in Minneapolis, she says in Sigourney, a flyspeck of coffee and antique shops amid vast acres of corn country.

She can see Canada from it, too, she adds, in a quick pop at Sarah Palin, between listing her centre-left policies. Ms Klobuchar is for making Medicare more available but not free for all. She is for expanding access to public college, but not free four-year degrees. She is for banning assault weapons but not forcibly buying back the millions in private hands. Midwesterners like their politics unthreatening, realistic and with a touch of humour to smooth over areas of disagreement, she believes. The facts back her up. Some of the Democrats’ biggest gains in last year’s mid-terms were made in the Midwest by pragmatic candidates who argued, as she does, that “to be progressive you have to make progress”. She also has a record of outperforming her party in Minnesota by wooing independents and moderate Republicans. Last year she won reelection by 24 points in a state Hillary Clinton won by two.

That was one of the most stunning results of the 2016 election. Minnesota last went for a Republican presidential candidate in 1972. That Mr Trump came so close to breaching such a strong section of the erstwhile Democratic “blue wall” encapsulated his strategy of sweeping up ageing white Midwesterners. It gave him narrow wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (which is Midwestern in part), and will again be his likeliest route to victory next year. If he can hang on to even one of those states, or crack Minnesota, he will probably win re-election. If he loses them, he probably won’t. Trump-averse Democrats should therefore ask themselves this question: Who can win the Midwest? And if they do they will find Ms Klobuchar—who would beat Mr Trump in Minnesota by 17 points, according to the latest polling—ready with a half-decent joke. “We’re going to build a blue wall around those states and make Donald Trump pay for it!”

Then why is she not doing better in the polls? The Economist’s aggregate puts her on only 2%. She points to the early stage of the race, the congested field and greater name-recognition for the front-runners. A pithier response would be: Mr Biden. The former vice-president has dominated the primary’s moderate lane despite his familiar shortcomings as a campaigner and more recent doubts about his mental acuity. Having decided he would be likeliest to beat Trump, his supporters have been forgiving. Yet Mr Biden’s seat-blocking candidacy has made it hard for lesser-known though perhaps more compelling moderates to get attention. It persuaded Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio not to enter the race, has put paid to Governor Steve Bullock of Montana and pushed Senator Kamala Harris further to the left than she otherwise might have gone. Given Mr Biden’s weakness, true left-wingers such as Elizabeth Warren have meanwhile had a free run at framing the debate.

Yet Mr Biden may now be in trouble. Ms Warren has overhauled him, his fundraising is in crisis and the likeliest-looking moderate alternatives—Ms Klobuchar and another Midwesterner, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana—have some momentum. After both piled into Ms Warren in Ohio, they were rewarded with a gusher of donations that might previously have gone to Mr Biden.

Minnesota nice enough

Mr Buttigieg appears better placed to take advantage; he is brilliant, a fresh face and has a big lead on Ms Klobuchar in fundraising and a smaller one in the polls. Yet for risk-averse Democrats he has two potential handicaps. He has never won an election outside South Bend. He also has hardly any support from African-Americans —and as an openly gay man dogged by poor race relations in his home city, he may struggle to woo them.

Ms Klobuchar is also imperfect. Her charisma is more apparent in Sigourney than on the national stage. And she has a reputation for being not terribly “Minnesota nice” to her staffers. Yet that should not matter against Mr Trump—a one-man Democratic turnout machine with the highest staff turnover of any modern president. And Ms Klobuchar has three strengths. She has an electoral record to scare Mr Trump. She appears relatively inoffensive to left-wingers, while hewing as close to the centre as her party’s leftward drift allows. (Her platform, which includes a promise of a $15 minimum wage, is notably to the left of Mrs Clinton’s.)

In straightforward Midwestern style, she also seems to know who she is—unlike Mr Buttigieg, Ms Harris and even Ms Warren, all of whom can seem torn between leftist idealism and reality. “I’m a dose of sanity,” she says. “If you’re tired of the noise and the nonsense, tired of the extremes, you’ve got a home with me.” Anxious Democrats might yet consider that to be good enough.



We need a superhero to fix America's problems

The mess is great

We are failing to see a cancer in America that's metastasizing and threatens us all.  Those on the right of the political spectrum recognize and yearn for a cure, while others on the left embrace with their distorted vision a socialistic goal they believe will ensure the betterment of society.  This philosophical chasm has resulted in a dangerous paralysis.

From a conservative viewpoint, this division prevents any chance of eradication of the root cause of a growing societal threat.  It's the cancer found in most of our major cities, especially those with Democrat mayors and sanctuary declarations.  The symptoms are clear: disrespect for the rule of law, disdain for law enforcement, no moral obligation of residents to play by the rules, and the increasing entitlement mentality for free stuff.  This cancer is eating away at our nation.

While America proudly clings to its technological advancements, there's little to be proud of when it comes to the social ills plaguing our large metropolitan areas — homelessness, substandard housing, crime, racial strife, disenchantment with our political system, and lack of hope that the future will be better, to name a few.  Who's to blame?  One might start with the mayors of Detroit decades ago who practiced broad-daylight graft and corruption, stealing from residents of all colors.

One might also surmise that this pattern for theft has been the playbook for today's officeholders, especially Democrats, who rule large cities for their own greed without regard for the welfare of their citizenry or fear of legal retribution.  Making unachievable campaign promises, denigrating the character of political opponents, and doing little to improve the urban quality of life have worked well for the Left while filling the coffers of those in charge.  San Francisco, a primary example of a once beautiful, safe city that attracts thousands of tourists each year, has become a symbolic outhouse overrun by homeless, drug-addicted dropouts.  And all of this in the backyard of the speaker of the House of Representatives, who believes that fabricating impeachment charges against President Trump far exceeds the importance of enhancing the lives of her own constituents.

How will this blight, not only for the Bay Area, but for other cities as well, get resolved?  It won't until the voters in these cities understand how the incumbent politicians are leading residents astray.  The difficulty is finding a way to counter the political machines and force them from office.  Term limits, if enacted, would help, but the very people impacted are the ones who must initiate the change of congressional terms.  The chances are slim.  It's similar to the old adage of hiring the fox to guard the henhouse.  The chickens will suffer identical consequences to what many helpless, cowering electorates are currently experiencing when rotely pulling the voting machine lever every two years.

The country's only salvation from ruin may be in the timely discovery of a cure for political myopia.  Unfortunately, it will be impossible for this cure to be technology-based.  It's going to take a political superhero.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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