Saturday, June 4, 2011
Narcissistic personalities and political views
So it has actually been fun to watch him squirm this past week. (It's a pretty sure bet that the erection he sported for that picture was not present during those uncomfortable interviews.)
But Weinergate raises two larger issues. The first is, if a politician has a sexual indiscretion, should this disqualify him for higher office? The Europeans have always laughed at us for allowing the affairs of statesmen to distract us from affairs of state.
My own instinct is to agree with the Europeans, although I've always felt that how the affairs happen, and even more importantly, how they are denied, tend to be illuminating. (And when the man behind the mask is revealed as a narcissist or even a sociopath, that is worrisome.)
And this raises the second issue: if someone is a narcissist, how much are his political opinions worth?
We all know narcissists: selfish people who have higher opinions of themselves than are warranted by the facts, and who will never admit they're wrong. (The lamer the excuse, the more narcissistic the personality.) With these people, their narcissism will inform every facet of their thinking. If someone can see things from only one point of view -- his own -- then he can never see both sides of an argument, which means he never develops a good sense of judgment. So he's not worth listening to, whether he's talking about himself or about politics.
Weiner is an obvious narcissist whose political views have never been worth listening to.
Unfortunately, this hardly makes him a rarity.
I can say that with certitude.