Given the benefits which accrue to those who cry discrimination, and given the escalating victimization sweepstakes which have ensued, it's a little surprising that more groups with well-defined mental maladies haven't applied for special victim status yet.
A few have. People with Aspergers have their advocates; people with Down Syndrome have their supporters as well. And the general push for civil liberties has resulted in a lot of schizophrenics ending up homeless on the streets.
But why haven't sociopaths agitated for special protected status yet?
If they do, perhaps their organizational manifesto could read something like this:
We are the real victims.
We are discriminated against for who we are, despite the fact that we have no choice but to be as we are. Is it our fault that we were abused as children, or didn't have a loving parent to bond with?
Is it our fault that we may have suffered frontal lobe damage? Do you blame the victims of auto accidents for the damage they undergo?
We deserve your sympathy, not your hatred.
Others criticize us, prosecute us, and hound us to the ends of the earth. We may murder at a higher rate, but we also get murdered more than any other group.
We are only 3% of the population, but we are at least 30% of those in prisons. And we are over 60% of those on Death Row. This is discrimination, pure and simple.
As the victims of oppression, we have a few demands. First, we no longer want to be known as "psychopaths" or "sociopaths." Those words have acquired too many negative connotations over the years. (Is it any wonder most of us feel compelled to stay in the closet?) Those terms should simply be banished, like all the other pejoratives which have been used to marginalize other oppressed groups. From now on, we simply want to be known as the "conventional morality-free."
We need to move beyond the old stereotypes:
Don't call us manipulative; call us socially effective. (We make the best salesmen.)
Don't say we have low impulse control; just say we're spontaneous. (Why be a stick in the mud?)
Don't despise our dishonesty; admire out creativity. (We are artists.)
Don't call us glib; just bask in our charm. (We didn't even have to go to charm school; with us, it comes naturally.)
Don't think of us as shameless; think of us as living in the moment. (Isn't that what the poets tell us to do?)
Don't dwell on how easily we get bored; marvel at how we are never boring. (There is no group more exciting than us.)
We are many, and we are strong:
We aren't just Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. In fact, we no longer want to be associated with them. We are political leaders, like Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. We are business leaders, like Bernie Madoff and Steve Jobs. We are athletic heroes, like Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones. We are Frank Abagnale, the charming hero of Catch Me if you Can.
We are the Navy Seals who fell asleep in the helicopter ride on the way to get Osama bin Laden. We are the singers who never get stage fright. We are the clutch performers who never get nervous and choke. Don't hate us for our strengths (because we aren't weaklings like the rest of you).
We are the few (roughly, 2-3%). We are the proud (very proud).
We are the conventional morality-free.
And we no longer want to be stigmatized.
We want, instead, to be admired (lionized, actually).