There's been a fair amount of publicity recently about the Cruz campaign's dirty tricks. There was the well-publicized incident where his campaign manager said falsely that Ben Carson had left the race. More recently the Cruz campaign stated falsely that Marco Rubio had mocked the Bible.
The phrase "do whatever it takes to win," evokes a different strategy in sociopaths than it does in nonsociopaths.
When the average athlete is told that he must be willing to do whatever it takes, he thinks, yep, I'm going to train hard every day, eat right, get my sleep, and really push myself past the pain barrier. All of his coach's corny maxims echo in his ears. And when he sees an abnormally muscular champion, he thinks, wow, that guy has really been hitting the weights; that's what I need to do.
When a sociopath hears the phrase, he thinks, okay, that means some Hgh, EPO, and a lot of 'roids; hey, everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I?
When the average corporate employee hears that he must be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, he thinks, okay, I'm going to put in extra hours, be a real self-starter, and try to have good relations with everybody. When they see how hard I work, they'll want to promote me.
When a sociopath hears that, he thinks, aha, time to curry favor with the bosses, highlight my coworkers' weaknesses and encourage them to self-destruct. Hey, they'd do the same to me if they were smart enough.
When a nonsociopathic politician is told that he'll have to do whatever it takes to win, he thinks, I'm going to get out there on the hustings, shake as many hands as I can, hone my message, and show the voters why I'm the best candidate. Just like Honest Abe.
When a sociopathic pol hears that, his thoughts run more to Saul Alinsky. He thinks, time to mock the oppo for things they've said and claim they've said things they haven't, use push polls, tell all potential donors whatever they want to hear, lie about my intentions, embroider my record, and have every supporter vote twice, if possible.
I'm not saying Ted Cruz is a sociopath. (I'm not saying he's not, either.) I'm just making the point that when most of you are asked if you're ready to do whatever it takes to win, you'll interpret that question differently than a sociopath would.
And that's why sociopaths often win.