Friday, October 09, 2009

Psychologists Conclude: the GOP is Nuts!

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The GOP is not a political party; it's a crime syndicate! It is also described as an irrational, kooky cult that cannot deal with facts or logic but is freaked out by 'scary images', 'boogiemen' and vague or even non-existent threats like terrorists, commies, liberals or normal sex.
"Conservatives respond instinctually [sic], not rationally, to scary images, "facts," and institutions. Whether this is innate and biological or cultural seems still up in the air. Democrats can't win with logical arguments or even appeals to the innate rightness of concepts like "diversity" and "tolerance," because those aren't considered essentially good and important by the voters they're trying to appeal to. This does suggest that an appeal to old New Deal institutional concepts like the Welfare State might actually be effective, if they're wrapped in the flag and a sense of duty. Also scientists still consider the majority of Americans to be like a fascinating exotic backwards tribe and the fucking country is doomed."

--Scientists Explain Why People Vote For Republicans
Much of this new research is consistent with Carl Jung's 'The Undiscovered Self" in which he said that about one third of any population is certifiably psychopathic.

Psychopaths are often defined by their 'utter lack of empathy', a phrase used by Dr. Gustav Gilbert who was given the task of keeping Nazi war criminals alive until they could be hanged.

Conservatives Are Scared A Lot
Rice University Political Scientist John Alford published some research in the creatively named journal Science about a possible biological basis to liberalism and conservatism. Basically, "46 mostly white Midwesterners who self-identified as having strong political beliefs" were shown "threatening images" ("a large spider on someone's face, a bloodied person and maggot-filled wound"). The conservatives were more scared, of all of the images. Or, as Newsweek puts it, "illegal immigrants may = spiders = gay marriages = maggot-filled wounds = abortion rights = bloodied faces. " Liberals were not sensitive to the scary images. Which means they're [conservatives are] biologically inferior, because they'd die if a gay spider tried to abort their faces to death.

--Scientists Explain Why People Vote For Republicans
Republicans are more sensitive to the 'scary images' which they equate with political issues -immigration, gun control, gay marriage, abortion rights and pacifism. As a result, the 'conservative mentality' is more likely to support greater levels of military spending, warrantless searches, violations of Constitutional rights and/or protections. Conservatives readily believed the pretext for war on Iraq: WMD. None were found yet many still believe the lie.

The rise of Ronald Reagan, a comforting, 'grandfather figure', confirmed this principle on a grand scale. It was a Republican, interviewed on the floor of the GOP national convention in Houston in 1992, who gave the game away: "He [Reagan] made us feel good about ourselves'. They were quite right. Reagan, indeed, made them 'feel good' about being greedy, bigoted, selfish and self-centered, and psychopathic.

It was shortly thereafter, as I recall, that Stanford University released its study indicating that conservatives, the GOP in particular, have more and more terrifying nightmares and night terrors than do normal folk. Nightmares are believed to be the manifestation in dreams of one's fears and irrational anxieties. [Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams]

John Dean's Conservatives Without Consciences, inspired by some very serious research, asserts that the conservative mind-set is characterized by the recurring qualities of 'the unbridled viciousness toward those daring to disagree with them' as well as by big business favoritism that has cost taxpayers billions. Dean's book is inspired by other studies identifying an 'authoritarian, conservative mindset', specifically Robert D. Hare's now-standard text on psychopaths, Without Conscience of 1993.

As I have charged, this 'type' is challenged to make valid inferences from premises. Observations by professional psychologists and psychiatrists repeatedly confirm my allegations that 'psychopathic' Republicans work backward from conclusions. A mentality that reverses logic cannot be expected to ever get anything right. This mentality may be expected to deny science, evolution, or pragmatic approaches of any type. This mentality may be expected to support wars of aggression against Iraq and elsewhere and for all the wrong reasons. This group has embraced or has inherited from authoritarian parents an ideology into which it will 'shoe horn' the evidence of science, experiment or statistics. Anything not conforming is discounted. It is not surprising, therefore, that every GOP politcial program has failed; that's everything from 'trickle down' theory to wasteful military spending which has made the US less safe, more vulnerable in fact to terrorist attack or foreign aggression.  

This group will never admit its failures; it will rationalize even worse atrocities if it is believed they will cover up past mistakes. It is a moral and psychological black hole. The American Psychiatric Association's 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' description of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, for example, provides a diagnostic context for behaviors that Dean describes as characteristic of "social dominants" and "double highs." Anti-socials, for instance, "show little remorse for the consequences of their acts.... They may be indifferent to, or provide a superficial rationalization for, having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from someone (e.g., 'life's unfair,' 'losers deserve to lose,' or 'he had it coming anyway')... They may believe that everyone is out to 'help number one' and that one should stop at nothing to avoid being pushed around." Conservative defenses of George W. Bush were most often of these types.

Conservatives were often encouraged to believe and overtly told that Iraq was somehow involved in the events of 911. If a survey were conducted now, I suspect that about half the GOP 'base' still believes Iraq had something to do with 911. Some will still repeat the WMD lie despite the facts that proved Bush a liar.

How Bush got away with it: conservatives refuse to believe facts

The conservative mentality will often label a 'fact' a 'theory' if it happens to be one they don't like. But conservatives are not opposed to all theories. In fact, the GOP still embraces the kookiest and least believable of all theories --Bush's official conspiracy theory of 911, more full of holes than Swiss cheese.

Evolution, on the other hand, is not believed because it is seen as a threat. The most prominent, text-book example is Sarah Palin, the poster bimbo for idiocy! Palin believes early man walked with Dinosaurs less then 10,000 years ago. I propose that we put Palin and Richard Dawkins, avowed atheist and evolutionist, in the same room!

Roll the cameras!

We've just produced a hot new series.
I think there is a certain justified irritation with young-earth creationists who believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old. Those are the people that I'm really talking about. I do sometimes accuse people of ignorance, but that is not intended to be an insult. I'm ignorant of lots of things. Ignorance is something that can be remedied by education. And that's what I'm trying to do.

--Richared Dawkins, Darwin's Rottweiller: Richard Dawkins' Tense Relationship with those who believe in God
Sarah Palin's only rival in idiocy is Joe, the Plumber! Alaska leads the US in global warming! As for Polar Bears --Alaska's entire population of Polar Bears will be killed off by the year 2050 unless Palin's policies are stopped now. These developments are concurrent with the increase of oil exploration and drilling in Alaska. Palin is lying about Alaska, about oil, about Polar Bears and about Global Warming. [See: Washington Post, Polar Bear Population Seen Declining; ]
As a result of these efforts, polar bears are more numerous now than they were 40 years ago. The polar bear population in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope has been relatively stable for 20 years, according to a federal analysis.

...

In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable future — the trigger for protection under the Endangered Species Act. And there is no evidence that polar bears are being mismanaged through existing international agreements and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

--Sarah Palin, New York Times
In fact, the polar bear population in Alaska is declining.
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be killed off by 2050 _ and the entire population gone from Alaska _ because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast Friday.

Only in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and the west coast of Greenland are any of the world's 16,000 polar bears expected to survive through the end of the century, said the US Geological Survey, which is the scientific arm of the Interior Department.

--The Associated Press, Washington Post, Polar Bear Population Seen Declining
Palin denies that human activity --including the drilling, production and refining of oil --has any effect on environments, a position that puts her to the right of George W. Bush. In fact, Alaska is where it's 'at' in terms of global warming.
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress — and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.

I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn't. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It's nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one.

Sarah Palin, Newsmax
Palin has put short term economic and monetary gains above the longer term concerns about quality of life, the environment, and renewable energy. It is not only her positions that are wrong, it is the attitude and mindset that places shallow and short-term values of this generation above those of the longer term concerns of future generations, indeed, life on earth.

Palin is either wrong or lying about Alaska and the harm that is done to the environment by an oil industry that she is in bed with. Palin should have talked with folk in Texas, an environment that has been raped and despoiled since Spindletop. Some parts of the world --like Iraq --are simply bombed and waged war upon for oil! But there is a word for those folk, like Palin, who just do it for the money.
Though warming is happening faster in Alaska than anywhere else in the US — average temperatures in the country's biggest state have risen 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years — Palin is on record doubting that human action is the main driver behind climate change.

...

More pertinent might be Palin's positions on oil drilling in Alaska, where rich petroleum reserves paid each citizen over $1,600 in dividends in 2007. Though the McCain campaign has made much of Palin's willingness to stand up to the powerful energy industry in Alaska — last year she adjusted the state Petroleum Profits Tax to close loopholes exploited by oil and gas companies — on the whole she's been a staunch supporter of fossil fuels. She opposes strengthening protections for beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet, where oil and gas development has been proposed, and she spent $500 million in state money to encourage the development of a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from Alaska's rich North Shore. When the Department of the Interior in May listed the polar bear as a threatened species due to warming—an action that could interfere with drilling in Alaska's coastal waters, where the polar bears live —Palin sued the Federal Government in response. "Our main concern with Sarah Palin's positions are that they are based on doing what is best for the oil industry, and not what is best for Americans," says David Willett, national press secretary for the Sierra Club.

--Time, Palin Far Right on the Environment
Conservatives Have a Different Moral Code

There is often a pragmatic, reality-based price to be paid for believing lies. If an architect or engineer gets the math wrong, a building or a bridge may collapse with tragic loss of life. Similarly, there is a tragic price to be paid for being wrong on issues. Because George W. Bush was wrong about both Afghanistan and Iraq, millions are dead. After two years of war, I stopped posting the rising body count, the tragic price paid daily because a 'conservative', a 'Republican' was dead wrong!

Unfortunately, then, these fundamental differences are not merely the topic of academic speculation. There is, for example, a reason terrorism increases during every GOP regime. The GOP is but the political of arm the ruling elites. The 'ruling elites' benefit from the exploitation of terrorism. Certainly, the level of terrorism, since 1980, has always increased during GOP regimes.

The specific manner in which these 'elites' benefit from terrorism is not so easy to pin down. The archives of the Houston Chronicle, however, provide a clue. I am referring specifically to the BCCI scandals and numerous revelations about the Bin Laden/Bush partnerships in West Texas. A key player in this extremely complex web of partnerships, conspiracies and swindles is Khalid bin Mahfouz who built a multi-billion dollar mansion of imported Cararra marble in Houston's posh River Oaks area.

US moneys financed the Bin Ladens and/or Al Qaeda by way of an intricate web that is clearly intended to deceive the American people and, of course, the world. For the moment it is enough to know that US Foreign policy is insane! It wages 'war' on terrorism as it finances it. Ronald Reagan, for example, laundered the US financial support of the Contras by way of Iran. It was a series of 'off the books' treasons! Certainly, someone put some serious pressure on Lawrence Walsh who, nevertheless, managed to write a very carefully worded conclusion to his report. Clearly --Walsh believed that Reagan himself had committed high treason. Reagan should have been tried for 'high treason' but was, in fact, let off the hook.

Is the GOP Evil?

Hannah Arendt, a New School (NY) founder who 'covered' the trial of Adolph Eichmann, wrote of the 'banality of evil'. Arendt's conclusions are consistent with what is lately called 'ponerolgoy', the study of evil. Dr. Gustav Gilbert, who was assigned the task of interviewing the Nazis on trial at Nuremberg concluded that 'evil' was the 'utter lack of empathy', a defining symptom of what we call 'psychopathy'. Carl Jung had likewise identified a sub-set of about 30 percent in every population that were, in Jung's opinion, certifiably psychopathic.

Worst case conservatives often see no evil where 'liberals' are appalled. The meeting of Nazi bureaucrats at Wannsee, for example, never addressed whether or not the mass murder of European Jews was right or moral. The issue, rather, was how efficiently the genocide might be accomplished, what technology should be set up to the task, and, at last, how many could be 'exterminated' in a given time period and at what cost! It was all very businesslike, not unlike a GOP luncheon. The pate de fois gras was superb; the wine was of an excellent vintage, I am quite sure.

Between Wannsee and Nuremberg, a 'state'' murdered millions in order to make bigots feel good about themselves. At Nuremberg --top Nazis were tried for their very lives. As in a classical drama, the 'right wing' blind spot --its fatal flaw --would, in fact, convict them. I refer those who are interested to the 'film' (now transferred to video) of Justice Robert Jackson's examination of Hermann Goring. Earlier, Goring had already condemned the proceedings. 'Victor's Justice', he called them.

Addendum:

Facts About Global Warming
What we know:

Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It allows light to pass through but traps heat. Here’s how it works: CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths of energy. This means that radiation from the sun can enter the atmosphere as light. Once this radiation hits the ground, it turns into heat. This heat then radiates back into the atmosphere and out into space. CO2 traps some of the heat.
  1. CO2 has gone from roughly 280 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution to about 380 ppm now. Each year humans pump out about 6 billion tons of CO2 with an annual growth rate of about 1.9% predicted between 2001 - 2025 (although actual emissions growth was 3.2% per year from 2000 to 2005).
  2. CO2 remains in the air for about 100 years, so even if we stopped emitting it right now we would still feel the effects for decades.
  3. CO2 and temperature have increased and decreased together over the history of the planet.
  4. There is more CO2 in the atmosphere now than there has been in 650,000 years. The rate of increase is unprecedented over the same period.
  5. Svante Arrhenius estimated 100 years ago that a doubling of CO2 would create a 4 degree C rise in temperature. In 1979 the Charney report predicted global warming of 3 degrees C if CO2 doubled in the atmosphere (we are a quarter of the way there). In 1988 James Hansen of NASA predicted to Congress that temperature would increase over the next decades.
  6. Temperature has increased since those predictions were made. The top 5 hottest years according to NASA are, in order, 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2004.The World Meteorological Association claims 2005 as the second hottest year on record. The difference is because NASA includes data from the Arctic. The top ten warmest years have been since 1990.
  7. Since 1850, we have seen temperatures increase at a rate of 1.1 F per century (about 1.5 - 1.8 F total). The rate increased to 3.2F per century since the mid 1970s (click here for more information).
  8. Species around the world are reacting to climate change: Since 1950, species distribution has shifted to the north 4 miles per decade, shifted to higher altitudes by 20 feet per decade, and Spring has advanced by 2.3 days per decade. In America, butterflies have moved their ranges north. They are no longer found in the southern parts of their old range. Costa Rican birds have extended their range northward. Tropical fish have been seen for the first time off the British Coast, and animals such as the Pied Flycatcher and the Winter Moth are finding their food supply affected by earlier Springs.
  9. Climate has changed rapidly in the past. The common example of rapid climate change is the Younger Dryas, when temperatures suddenly plunged, interrupting the warming trend at the end of the last ice age.

What we think we know:

  1. Temperatures are most likely warmer now than they have been at any time in the past 400 years. They are probably (slightly less certain) warmer than in the past 1200 years, perhaps (less certain) warmer than in the past 12,000 years, and new evidence suggests that we are approaching the warmest temperatures this planet has seen in a million years.
  2. Models predict that Earth’s average temperature will rise somewhere between 2 to 4.5 degrees C in the 21st century.

Also see:
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