Testing Politicians for Psychopathy: Common Sense or Witch Hunt?

One would expect a publication called The Psychopathic Times (Narcissistic Nation) Newsletter would be friendly to psychopaths and narcissists. But such expectation would be wrong. The newsletter is published by Tina Taylor who also calls herself “GeneticPsycho” which adds to the confusion. A genetic psycho who published The Psychopathic Times does not identify as a psychopath. In fact, she has a regular column in the newsletter called No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges. Furthermore, she wants to initiate a policy of compulsory brain scans for all politicians aspiring to a governmental position. She want it to be known that she is not against psychopaths. We just aren’t qualified to hold public office.

lawsonsTina calls herself a genetic psychopath because of the family she comes from, The Lawson Clan. She is one of the family members untouched by the taint of psychopathy. (Has she had an MRI brain scan? I just asked her and received this reply, “I would submit to an MRI scan, it’s no big deal, but — I don’t need a scan, I cry all the time from birth, unlike psychopaths. testI feel other people’s feelings very strongly. My father is a psychopath, and he will tell you himself that I am one of the few in our family who is not. I would like to know why the gene runs so strongly in my family. Also, I am pushing for global psychopathy awareness — and that is the opposite of what psychopaths want. Don’t you want to keep hidden, in order to preserve your “advantages”? Well, actually, no. I am completely “out.” Of course, I am old enough for it not to matter. What concerns me is not keeping my “advantage” but avoiding a witch hunt. Psychopaths are already the subject of too many probing eyes trying to ferret us out wherever we may be. I would not be “out” if I still had a job and needed the good opinion of my boss.)

Her newsletter proclaims, “DEFINITION of psychopath: A person with a neurologically impaired (lack of) conscience. Designation of someone as a “psychopath” is not meant to be an insult. Psychopathy is a limitation that prevents a person from feeling empathy or having remorse.” Although she claims to not have any ill will towards psychopaths, she says some really shitty things about us. In a conversation she had with James Renard, she said, “Psychopaths are eternally 5 years old emotionally.” He accused her of name calling. No, she demurred, not a bit of it. “Statement of fact is not bullying.” So she actually believes that it is literally true that we are emotionally stuck at the age of five! When she claims mandatory outing psychopaths is benign, can we believe her when she expresses such extreme opinions? She has a petition to the effect that submitting to an MRI brain scan would be mandatory for all candidates “seeking a position of trust.”

nopsychoWhat’s wrong with this plan? Most people realize there is something very wrong with their governments. But what? And how to fix it? I think a very simple and easy answer is the ignorance and small-mindedness of the voters. Sure, there is gerrymandering and laws making it difficult for the members of the underclass to vote. But that isn’t enough to explain it. How did the authorities who did the gerrymandering and passed the laws making it hard to vote get into office in the first place? Ignorant, short-sighted voters. But let us not stop here. No matter how bad a choice voters make, the elected official is still the one to enact good or bad governance. A good example is Obama. He seemed like an excellent choice based on his campaign. But a very different Obama stepped into office and did things that were, in many ways, opposite of what he promised. Is this because he is a “psychopath?” And, more importantly, does it even matter? Politicians often act corruptly. They don’t keep their campaign promises. I don’t really care if the man is a psychopath or an NT (neurologically typical). He betrayed his base. Why do politicians so often do this? I suggest that even if we brain scanned all candidates and only elected NTs to office, things would go on the same way they have all along.

constitutionThere is a class of people the Occupy Movement nailed. The 1%. The richest one percent of our society has more wealth the the whole rest of us 99% put together. Money is power. The one percent will not tolerate a politician who is too intent on rocking the boat. They will either buy him or get rid of him. Getting rid of someone does not have to mean killing him. Just bestow enormous amounts of cash on the person’s opponent. Mischief managed. The American Supreme Court made a decision that many of us hold as infamous. It is called Citizens United. It gives the rich the power to use their money a great deal more effectively than they were every allowed to do in the past. What are we going to do about it? We have petitions circulated, effort is made to amend the Constitution to restore our government to the lessor level of corruption that it had. It looks like an uphill battle. We can’t even get people to stop electing the Republicans, a group of people who have made no bones of their reactionary intentions. Do their neurological circuits really matter? Will ridding government of psychopathic politicians cause better government?

But what if the one percent are all psychopaths? There are studies indicating that the richer people get, the less empathy they have. Maybe that’s true. How are we going to rid ourselves of a one percent class of psychopaths?

Many people have studied the problem. Marxists, for example, tell us that revolution is the only solution. The problem is capitalism. Sounds good. It doesn’t look like any of us will live to see a revolution. But who knows, surprise lurks around every corner. Hope is all we have after all.

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