No Matter Who Wins, a Sociopath Is Elected

The midterm election season is upon us, and it’s a tossup whether the Republicans will win the Senate, or if President Obama, seemingly oblivious as conflict flares up around the world, will, through his continuous campaigning, keep Harry Reid in his majority leader seat.

The only thing we know for sure is that sociopaths will be elected.

The electorate must by now recognize they are electing incompetents at best, and at worst, crooks, but the constant, naïve, pro-democracy mantra is, “We just need to elect the right people.”

But, the “right people” aren’t (and won’t be) running for office. Instead, we will continue to have “the average American legislator [who] is not only an ass,” as H.L. Mencken wrote, “but also an oblique, sinister, depraved, and knavish fellow.”

The Sage of Baltimore had it correct that to be elected and stay elected in American politics to any full-time position requires the suspension of any ethics or good sense a person may possess. Even those who begin political careers with the best intentions and have measurable abilities that would make them successful in any field soon realize that the skills required to succeed in politics are not those required outside politics.

Lew Rockwell explains that, while competition in the marketplace improves quality, competition in politics does just the opposite: Snakes in Suits: When ... Paul Babiak Best Price: $3.99 Buy New $12.00 (as of 02:40 EDT - Details)

The only improvements take place in the process of doing bad things: lying, cheating, manipulating, stealing, and killing. The price of political services is constantly increasing, whether in tax dollars paid or in the bribes owed for protection (also known as campaign contributions). There is no obsolescence, planned or otherwise.

Without Conscience: Th... Robert D. Hare Best Price: $3.97 Buy New $4.99 (as of 09:00 EDT - Details) Politicians clearly don’t seek office for the money. Most are already wealthy by most people’s standards. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that more than half of Congresspeople are millionaires; the median net worth of House members is just short of $900,000, and for Senators, it’s $2.5 million.

What makes the wealthy and successful want to hold office? Is it, as Charles Derber describes in The Pursuit of Attention: Power and Ego in Everyday Life, that politicians since “Caesar and Napoleon have been driven by overweening egos and an insatiable hunger for public adulation”?

The work of psychologist Abraham Maslow provides an understanding as to why people seek public office. Maslow is famous for the“hierarchy of needs” theory you learned in your college psychology, management, or marketing class. The theory is generally presented visually as a pyramid, with the lowest or most basic human needs—physiological needs—shown as a layer along the base of the pyramid.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs

The Sociopath Next Door Martha Stout Best Price: $1.55 Buy New $7.93 (as of 08:35 EDT - Details) Maslow’s view was that the basic human needs—thirst, hunger, breathing—must be satisfied before humans can accomplish or worry about anything else. The next tranche within the pyramid, shown on top of the physiological need, is the safety need. After satisfying thirst and hunger, humans are concerned about their continued survival. If a man is constantly worried about being eaten by a tiger, he doesn’t concern himself with much else.

The next layer presented within Maslow’s pyramid is the belonging need, which lies just above safety need. After the satisfaction of the two lower needs—physiological and safety—a person seeks love, friendships, companionship, and community. Once these needs are satisfied, according to Maslow, humans seek the esteem need.

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