Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why Palin is a Danger to Us All

A Ranelli Rumination
BY FRANK J. RANELLI

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


If we are to succeed as a nation, we all must be in utter agreement about who Sarah Palin is as a person; she is stunningly uninformed and breathtakingly overconfident. Orwellian with an outward, Machiavellian patina is an aptly just description of Palin.

However, her unconcealed, overt certitude is potentially the biggest problem of all. She has mastered the art of flowery platitudes and sneering contempt. All of which, to the low-information, Neanderthal voters we are all unfortunately witnessing first hand from the right wing political spectrum, combined with her tacky, sophomoric charm, actually makes her very attractive, in a very spine-chilling kind of way. She uses blatantly appealing demagoguery to create eerie exultations among a fringe fraction and faction of Americans – the visceral, not cerebral coterie that follows her with frightening credulity.

It is this set of events and actions that concerns me the most. She is a glib, authoritarian person who has a Manichean mindset – a dualist – one who only sees the world as good or evil; no nuance, nothing abstract or ever vague. Moreover, after judiciously studying authoritarian personalities for over two years, I can tell you they are loose with facts but stridently persuasive. They are charming, disarming, almost irresistible, yet completely morally bankrupt and amoral. They are hostile toward intellectuals, takes pleasure in deriding academia and immense pride in their willful ignorance.

The problem here is they are masters at using base intellect, not intelligence, to plead to people's pathos. (Many grisly dictators of the past were all "gifted" experts at this tactic.) In essence, they are scheming, devious and capable of anything in order to subvert the will of other people in order to achieve their objectives. And their objectives are not inline or in step with a progressive, balanced America – they are wholly recalcitrant reactionaries.

Here, with Palin, we see the pathology and pattern of someone infatuated and fixated on one's identity to the exclusion of others – an inborn need for social dominance (often overlooked as merely being "spirited"), personal ambition bereft of circumspection, outrageously aggrandized bragging, arrogant immodesty, and total insensitivity.

It is these sophistry skills and nefarious guile that disturbs me greatly. All of these traits are markers identified in one of only two groups of maladaptive, narcissistic personalities – authoritarians and sociopaths.

Do I make these indictments lightly, no, but it has become increasingly clear that Sarah Palin's confrontational convictions are more than a benign personality tick; it is a deeper insight into how she would govern a nation in every respect: Unflinchingly autocratic.

Stop her, we must!

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