Most of our politicians suffer from the serious disorder of narcissism. Gov.Mark Sanford is only the latest victim of this personality disease known also as meglomania, or my big fat ego got me into a terrible, disgusting mess.
Carl Vogel at Psychology Today did an interesting piece on the Narcissistic personality back in 2006. Vogel describes the degrees of narcissism that a personality might reveal and the ways in which we have to deal with them socially,at work, and in the political arena.
Think of those we know recently or in the past who having revealed their public failures and see if what Vogel says rings true:
Some of the country's most successful companies are run by narcissists. It's been said about the founder of Oracle: "The difference between Larry Ellison and God is that God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison." Running on a full tank of confidence and charisma, narcissists often thrive as salesmen, entrepreneurs, surgeons or in other ego-intensive, cut-throat professions.
Does this personality disorder in our politicians reveal itself just in sexual infidelity? It manifests itself in every risky action they take. Some just get caught and more publicly than others. This is where their ongoing selfish, self-absorbed behavior comes in. Think of John Murtha and his reckless earmarks at the expense of all American taxpayers. These guys (and some gals) think they are invincible until they realize they have really, really stepped over our bounds of tolerance. What comes next? Their ghastly,tearful apologies.
Hold these "leaders" to the standards they "pretended" to have when we elected them.
Yes, we are all human, but there are many decent potential politicians out there...somewhere. We just a need a new litmus test to discover them. Let's at least quit re-electing them when we know who are the selfish jerks.
As Ted Turner put it: "If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect".