Wednesday, May 02, 2007


If there is one thing I have learned in my years of practicing clinical psychiatry, it is that people hear what they want to hear. This is particularly true for some personality types.

Let me paraphrase a short story that a patient with a borderline/narcissistic personality disorder once told me, when I asked her how things were going:

"Just wait until you hear how I stood up and took responsibility for myself, doctor! Last night at about 2am, my daughter knocked on my door and told me that she had been raped and beaten up by her boyfriend. There she was standing at my door and demanding that I help her out. But I said to her, 'I have to take responsibilty for myself alone so I can't help you. You'll have to deal with it yourself.' And I slammed the door in her face. Maybe I could have helped her, but I don't see why when I'm having so many problem of my own."

The context for this is that in her group therapy, they had been discussing interpersonal effectiveness and how to stand up for one's self when dealing with other people might be trying to take advantage of you. In my session with her I had followed up on this concept and how it might apply to her own life, which was replete with chaotic, hostile and dysfunctional interpersonal relationships.

She, however, had managed to interpret everything said in her group and individual therapy to mean that she now had official permission to tell everyone to 'drop dead' because her needs came first. This is, of course, not even remotely what "interpersonal effectiveness" is all about. In fact, it is about learning how to relate to others as real people. In fact, the precise problem in her life could be summarized as the inability to see other people as real, separate individuals from themselves. All too often, individuals with narcissistic or borderline personality traits have no room in their psyche for other people. They tend to see others as mere extensions of their own feelings and needs; or as threats to those feelings and needs. Other people don't really exist in their own right. Consequently, they only respond to parts of the other person that happen to coincide with their own needs, wishes or feelings.

This is characteristic of the peculiar derangement of the borderline/narcissistic person. It is all about them, you see. The world is not big enough for their needs and anyone else's at the same time. All situations must be filtered through the feeling prism of "what's most important for me?" or "how can I most benefit from this?". Compassion can be faked if necessary to achieve one's ends, but expressing the rage and hatred inside is even more important.

Nothing is ever considered within the context of the whole--not the person they are relating to at the moment, or the words that person might be saying.

With that in mind, consider the constant derision with which the left regularly attacks what they refer to as President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech. Of course, if they actually had bothered to listen to the speech, they would know that he never said any such thing:
All that proves is that they didn't listen to what he had to say four years ago. As A Better Where To Find points out, Bush hardly communicated anything remotely like "the war is over":
We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people.
The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

Nowhere in this speech did Bush declare that the war was over, nor that we could leave Iraq. In fact, he made it plain that we would stick by the Iraqi people and remain in place until they could establish a democratic government that could secure the nation.

In fact, if you read through any of Bush's speeches since 9/11, I defy you to find anywhere where he claimed that victory would be easy; or without sacrifice; or cheap. I defy you to find anywhere that he claimed this war with Islamofascism would last only for a short time.

You won't find it, because he has never said such things. He has always said that this war would be difficult. He has always said that it would take a long time to accomplish our goals. He has always said that the sacrifice would be great.

This administration has made mistakes, but I also defy you to find one administration prosecuting a war which was perfect---either Democrat or Republican. The truth is that perfection and even the most perfect planning do not guarantee a smooth outcome in wartime. Whatever its mistakes, the Bush Administration has made them in good faith and bending over backwards to accommodate the politically correct leftists in our midst. I happen to find him most at fault for that particular grievous error. War is not--nor can it ever be--a multicult-PC-"feel good" endeavor.

Those who weren't listening back when Bush spoke on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln are still not listening. It should come as no surprise to anyone that we continue to be engaged with a ruthless, dedicated and deadly enemy who will never give up easily. What is shocking to me is that there are still so many who refuse to face that reality.

What is even more stunning is that these people continue to distort and lie about everything the President has said about the war.

And, of course, it is particularly stunning how many are salivating at the prospect of America suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the terrorists. Like the borderline patient above, they will distort and filter everything that is said through their own agenda, which has nothing to do with defeating terrorists, and everything to do with defeating the "real enemies of civilization" -- the evil Bush Administration and fascist/imperialist/corporate America.

The patient I described above was a borderline personality. As an ideology, socialism and its various offshoots are, at best, borderline and at their worse, sociopathic and utterly malignant to a healthy human society.

There is no magic cure for this type of psychopathology. All the treatments that exist take years--and even then there is no guarantee of success. As the old adage goes, the patient really has got to want to change and have a better life. I see no evidence that the leftover adherents of socialism desire anything but continued power over others and an easy route to make themselves feel good about their lives.

An individual with this pathology can do a lot of damage within his or her own little world; so just imagine the unbelievable havoc that a dysfunctional ideology can do.

Frankly, you don't have to imagine it at all. Just look at the great harm the current Democrats are doing to the prosecution of this war. Just take a gander at the flippantly casual vitriol and unveiled hatred the left slings from the ideololgical caves they hide in; and where they can be found chortling at their own cleverness.

To paraphrase Obi-wan as he entered the Mos Eisley Cantina, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany than those who have taken on the "mission" of destroying this country--both from within and without. Their deepest desire is to raise a banner that says "Mission Accomplished" themselves...and I for one will do everything I can to make sure that day of surrender never happens.

UPDATE: Comments on this thread are closed. Since the "wretched hive" that swarmed here don't seem inclined to take the challenge issued above and their discussion was pointless, except apparently to insult me and the thoughtful readers of this blog.