On New Year's Eve 2002, while I was a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the superintendent - the distinguished three-star Vice Adm. Richard J. Naughton - tried to enter the academy without wearing the photo ID required of all military and civilian personnel.
Naturally expecting that the young Marine sentry on duty would recognize his all-important superintendent, Naughton boldly tried to pass. But instead, the Marine asked him to produce identification. Angry words and some sort of altercation ensued between the admiral and the enlisted man.
Later, Naughton claimed he couldn't "remember" whether he had "touched" the guard, but he did concede he "might" have done so.
After a lengthy, ultimately damming investigation, Naughton resigned - first from his post as academy superintendent and then subsequently from the Navy altogether. During the investigation, some skeptics at Annapolis had doubted whether Naughton would pay any price. But his exalted rank, along with his race and gender, won no exemption.
I mention the Naughton case to illustrate that such mix-ups at government checkpoints are not unusual - and that eventually public pressure catches up with aristocratic arrogance and even the powerful are held to account.
A few days ago I used the term "culture of narcissism" that seemed to describe the affect and behavior of many of our elitist Democrats (and for the record, I do believe that this kind of narcissism exists on both sides of the political spectrum--as does the "culture of corruption" for that matter) but for the moment, I intend to confine my remarks to several particularly malignantly narcissistic Democrats.
Cynthia McKinny is one; and I use Victor Davis Hanson's anecdote above to demonstrate her "aristocratic arrogance" and fundamental narcissistic style.
Let us turn for a moment to another great poobah of unrestrained narcissism; the pious and morally righteous ex-President Jimmy Carter; who provides yet another case demonstration of the those who claim genuine superiority over others. James Taranto in his "Best of the Web" for April 6 has this pertinent story as told by John Sugg:
Carter fittingly used a parable to illustrate how he'd like to see the political/religious debate unfold.
"I was teaching a Sunday school class two weeks ago," he recalls. "A girl, she was about 16 years old from Panama City [Fla.], asked me about the differences between Democrats and Republicans.
"I asked her, 'Are you for peace, or do you want more war?' Then I asked her, 'Do you favor government helping the rich, or should it seek to help the poorest members of society? Do you want to preserve the environment, or do you want to destroy it? Do you believe this nation should engage in torture, or should we condemn it? Do you think each child today should start life responsible for $28,000 in [federal government] debt, or do you think we should be fiscally responsible?'
"I told her that if she answered all of those questions, that she believed in peace, aiding the poor and weak, saving the environment, opposing torture . . . then I told her, 'You should be a Democrat.' "
Geez. I have met many 6 year olds with a clearer grasp of morality than this tired old man who never met a dictator that he couldn't support; and who appears to think that if someone disagrees with him, then they are clearly against peace; against the poor and weak; against the environment; and for torture!
Just as Cynthia McKinney and her sycophants believe that anyone who challenges her must be racist.
McKinney and Carter represent the two fundamental types of narcissists -- the "grandiose" narcissist, whose exaggerated sense of self-importance is dominant; and the "idealistic" narcissist, whose exaggerated self-righteous veneer of concern for others masks an underlying obsession with imposing their views on everyone else.
Both types of Narcissism are a plague on humanity; and both represent well-traveled avenues and justifications for limiting freedom and imposing tyranny. The "grandiose" narcissist shares the same psychology as any thug, bully, or tyrant; while the "idealistic" narcissist is the basic psychological fodder for the many groups (run by the grandiose types) who desire to impose their beliefs onto others.
Most narcissists go back and forth between the two basic types, since they are actually flip sides of the same psychological coin. Aristocratic arrogance and pious self-righteousness might appear to be opposites at first glance, but they both are hallmarks of individuals who are unhealthily obsessed with their own sad, little selves.
[For more on Narcissism and Society you can go here.]