Evil & Formation -UPDATED

One of those days where there is too much to read, and all of it wounds either the psyche or the spirit, or one’s sense of safety. Bear with me, if you will; I find I’m battling some sort of virus, thingy, which does not help.

There are no conclusions I can draw, in any of these links, that you cannot draw yourself.

But, overriding all of it is a startlingly strong sense of evil, galloping our way, in battalions.

Let’s begin on the purely material: This is a shocking graph.

But no matter the reality, things are a success!.

It took a while for Bush to admit things were not going well in Iraq. How long do we give the Obama administration to make such an admission. On anything? His disengagement with his own generals is rather shocking, and his ability to gain “more co-operation in the world” seems not to be panning out. The climate woes on which he wishes to base his economy-strangling cap and trade boondoggle seem to based on untruths. The war he said we must win does not seem to be of much interest to him, and the “open door” he claims to have, seems closed to all but his dubious buddies.

But, at least he’ll bring home the Olympics.

Where does “evil” come into play, in all that? You wouldn’t think it does, would you?

And yet, when I read this piece, I completely understood what this therapist is saying, both as a victim who has trusted her gut for years, because victims learn to do so, and as a student:

M. Scott Peck so eloquently captures the consequences of evil in high places: “The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society.”

We have a man who has been privileged with the greatest honor, the Presidency, and what does he do? Does he demonstrate an ounce of gratitude or humility?

No, he betrays us in the most profound way possible: by not protecting and defending us.

But I will share with you a surprising truth I learned after working in the child abuse field: severe neglect is even more traumatic than serious physical abuse (not sexual abuse, though). People can be mortally wounded by crimes of omission.

What worries me the most about Obama is this: the part of him that should want to shield us from harm seems chillingly absent.

The economy is tanking — Obama laughs. We are accumulating crippling debt — he and the other Democrats go on a spending spree. . . . Our allies have started to realize that Obama doesn’t care about them either. . . Obama does have sympathy for the devils, though, the Chavez’s and Castro’s of the world.

There are endless red flags, aren’t there? The covert government of antisocial Czars; the cozy ties to Bill Ayers, maybe George Soros. And who knows what else, because Obama’s private world has been hermetically sealed.

Read the whole thing, and ponder a while.

I know during Bush’s presidency, along with all the hate and assassination talk that the press and the Democrats never minded, every few years we would be treated to some psychologist’s assertion that Bush was mad, insecure, or whatever. And they’ve already decided that Sarah Palin is a psychopath, too. We don’t generally see those same psychologists offering diagnoses of Democrat presidents or candidates. I am not a psychologist, of course, but I have tried to write sympathetically (in a very limited way, since it’s beyond my scope) to the early childhood issues of Bill Clinton’s heartbreak and Barack Obama’s absent love.

Neoneocon, who does have the credentials, though, recently had a stab at Obama:

Obama is easily the most controlled president I’ve ever seen in terms of his personal style. Although supposedly cool, there is no looseness there, no moment when you think you see a glimpse into the true man in a relaxed state when he has let down his guard.

…Obama is in a class by himself in this regard; his control is more complete and therefore more eerie. Even gestures that might appear to be spontaneous (witness these) are, IMHO, carefully planned to appeal to a certain audience that “gets” it.

Some people are just naturally subdued, and I think that description fits Obama as well. But there’s much more than that going on with the demeanor of our current president. Anyone who attempts this complete a level of control is hiding something. In Obama’s case, I believe it is his essential far-Leftist self: who he is and what he means to do.

That’s the Obama mask he wears, and he cannot take it off without revealing more than he wishes us to know right now. Maybe some day.

We know that our early formation is reflected in our adult behaviors
. When one ponders the abandoned and uprooted childhood of Obama, and how that is being reflected in his detached presidency, there is much to think about.

And it seems eerie, to me, that this week -with the Roman Polanski controversy- we are focusing on how childhood traumas play out in later lives. I know there is a bridge here, somehow, between both the weird disconnects between Campaign Obama and President Obama, and the weird disconnect between “compassionate” Hollywood and “Free Polanski” Hollywood. And that bridge, if a better mind than mine can make it, may explain a great deal about why we are where we are today, as a nation.

Perhaps because of my own background, my mind is not fully grasping what it needs to, but both the piece by Robin of Berkeley and this fearless and horrendous piece are clues, I know they are.

That girl is forever defined by that moment, as I have been defined by my own moment of terror and pain and horror. There is, for me, no place on this whole planet that is safe. I move farther and farther from the center of things. I find myself in hotel rooms or houses in remote places where nobody knows where I am, and very few even care.

I have been an alcoholic, a drug user, a sexual deviant and addict. I have tried with what heart I have left to be kind and generous and loving, and I have wrecked my life and hurt people I love. I have tried to be whole, to be a regular man inside a regular man’s skin, and I have failed miserably.

If you can stand reading any more about Roman Polanski
and Hollywood Elitists, you can start with Patterico, wend your way through the pontifications of our betters and then pause to read this thoughtful admission:

Those who make their living by acknowledging and exploiting their own capacities for evil ought to be the most careful in preventing it from bleeding out of their work and into their lives; if only because, when they fail to do so, there are so many in high and low places willing to forsake both reason and basic human decency in order to absolve them of it.

There is a connection -can you help me make it- between the vociferous defense of Roman Polanski by the “artistic elite” and their unquestioning support of anything that is against America, against the very system that has given them wealth and power and privilege. And that, somehow, touches the pride and prejudice of this administration, too.

Perhaps I am completely wrong. I could be’ but something is tugging and nudging me, here; I cannot quite see it.

Simply misfiring synapses? But then, “by the prickling of my thumbs, something wicked, this way comes.”

And in the face of all that, I can honestly say that this stuff is unworthy of anything more than a dismissive, “oh, move along, tiresome, small creatures, move along.”

UPDATE: But on the other hand, where does it stop? And can you imagine if any President but Obama had appointed this fellow, the outcry we’d be hearing?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender

    Where does “evil” come into play, in all that?

    Same place that it came into play before.

  • Bender

    Explanation –
    Obama gobbled up the fruit and is hungry for more.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    I’m afraid that Obama’s behavior is entirely consistent with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’m not a shrink, but my father (a psychology prof, of all things) has NPD, so I know the tells.

    It is true that most politicians are possessed of some degree of narcissism, so you have to look for “tells” that indicate that there’s a human in there somewhere. Freely admitting mistakes, contrition, self-reflection, and graciousness toward one’s critics are all signs of humanity.

    Obama has not displayed any of these tells. Instead, he compulsively seeks adulation, lashes out at critics, expects praise without concomitant achievement, uses language as a practical tool rather than a means to tell the truth, has a carefully constructed façade with nothing behind it, tosses people aside when they’re no longer useful, and subscribes to a philosophy of governance that tells him and his cohorts that they and only they are fit to rule the masses.

    Narcissists never learn. Nothing is ever their fault; it’s always someone else who did them wrong, someone else who screwed up. They become profoundly bored by activities that don’t satisfy their insatiable craving for adulation, hence the multiple TV interviews instead of multiple meetings with McChrystal.

    NPD results from a profound devaluation of the child, who, to protect himself from “the truth” (you are utterly worthless and insignificant), constructs a false self who is the polar opposite: all-important, all-powerful, beloved by all. (Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane was NPD.)

    Any attempt to guide the false self toward reality is forcefully resisted, because to the sufferer of NPD, if he’s not the wonderful false self, he must necessarily be the worthless, squalid worm that he’s terrified he is.

    This is why they cannot endure the slightest bit of criticism: even one crack in the false self brings the whole illusion tumbling down, revealing the worm inside. The excruciating pain of “being the worm” prevents an NPD from ever developing the insight necessary to be healed.

    NPDs are usually intelligent and charismatic, because their false self MUST be loved and adored, but the adoration and love that the NPD recognizes is always the superficial kind. They themselves cannot love because their inner self is tightly walled inside an impenetrable fortress.

    Other signs of NPD include giving inappropriately inadequate gifts, belief that the rules don’t apply to them, and only wanting to associate with people of sufficient stature to complement their own greatness.

    It would not be appropriate for an actual psychiatrist to diagnose someone from afar, but I claim no expertise beyond my own experience and my own observations. I’ll retract my “diagnosis” as soon as I detect a “tell” that shows that Obama is not NPD.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    Addendum: They also maddeningly remember the past differently from everyone else. They only remember the past in a way that makes them look good. You can show them a video and they’ll accuse YOU of perfidy. LOTS of projection from NPDs.

    If you ever become involved personally or professionally with an NPD, you will come away with the sense that the sky isn’t exactly blue in their world. If you have the misfortune to be married to an NPD, you’ll start questioning your own perceptions of reality. They are THAT impervious to reality.

    Other signs: they don’t see people as existing separately from themselves. If he is warm enough, the room IS warm enough, and your complaining about the broken furnace is done just to annoy him.

    Which is why the WH cannot comprehend that opponents to Obamacare could possibly have principled or legitimate objections. Listen to his rhetoric: we’re just “cynical” about his ability to bring about his Utopia. We doubt his wonderfulness, not the desirability of his brand of governance.

    If he does anything right, it will be because he sees it as a way to obtain Yet More Adulation, not because it IS right or good for the rest of the country. We’re just props in his personal psycho-drama. Better know your part.

  • http://www.franklarocca.com Frank La Rocca

    The Woody Allen’s, Martin Scorsese’s, David Lynch’s of this world create works that are essentially transgressive of societal norms — in ways that are sometimes interesting and compelling as works of art and sometimes just idiotic (The Last Temptation of Christ). When they reject “America”, they are rejecting a society, one that — in its founding Judeo-Christian principles — serves to impose limits on personal moral autonomy. The notion of an objective moral order is repellent to these artists and the crusade to unmask this “hypocritical,” “moralistic” order is their highest good. They are, if you will, “fundamentalists” in their single-minded defense of an autonomous, self-directed moral order and any threat to their priesthood will be vigorously opposed, no matter what contortions are necessary to accomplish this (Roman Polanski).

  • http://legio-xxi.blogspot.com Neal Scroggs

    All who have posted here so far are hot on the trail, but particularly dicentra and Frank La Rocca.

    Let me add a particular tell that from the lips of Obama supporter Harvey Weinstein, “Hollywood has the best moral compass…”

    (hat tip to Patterico)

    Weinstein and a host of others (including, sadly, our President) possess a golden moral compass that points only to themselves, which leads them to believe that whatever want, whatever they believe or think is both good and true. And by the same token any who might disagree are false and iniquitous.

    Anchoress, thy thumbs prick thee not in vain.

  • Zac

    Frank La Rocca’s comment is on the money. It really isn’t an easy thing to live in opposition to one’s own society, moral norms, etc. Hence the hostility and tension between culture and counter-culture is profound. All aspects of the intra-cultural struggle can be viewed in this light: as means of separating the counter-culture from the true culture; or protecting the small and fragile elite from the binding force of moral obligation.

    For example, feminism provides an intelligible method of diminishing the cultural forces relating to women. It allows women and men who do not wish to be bound by the culture to further their separation in mind or in spirit. In other words, ‘feminism’ is only useful in so far as it allows individuals to justify their disobedience to the original culture.

    I think the ‘elites’ are quite aware of themselves as cultural and moral outsiders. They would -of course- recognise Polanski as one of their own. No doubt many are troubled (to some degree) by his actions, but at the same time he is a stalwart for the counter-cultural community. To condemn him would be to turn a flawed comrade over to the enemy. It would be an implicit act of surrender to the old culture, and even an isolated case would destabilize and demoralize their own community.

    I think this explains the current situation. ‘Feminism’ will not defend the victim, because ‘feminism’ is a counter-cultural tool, not a moral system. It doesn’t operate within the ‘liberated’ community. In fact, any strong moral judgment must be avoided within that community, for risk of utterly destabilizing it.

  • Pingback: Not the Change you had in mind? « Obi’s Sister

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    Ditto nearly everything said here so far. I would only quibble with Zac that people trying to live in obedience to sacred scripture (Jews and Christians) are actually “counter-cultural” these days. But, I understand what you meant.

    My Small Catholic Community is studying Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline and looking at the Left today, I see our society in the process of breaking covenant with God, repeating a cycle which has occurred throughout human history. But, I believe this disobedience (oppositional behavior) explains a lot about both antisemitism and anti-Americanism. Judaism and Judeo-Christian society in America (now in decline) have both “asserted” the moral authority of God in the world. And lots of people don’t like it one bit.

    Yep – something evil this way comes. I am reminded by my priest and friends though not to despair, because Christ has already won!

  • dry valleys

    You should have a look at the constant right-wing claims that Gordon Brown is mentally ill- now reaching the extent that it is suggested he is on drugs.

    Well, if he did have a mental illness & struggled to overcome it, that would be to his credit rather than detriment- see here for example (yes, yes, it contains eeeeeevil swearing, but it’s a lot cleaner than what right-wing pundits are rolling in).

    I yield to none in my opposition to this government, but I’d rather pick up on their policies than make claims about mental health that I can’t understand to begin with.

    Now the same goes with this about “narcissistic personality disorder” & “evil” (as if theology could be used to back up a political point).

    See this for an example of a thorough dissection of these smears by someone who has no axe top grind & certainly doesn’t need to explain his anti-government credentials to you.

    After reading this Lucy Beresford being lauded for saying what people wanted to hear, you can forgive me if I view neo-neocon as someone whose primary role is as a right-wing polemicist rather than someone I should defer to for “having all the credentials” (you would take the same approach if the shoe were on the other foot).

    No one is trying to stop you repeating whatever speculations you want to, but you can excuse them as have been here before for regarding it questioningly.

    Is it not possible, in some imaginary world, to think that it’s wrong to make wild speculations about Democrats & Republicans all alike? Believe it or not I’m not taking my orders from the DNC every morning, or beholden to agree with what every left-winger has ever said, & it is possible to think that two wrongs don’t make a right, so “yes, but it was done to Bush” doesn’t quite work.

    [Is it wrong to make speculations (not wild ones) when a leader's behavior makes no sense to people? Yes, people on the left claimed Bush was "drunk" and all that, people are wondering about Brown. Is it wrong? It's wrong when it is done with an intent to smear, certainly. But I think you've read me long enough to know I'm not intending to smear. I am simply baffled and trying to understand something that I have no experience with. A president who seems not to like his country, and a mindset from Hollywood that makes zero sense to me. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Dry Valleys, if you’d ever actually read Neo-Neocon, you’d realize she is anything but a “right-wing” polemicist. She does, indeed, have “all the credentials”, and she’s a very intelligent, erudite writer. (So, no, I really can’t forgive you for spouting off like this.)

    Talk about your smears!

    If you’re not taking orders from the DNC, you certainly write like it, sometimes! Our society is certainly in a bad way, at the moment; why shouldn’t we speculate about the reasons for this, or about the motives driving some of our leaders, especially when they seem to be so destructive? Or do only liberal, Democrat get a pass? (What, no Sarah Palin jokes here?)

    As long as Democrats, and Republicans are leading us, we can speculate about them all we like. This isn’t ancient Egypt, where the Pharoh is the living emodiment of the God Ra, and all must follow his government unquestioningly, because he’s divine.

    If you’re truly so indignant about this “injustice” of smearing politicians, wouldn’t your energies be better directed at defending Gordon Brown, back in England, then scolding the posters here?

  • J

    A child that has been rejected by both parents brought up in a chaotic manner, exposed to deviants, shown how to play society to gain what he wants, using his black victim identity to game the system, selling himself to whomever will advance him, not realizing the difference between right and wrong only the difference between getting caught and not getting caught, and we are SURPRISED by our President?

  • Gail F

    I make no claims to be able to psychoanalyze President Obama or anyone else, but I do know that NPD, like all personality disorders, is not a mental illness. That is, it is something fundamentally flawed about the personality, not an illness that can be “cured.” So comments about overcoming a mental illness do not apply.

    However, when I look at President Obama I don’t see what some others here are seeing. I see an act. I don’t think he is in charge at all. I think he is just the electable face of what the top brass at the Democratic party want, and that he is continuing to carry on his campaign because that’s pretty much all he can do.

    Whatever it is, it’s a mess.

  • SjB

    Dear Anchoress, thank you for addressing the subject of evil (and doing it well, BTW). I have had similar experiences when I look at all the interwoven parts/pieces of what is going on in the news. Evil is afoot and I have a strong foreboding for our future.

    One of the things I have trouble with is the ‘gaslight’ effect. People want to deny what is going on and give the President the benefit of the doubt. There are warnings of ‘do not judge’ and other laws of God that are being misapplied and twisted to our detriment. There is a presence of evil with Obama and his wife that is palpable at times. We ignore the warning signs to our own peril. We must realize that everyone he has appointed represents what he really believes and not be hoodwinked by his words. Watch his actions, who he appoints, and what he allows others to do. Look at who he supports (Castro, Chavez, etc.) and who he disdains (Poland, Britain, and etc.). There is where the truth of who Obama is will be found.

    I have been reminded far too many times of the early Hitler years. People wonder why the German people were hoodwinked by Hitler. There is an easy and true answer: It was an orchestrated effort by a group of men who were possessed by an evil ideology. They did not reveal who they were – they were masters at deceptive rhetoric that caused divisions and polarized groups in order to gain power and reach their goals.

    The parallels between Hitler’s style of leadership and Obama’s is unnerving. Consider the cards Obama plays to polarize our nation: the race card, the class card, the evil capitalists card, the rich people card (is it not an act of envy to demand that the rich have too much and must share it with the rest of us?), and etc. To say the rich have too much is a classic communist ploy to create envy in the hearts of their hearers and justify redistribution of property – it is stealing. He plays people against each other and stands aloof. He plays with the sins that God calls abominations.

    As far as I can tell, the propaganda technique: The Big Lie, is his favorite tactic. He lies about abortion, illegal aliens, and etc in the health care debate (eg: Joe Wilson blurts out, “you lie!”). and then has his minions carry out his plans while he stands aloof and pretends to not know or be involved. As Scott Peck has written, Lies are the worst evil.

    Here is the definition of the Big Lie that I think can be repeatedly seen:

    The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”

    Here are a few scriptures that I think describe Obama’s behavior to a T:

    A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Proverbs 26:24-26

    There are six things which the LORD hates,Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

  • SjB

    P.S. I don’t buy into the victimhood theory of Polanski or Obama. Does our childhood affect us? Of course, but it is never a justification or excuse for evil behavior.

    Christ did not die for excuses. He died for our sin and for those who sin against us.

    We have to resist our fallen natures and not swallow lies about victimhood. I have had vicious sins committed against me and I understand how hard that is, but God does not say I can respond with evil.

    It took me many years to come to terms with much of the evil that happened to me. There is real evil and we need to judge righteously. I think the proverbs I offered above judge the situation righteously.

  • http://lowlytuber.blogspot.com tim maguire

    I think Obama’s biggest problem is that he is simply too inexperienced to be president. He still has too much of the 19-year-old liberal arts major in him. Maybe if he’d waited 8 or 12 years he’d make a better president. But as Sarko says, he’s too narcissistic to wait.

    On any connection between the defense of Polanski and anti-Americanism, a major facet of Americanism is individuality. But individuality requires responsibility.

  • dry valleys

    I do not defend Brown, virtually all of whose policies I oppose, I just say that we should be talking about what he does rather than whether he is “bonkers” or whether Obama has whatever mental illness it’s supposed to be (ADD?)

    As to where my energies are best deployed- I’m not aware of having any influence on anyone, so I post where I think I can have the best recreational conversations, which is here sometimes.

    As I said, you’re welcome to say whatever you like & I would be in the forefront of opposition to any attempts to censor you, were they to ever happen. But I am not enamoured of vague claims about people being “bonkers”, “mentalists” etc. Those who said this about Bush, made comments about his relationship with his father (remember them?), have nothing to do with me. As I stated, I enthusiastically disagree with other leftists on a lot of things (I consider myself closer to the centre than most of them actually).

    Likewise the Obama fan club- I personally was uncomfortable with them because, by expecting the president to magically change everything, they were absconding from their own responsibility to lobby for change. Because conservatives are out there lobbying today, so liberals had better counter them if they don’t want policy reversals.

  • dry valleys

    That is excellent from Goolrick btw-

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Okay, Valleys, you’re not crazy about vague accusations of politicos being “bonkers”; well, I’m not enamored of accusations like, “right-wing polemicist”, etc., used against those one happens to disagree with. All too often, the Left tries to silence those they disagree with, with the good old right-wing fanatic accusation. It would have been better for you to actually read Neo-neocon’s article, and object to it on what she actually said, rather than hauling out the old “right-winger!” accusation.

    As for talking about what Obama does, rather than what he is—well, there’s been a lot of discussion of his actions, on this, and other threads, here. I think you’ll agree, however, that what he is, is likely to influence what he does, and, given the power he wields, it’s not necessarily being mean, or intolerant, to speculate about it.

  • Bender

    He’s not too inexperienced. He is too arrogant and condescending. If he were elected 12-16 years later than he was, he would still revel in the same hubris he does now.

    The problem is not lack of experience. The president does not have to be an expert in everything. Indeed, it is impossible for him to be an expert in everything. Even the most experienced president must necessarily rely upon those around him who do know more than he does. He doesn’t need experience, he needs wisdom and commonsense; he needs humility.

    The problem is not lack of experience, it is lack of humility — from everyone in the Administration. It is the lack of admitting to themselves that they do not know everything, that they do not have all the answers. The problem is not admitting to and not knowing their limitations.

    The problem is hubris — eating the fruit out of a desire to be like gods and thereby have power — power to make their own rules of right and wrong, power to remake the world as they see fit.

  • http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/ Mr. H

    The White House seems to be admitting that the President has not thought much about the Afghan war during these first nine months in office.

    How is that possible?