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Is Extreme Political View a Mental Illness?

  1. Mighty Mom profile image90
    Mighty Momposted 4 years ago

    Having just seen on another thread the claim that liberals are mentally ill, I thought I'd research any studies stating the opposite, that conservatives are the delusional party.
    Found this item in Psychology Today.
    Goes to show there are (at least) two sides to every opinion!
    Enjoy (it is tongue-in-cheek).
    And by all means, bring on the rebuttal evidence!

    In Creationism as a Mental Illness, Robert Rowland Smith argues that creationists exhibit several signs of mental illness including denial, psychosis, and inability to grasp irony.
    Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative Republicans, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia. Now I'm no clinician, but it seems that prominent Republicans have evidenced each of these ten telltale signs of mental illness over the past year:

    1) Denial: humans did not evolve; Obama is not a native-born American Christian

    2) Delusion: climate is not changing

    3) Hallucination: God ordained me to be President

    4) Disordered Thinking: being for small government that's huge in the bedroom; being anti-contraception and anti-abortion

    5) Anger: Newt Gingrich’s perpetual scowl

    6) Anti-social Behavior: toward women, gays, minorities, anyone without an umbilical cord or trust fund

    7) Sexual Preoccupation: a fervent compulsion to control when we can mate, with whom we can mate, and precisely how we are allowed to mate (which I lampoon in "Why Do Politicians Want to Police Dick and Jane's Private Parts?")

    8) Grandiosity: even Rick Santorum recognizes Gingrich’s “over the moon” grandiosity

    9) General Oddness: Ron Paul

    10) Paranoia: pretty much all of them, all of the time

    Regrettably, the Republican who least exhibits anti-science stances (Jon Huntsman) is the only one who (tongue-in-cheek) acknowledges his mental illness.
    Until Jon Huntsman becomes the sane voice of his insane party, maybe "Republican Syndrome" should be added to the forthcoming DSM-V so that crazy conservative pols can receive the mental health treatment they need.

    Copyright © 2012 Barry X. Kuhle. All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Psychology Today and the University of Scranton, or my friends, family, probation officer, gut bacteria, darkest thoughts, and personal mohel.


    1. WritingPrompts profile image75
      WritingPromptsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I kind of liked John Huntsman too - but I'm not a Republican, so what do I know?  I wish we could get rid of the party system and just vote for people instead.  Then I think the people who run wouldn't feel so obligated to have extreme viewpoints to start with - it's all in that "appealing to your base" that makes politicians (on both sides) look so crazy.  The "base" is not a real person - just statistics so you can get those strongly held opposing views.  It's not a mental illness - it's an imaginary person.

    2. HowardBThiname profile image90
      HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I was just teasing about liberalism being a mental disorder, but Dr. Rossiter is a leading psychiatrist who has done years of research on the subject.

      Here's the book he authored:

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Liberal-Mind- … liberalism

      Rossiter's position is that liberals do things that undermine their own well-being, and that is a symptom of a mental disorder.

      I'm not saying he's right - but it's an interesting read if anyone's interested.

      1. Mighty Mom profile image90
        Mighty Momposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Perfect! That's exactly the rebuttal I was hoping for.
        One could argue, especially in recent days, that Tea Partiers do the same thing.
        They think they're voting in their best interests but are actually undermining themselves.

        Anyway, another subject that could (but does not have to) turn into "I know you are, but what am I?" name calling.

        Thanks for the idea and the  link.

        1. HowardBThiname profile image90
          HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I don't really know much about the Tea Partiers, but from the little I've read and heard, they're not my cup of tea.

          Rossiter bases his theory on the idea that if someone puts another's welfare ahead of their own - they could end up suffering in the long run. He uses the liberal mindset of social programs as an example of undermining individuality.

          The Tea Partiers might do that very same thing - I can't say one way or the other. But, if you say they do the same thing, I believe you.

          I don't think any subjects should turn into name-calling events.

          1. Mighty Mom profile image90
            Mighty Momposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I will have to check Rossiter out.
            If he is concerned about people who put others' welfare above their own he obviously is not a mother.

            Tea Partiers are not your cup of tea?

            You're on a roll tonight!

  2. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 4 years ago

    A lot of behaviors that, in the right degree and situation, would be signs that a person is a strong, capable, and healthy person are also behaviors that - under some other circumstances, or in inappropriate degrees, or when misinterpreted - are also signs of mental illness.  Non-psychiatrists and/or anyone (psychiatrist or otherwise) who isn't familiar enough with an individual person and the circumstances need to stop calling pretty much everyone and everything who isn't like they are "mentally ill".

    I know this thread in tongue-in-cheek, and I know my answer isn't (which shouldn't be interpreted as my not getting the tongue-in-cheek thing); but - really - over recent years it's gotten so that "everyone" calls "everyone else" mentally ill and really believes that they are.  It's getting to be as if the whole world is a bunch of amateur psychiatrists with the proverbial "little knowledge" (that is that "dangerous thing");  and of all those mental-illness-happy, amateur (and non-amateur) psychologists have a sick view of who/what really is "mentally ill" and who/what really isn't.  What's worse, someone with a little (or a lot) of education in the field of psychology/psychiatry but who tends to see everyone/everything as "mental illness" is often someone others, who don't know any better, actually believe them a lot of the time.

    Personally, I tend to think most people of "run-of-the-mill-level" "extreme political views" just need a quick course in improving their reason/logic skills.  On the other hand - with some extremely extremes....    well, maybe "crazy" would be the world.   smile

  3. sapphire99336 profile image61
    sapphire99336posted 4 years ago

    You make some good points, Mighty Mom.  I'm inclined to think the same thing.  I'm a Democrat, but I don't think the Republicans' shift to the far right is good for anyone.  I mean, the choices used to be between Democrat and Republican, not Democrat and crazy.  Since it's that way now, we have to waste time debating issues that have long been settled, such as birth control. I am also inclined to think that WritingPrompts is correct that we should maybe just get rid of the parties and have people just state their positions on the issues; maybe then they wouldn't feel forced into such extreme positions.  Oh, and Lisa HW, I do agree that we tend to go to far as a society in labeling people, especially those not like us, as "mentally ill."  "Normal" is an ever-shifting target. I do seriously wonder about some of those who have expressed such extreme views, but there are plenty of conservative people who are perfectly sane.  But I think the ones without such extreme viewpoints need to take back their party.  I do not think the Republican party as it is today is at all representative of any but the most extremely conservative Americans, which is a very small group of people.

  4. Xenonlit profile image60
    Xenonlitposted 4 years ago

    The Tea Party has made raging lunacy a mandatory condition for social acceptance. The Republicans are too afraid to even show any regrets. Liberals are the healthiest people on the planet.

  5. LensMan999 profile image54
    LensMan999posted 4 years ago

    Extremism of any kind is sick and shows a lack of flexibility, adaptability, and general ability to cope with new situations and see them as they are.

  6. Jonathan Janco profile image82
    Jonathan Jancoposted 4 years ago

    I think politics of any kind is designed to create mental illness. I feel way more sane ever since I told politics to go take a flying f***

  7. gsidley profile image91
    gsidleyposted 4 years ago

    Given the lack of validity of diagnostic labels, and the arbitrary way in which they are applied, each and every human being on the planet is at risk of being labelled as mentally ill.

  8. innersmiff profile image88
    innersmiffposted 4 years ago

    And tell me, what is generally odd about balanced budgets, sound money and non-aggression? Do you understand Ron Paul's principles at all?

  9. doctorulna profile image61
    doctorulnaposted 4 years ago

    Just like in the general human population,you get to find some elements of this so called personalty disorder and even psychotic symptomatology in the otherwise healthy politician.Many leaders are Narcissistic and many more are delusional

  10. kathleenkat profile image91
    kathleenkatposted 4 years ago

    This would be more frequently diagnosed than the common cold.