Is Extreme Political View a Mental Illness?

Jump to Last Post 1-10 of 10 discussions (15 posts)
  1. Mighty Mom profile image76
    Mighty Momposted 11 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 image63
      WritingPromptsposted 11 years agoin 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. profile image0
      HowardBThinameposted 11 years agoin 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: … 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 image76
        Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin 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. profile image0
          HowardBThinameposted 11 years agoin 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 image76
            Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin 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 image61
    Lisa HWposted 11 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 11 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 11 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 image57
    LensMan999posted 11 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 image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 11 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 image71
    gsidleyposted 11 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 image64
    innersmiffposted 11 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 11 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 image82
    kathleenkatposted 11 years ago

    This would be more frequently diagnosed than the common cold.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)