Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What is wrong with liberals
news max ^ | 10/23/2003 | Joan Swirsky

Posted on 10/22/2003 3:01:16 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED

The ‘Psychology’ of Liberals Joan Swirsky Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003

A bully beats up your friend’s child in the schoolyard. You feel terrible for the kid who got the black eye and call his parents to encourage them to give their kid lessons in self-defense and insist that the principal punish the offender. But to your astonishment, the parents are not mad at the bully!

They actually seem to feel more empathy with him than they do with their own child. “He shouldn’t be punished,” they say. “You have to ask yourself what made him do it? Besides, if the principal punishes him, it might make him more angry!”

This is the thinking of liberals, particularly “bleeding heart” liberals whose identification with and empathy for the doers of bad deeds is a hopeless muddle of self-congratulatory “understanding” and hatred of authority. The Role of ‘Psychology’ in the Liberal Mindset You really can’t blame them for their misguided views. They themselves are victims of 20th century psychology, which in textbook after textbook taught clinician after clinician – as well as the general public – that leniency trumps discipline, “concern” trumps consequences, motive trumps morality – and that one’s “feelings” are sacrosanct.

As a psychotherapist for almost 20 years, I was schooled in the retro claptrap that there is no right or wrong or good or bad. All behavior, including rape, murder, child abuse – and, today, terrorism – was to be “understood” and not judged. Because, my professors said, people who behave badly “weren’t born that way, they got that way” – mostly through the twin evils of bad parenting and a cruel society.

Before Sigmund Freud, a neurologist by training, began to explore the archeology of the human mind over a century ago, people had lived creative and contributory lives for thousands of years. Without an inkling of Freudian theory, generations of the past produced Moses and Jesus, Michelangelo and Da Vinci, Guttenberg and Marconi, Pasteur and Semmelweis, Pavlova and Duse, Einstein and Fermi, Maimonides and Mother Teresa. They believed, as geneticists now believe, that children are born with essential predispositions and that, given only a decent upbringing at best, their fates were determined by themselves and by God.

Freud’s revolutionary thinking, its interpretations by his disciples, and, later on, a repugnance of the eugenics practiced by Hitler – in which 6 million Jews were doomed to genocide – succeeded in convincing the public that Freud’s more abstruse “theories” explained the mysteries of human behavior better than the “old” thinking.

But theories they were and still are – educated guesses cloaked in esoteric psychobabble that have more to do with broad and unproven assumptions than empirical proof. Nonetheless, the public swallowed these theories uncritically, even in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary.

For instance, after untold numbers of people spent years in “therapy” trying to understand their unbearable mood swings by delving into their pasts, Lithium was introduced to the public in the 1960s and virtually cured manic depression (now known as bipolar disorder). And after countless mothers suffered intolerable guilt for decades because the psychoanalyst Dr. Bruno Bettelheim – followed by the sheep of the entire psychiatric profession – told them that their children had autism as a result of “maternal coldness,” autism was found to be a condition of aberrant brain function. Today, with the advent of The Genome Project, it is largely accepted that aberrant behavior arising from biological illnesses like schizophrenia or, in some cases, drug addiction are to be treated rather than punished. The rest of humanity – which is just about everyone – is accountable for its behavior. To Liberals, ‘Accountability’ and ‘Character’ Are Anathema

Liberals hate accountability, which is why they are so famous for defending people who are completely unaccountable. They hated welfare reform until a Republican Congress passed it into law in the mid-1990s and succeeded in getting millions of people off the dole and into productive work, effectively breaking the liberal welfare system that enslaved mostly black people from their seemingly unending fates of dependency and broken families, limited education and statistically premature deaths.

They still hate education reform because it insists on the accountability of teachers. And they hate the war against terrorism because killing bad guys contradicts the central tenet of their philosophy: No one is accountable for his or her behavior because only poverty or neglect or any other number of “bad breaks” explains bad behavior and who are they to judge?

Of course, they conveniently ignore the fact that legions of people, today and throughout history, have triumphed over adversity through the sheer force of character or that many of the world’s most stellar accomplishments have been realized by those who have translated their bad breaks to make contributions that have altered millions of lives for the better. But liberals also hate the subject of “character,” because it is predicated on personal responsibility and a refusal to be seen as a victim.

The Role of History in Liberal Thinking

Since all of psychology is guessing, I “guess” that liberals – no matter how educated or affluent or intelligent or well intentioned they are – are, at heart, the kids who were bullied or whose parents were bullied by life or by history.

That is not to say that the liberal thinking of times past had no merit. In the early and mid-20th century, most blue-collar people were liberals because they were genuinely oppressed by exploitive bosses and consequently embraced leaders who fought for unionization and workplace protection. Most Jews were liberals because Franklin Roosevelt defeated Germany just before Hitler extinguished their last remnants, and they embraced Harry Truman because he led the way in recognizing the state of Israel.

These minorities subscribed to liberalism because they had experienced the abuse of power firsthand and believed their salvation lay in the hands of a benevolent and all-protective government (and its entitlement programs).

Enter the 1960s, when an entire generation that had grown up in relative peace and prosperity – the “spoiled” children of parents who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II and wanted to spare their offspring the suffering they had endured – were introduced, in startling short order, to the birth control pill, the feminist and black power movements, four assassinations (President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy), and the Vietnam War, all, for the first time, brought “live” into their living rooms through the miracle of television and by commentators who were largely the liberals of their parents’ generation.

While free love, marijuana and bra burning reigned, these budding liberals also more seriously supported the newly emerging struggle for civil rights, although they largely ignored President Johnson’s War on Poverty and revolutionary legislation to support “Negroes” (as blacks and then Afro-Americans were then known) who blamed the Jews for their powerlessness (as all angry people have done historically) and to host cocktail parties for “leaders” like Rap Brown, Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael, among others who utilized the full freedom of expression afforded them by our country to espouse their “Blame America First” agendas.

Finally, the ’60s generation found its political and ideological identities in protesting the Vietnam War, distrusting – even hating – institutional power and subscribing instead to the “power of the people.” In one quintessential moment of generational détente, the children who had rebelled against and embarrassed their parents had morphed into their leftist images. They and their parents were now of the same mind, united in protesting a war that was lofty in motive but lost because of cowardly and ineffectual leadership. Like their parents, the newly minted liberals knew with certainty that those in power were bad people and those rebelling against power were good people.

Old Liberals vs. New Liberals

But problems remained. While the old liberals (at least those who weren’t Communists or Socialists) believed in the overarching wisdom and power of God in determining one’s destiny, their children were too stoned to contemplate anything more influential than LSD, too “evolved” to consider anyone wiser than the Maharishi, and too narcissistic to consider anything more powerful than themselves. Nevertheless, the old liberals were thrilled that their children (who they could even smoke pot with!) were with them. But not for long! The new species, it turned out, was not content to vilify political enemies. Having found that protest and intimidation were so effective, they turned their rage against their parents, joining cults that extracted both their allegiance and money and entering `“psychotherapy,” the theories of which taught them that their memories, from age 3, and their all-powerful feelings were all that were necessary to indict their progenitors.

The new liberals had learned their parents’ theories well: Blame those in power!

Thus, they leveled their rage at the people who had given them life. I’m not happy because of you. I’m not successful because of you. I wet my bed because of you. I’m not having a good relationship because of you. Such is not only the venom but also the misguided thinking of liberals who, to this day, believe that they are not responsible for their lives – other people are!

Politics as ‘Therapy’

An old adage says that you can’t hate what you don’t love – these most powerful of human emotions are inextricably linked. In the fuzzy, emotion-driven world of liberals, you can “love” a parent (or professor or coach or boss) who told you to abide by your curfew, pay for your own gas, make a living, be accountable, grow up, but you can also hate them for the power you perceived they had over you.

The new liberals seemed to find these contradictions too much to grapple with. Even “therapy” didn’t help. But politics was the perfect venue for this breed – whose secret is that they never quite grew up. Through the political process, they found that they could express their rage at authority by pretending to be concerned for the plights of those they saw as oppressed victims of the powerful authority figures they secretly hated in their own lives. Inside them was – and remains – boiling anger, which they not-too-effectively disguise as “empathy.”

Anything that represents power is their enemy. America is powerful, therefore it is bad, while the terrorists are to be understood – Third World and all that – never mind that most of the Sept. 11 murderers were university educated and had middle- or upper-class backgrounds.

Understanding the Liberal Mindset

What accounts for liberal thinking? My “guess” is that most liberals have two personality disorders, most expansively described in psychiatric literature. The first is narcissism, in which people feel they are special and therefore entitled to the things they want at the exact moment they want them.

When crossed, narcissists become virulently angry and lash out with personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with their opinions. But because they crave adulation, they can become irresistibly charming in the very next minute, almost defying their audience to give them some slack. Sound familiar?

Narcissism, in fact, is at the root of liberals’ embrace of abortion. While “power to the powerless” is their anthem, no legislation has ever been more passionately embraced than the abortion-on-demand law of 1973 that allowed all “caring” liberals to kill the most powerless among us. To this day, they overrule any reservations they may have by inivoking the most important aspect of their existences: their feelings! “This is a bad time for me and I would feel terrible, inconvenienced, pressured” (fill in the excuse).

Of course, this does not conflict with their horror at “civilian” deaths, especially if they result inadvertently from American military force. Nor does it conflict with their horror at the deaths of minks, the rodents out of whose pelts those nasty coats are made. After all, civilians and minks are already here, while in the minds of liberals, developing embryos (with heartbeats and nervous systems, eyes and ears) are simply “tissue.”

The second mental malady that characterizes liberals is borderline personality disorder, in which the afflicted are totally unable to tolerate the gray complexion of either life or of politics, always casting those who disagree with them in stark shades of black and white and often resorting to defamatory “scorched earth” strategies. These are people who struggle to hide the fact that they have no consciences, no remorse and no feelings. In fact, they appear disconcertingly similar, and at times identical, to sociopaths. Sound familiar?

Many modern liberals, remnants of the hippie “all you need is love” era, are now graying at the temples and lining up for Botox shots but they’re still angry with their parents. It is only logical that President Bush is their target – a man who loves his parents and believes in God (which many of them don’t), got his act together (which many of them still have not), and demands that they, as Americans, join the fight against terrorism (which many of them find impossible to do, given their sympathies for the “victims” of any kind of power, in this case the power of the United States).

’My Mind Is Made Up – Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts’

Another thing about liberals: They hate facts, which always have the irritating way of interrupting their “benevolent” feelings. While this year they are consumed with the idea of reclaiming the White House for the Democrats, they ignore a history that has treated the people they champion shabbily, to say the least. As the columnist Sean Turner, who is black, has documented: To this date, only four blacks have ever served in the United States Senate. The first two, elected in the 1870s, were both Republicans. In 1870, a Republican from South Carolina was the first black to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts (1967 to 1979) was also a Republican. In 1992, Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, the only Democrat, was elected.

Turner goes on to note: “Prior to the election of FDR in 1932, blacks primarily voted Republican by the margins in which they vote for Democrats today. However, FDR's ‘New Deal’ programs, which turned out to be a raw deal particularly for blacks, inveigled the black electorate into a Democratic voting trend that has yet to cease.” The New Deal, he explains, established:

The Agricultural Adjustment Act that reduced crop production and forced many blacks out of farming.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)/Wagner Act that granted the right of existence to labor unions, which often excluded blacks.

The national minimum wage that has directly contributed to the 36 percent unemployment rate among black teens in America.

Turner further states that in 1964, it took the leadership of Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen to break the Democratic filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill led by current Sen. Robert (KKK) Byrd of West Virginia and then-Sen. Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee. In the Senate, only six Republicans voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act but 21 Democrats voted in opposition.

In the House, 40 percent of Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act but only 20 prcent of Republicans opposed it. These are the facts – among countless others – which liberals cannot tolerate.

For eight long years in the 1990s, President “I feel your pain” Clinton could not find it within his power to pass a law to provide senior citizens with prescription drug relief.

Nor could he muster up the morality to pass a law banning third-trimester abortions that kill fully formed babies on the very verge of birth.

Nor could he free the black people in this country from the slavery of welfare until a Republican Congress accomplished this sea change in America’s landscape. Nor could he do anything better than cut and run from Somalia, bomb an aspirin factory, and wage an air war against people who were no threat to the United States, effectively setting the stage for the devastation of Sept. 11.

Today we see the immense compassion of liberals at work again, fighting against our president’s attempts to conquer the terrorism that is aimed at our shores, attacking the Justice Department for actually detaining and questioning suspects, still supporting women who want to abort their babies instead of encouraging them to let couples who yearn for babies adopt them; the list goes on.

This, alas, is typical of liberals, those “good” people who can’t quite devise domestic policies that enhance education or law enforcement or health care, or foreign policies that target our enemies and protect our homeland.

A Simple Solution for the Ills of Liberalism

My background in psychotherapy came by way of being a registered nurse, providing hands-on care to people in their most difficult hours. It is my suggestion that all liberals go back to school and become RNs. Instead of pretending that they care for “the masses” that they have utterly failed, they will then be able to put their best instincts into action with “real live” people in need.

This will not only be humbling and salutary to them, it will also leave the safety and security and welfare of our country to the grown-ups, whose judgment is not beclouded by the self-delusion and grandiosity that guide the liberals among us.

Joan Swirsky is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at .

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: liberals; narcissism; psychology
I have been trying to formulate an exposition on what is wrong with liberals. She beat me to it and wouldn't you know it is by a "former nurse"
1 posted on 10/22/2003 3:01:17 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

It's quite simple, actually. They're fantastically mentally disturbed.
2 posted on 10/22/2003 3:30:45 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Liberalism - Better Living through Histrionics ©)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

BUMP for later read.
3 posted on 10/22/2003 3:31:47 PM PDT by Argus ((Ninety-nine and forty-four one-hundredths percent Pure Reactionary))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Like they say; The best cure for being a liberal, is to become a victim. As long as their azz is OK, fantasy rules until reality comes and gives them a mighty slap in the face.
4 posted on 10/22/2003 3:42:17 PM PDT by metalboy (Liberals-Nuke `em from orbit. It`s the only way to be sure.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Argus
If things keep up the way they are around here ... the FR will be the santamonica of the moral compass less --- alzhimers - belligerents too !
5 posted on 10/22/2003 3:42:20 PM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... --- * architecture * !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Instead of pretending that they care for “the masses” that they have utterly failed, they will then be able to put their best instincts into action with “real live” people in need.

Oh, sure! Liberals don't want to do anything about the "downtrodden" - or anything else that might be positive - they just want to complain and tear down the America that has allowed people from all over the world to prosper and live in freedom - and to become part of the country with the highest standard of living that the world has ever seen. Heck, our so-called "poor" people live much better than the so-called "middle class" of much of Europe and certainly of Africa. No, today's lefties are just a bunch of soreheads with no real suggestions about the future except that they fervently "believe" (they guess) that socialism is good for us. Liberalism is truly a mental disorder.

6 posted on 10/22/2003 4:59:41 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 45Auto
Lie - rape - plunder !


7 posted on 10/22/2003 5:03:01 PM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... --- * architecture * !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]


8 posted on 10/22/2003 5:08:15 PM PDT by jws3sticks ((Hillary can take a long walk on a short pier, anytime, the sooner the better!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jws3sticks
Wonderful visual effect.
9 posted on 10/22/2003 6:06:10 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TasmanianRed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

what is wrong with liberals

Better start another fundraiser, gonna need more disk space...

10 posted on 10/22/2003 6:24:21 PM PDT by LearnsFromMistakes (Tagline Loading - please wait.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JoJo Gunn
It's even simpler. They suck.
11 posted on 10/22/2003 6:59:09 PM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

A picture says a thousand words. This one is maybe two thousand.
12 posted on 10/23/2003 1:35:18 AM PDT by jws3sticks ((Hillary can take a long walk on a short pier, anytime, the sooner the better!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

a recent anti-war protest said it all... A SIGN said 'Declare Victory and withdraw'


These liberals really do live in another universe if they think the problem will go away if we just PRETEND we won the war!

13 posted on 10/23/2003 1:49:31 AM PDT by GeronL (Please visit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson