“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.




(Continued from Part I, May 11, and Part II, June 17)

Take Us to Our Leader

Researchers at Ohio State University at Newark have been looking under a rock or two.

First, when a group is without a leader, you can often count on a narcissist to take charge, the new study suggests. Amy Brunell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at the university, observed: “It’s not surprising, but the desire for power is what really drives narcissists to seek leadership positions,” she said.

Remember, Bush was The Decider, not The Leader.

She adds a caution: It is important not to confuse narcissism with high self-esteem, she said. “A person with high self-esteem is confident and charming, but they also have a caring component. . .,” Brunell explained. “Narcissists have an inflated view of their talents and abilities and are all about themselves. They don’t care as much about others.”

Here’s the punch line: Narcissists are more likely to become leaders, results of one of the studies suggests, but once in power, narcissists don’t perform any better than others in that leadership role. “It’s not surprising that narcissists become leaders,” Brunell said. “They like power, they are egotistical, and they are usually charming and extraverted. But the problem is, they don’t necessarily make better leaders.”


And the pièce de résistance: “There have been a lot of studies that have found narcissistic leaders tend to have volatile and risky decision-making performance and can be ineffective and potentially destructive leaders,” she said.


Treatment? Torture?

So what is a Nation to do? The Psychology Today site offers suggestions for treatment, but maybe it is not prudent to interfere with nature.

“Psychotherapy may be useful in getting the individual with narcissistic personality disorder to relate to others in a less maladaptive manner. To avoid angering the patient, it’s important to work with, rather than belittle, the narcissistic ego. A therapist should, for example, address a patient's heightened self-importance and desire for control by saying such things as ‘Because you are obviously such an intelligent and sensitive person, I'm sure that, working together, we can get you past your current difficulties’.”

Ok, get him back on Fox News.

“If group therapy is used,” the site suggests “the therapist should, tactfully but firmly, place limits on their speaking time so that they cannot control the discussion or focus all the attention on themselves.”

Well, this isn’t gonna work.

And more: “While empathizing with the patient, the therapist should offer reality testing. If a patient complains that, ‘things are really going wrong’ or ‘everyone is against me’, the therapist might sympathize, but tactfully point out the reality of the situation and how it could be improved by behavior changes the patient could make.”

Well, a reality check really isn’t gonna work.

There’s this: “For patients with narcissistic personality disorder, the least restrictive treatment environment is preferable.”

OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Keith Olbermann has already been there, and he’s not even a therapist. At the end of his Special Commentary, he said

You, Mr. Cheney, you terrified more Americans than did any terrorist in the last seven years, and now it is time for you to desist, or to be made to desist. . . . More than 400 years ago, when a British Parliament attempted to govern after its term had expired, it was dispersed by the actions, and words, of Oliver Cromwell.

“ ‘You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately’, he told them — exactly as, Mr. Cheney, exactly as a nation now tells you: ‘Depart, I say, and let us have done with you’.

“In the name of God… go!”

That’ll work. After all, a hidden cold stone gathers no moss. Just go write your memoirs.


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