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Wisecracking Gov. Chris Christie; A Narcissist Politician Heading from NJ to DC
by Green Tea Party of NJ
Monday Nov 4th, 2013 9:07 AM
Recent endorsements of Gov. Chris Christie by corporate Democrat party boss Joe DiVincenzo shows that he is a member of the elite status quo of corrupt politicians trying to make himself look good with a "stronger than the storm" jingle while looking towards the U.S. Presidency as any media obsessed narcissist would. Maybe this time the lesser evil status of his opponent Barbara Bouno is more obvious as the corrupt party boss Dems like DiVincenzo endorse Christie!
If it's not enough to appear on late night talk shows making wisecracks at the expense of others Gov. Christie is being deceptive about putting New Jersey first when winning the election in Iowa for the 2016 Presidency should be disclosed as his real motive.

Giving the state of New Jersey a bad reputation by appearing as a cold hearted smart alek who is obsessed with his media image.

"Stronger than the storm, whoa, whoa whoa...."

So goes the jingle that tries to make everyone feel good while many residents from working class neighborhoods like Sayerville remain without housing following Sandy's flooding. Better to spend the FEMA money on a nice song and dance routine that makes Christie look like a winner than tackle the real problems on the ground.

The Green Tea Party endorsement is for the lesser evil candidate Senator Barbara Bouno who does not have support from the leading Democrat party boss Joe Divincenzo who has chosen to betray his party roots by endorsing Chris Christie. When your own party turns against you than you know that you're the true spirit in the race even if the odds and the force of the status quo turn against you.

Another factor to consider is the purposeful failure of NJ medical cannabis program with only two dispensaries open across the state. When he arrived in Trenton Gov. Chris Christie made sure that the legs of the fledgling medical cannabis program were permanently hobbled. Any wonder why the drug cartels are pleased that Chris Christie is the most likely winner? The illegal cannabis market is surely going to continue flourishing under the restrictive medical cannabis program that drives sick people into the underground market. Thanks Gov. Christie!

New Jersey corruption personified: Christie and DiVincenzo

New Jersey politics is a cesspool of corruption-- bipartisan corruption. The New Jersey Republican Party is hopelessly corrupt and the New Jersey Democratic Party is hopelessly corrupt. That's why I've been so awed by Barbara Buono's nomination as the Democratic candidate for governor. She isn't corrupt. In fact... she's been fighting the corrupt Machine Democrats inside her own party for years. In 2010, Buono’s Democratic colleagues made her the first woman majority leader of the state Senate. But her tenure was short-lived. Buono refused to go along with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s support for Christie’s plan to reform public employees’ pension and health insurance benefits. Buono supports pension reform, but was opposed to lumping together pensions and health care. She is adamant that health care benefits should be hammered out only through collective bargaining. In response, the Democrats stripped Buono of her Senate title, replacing her with Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck. "It wasn't a hard call," Buono says of her stance. "I'd do it again." This morning she told us:

"When I go around New Jersey meeting folks and telling them who I am, I always make sure they know first and foremost that I am running this race for them. I've proved I'm a reformer in the past, by refusing to go along with Christie's plan to strip public employees' of their health insurance benefits, even though it cost me my Senate majority position, and I'd do it again. To do what is best for New Jersey's middle class and working poor, I won't shirk from standing up to Republicans or Democrats."
The corrupt politicians hate her and fear she will take away their opportunities for graft and bribes. So, of course the most corrupt Democratic machine bosses are supporting Chris Christie, who they've been playing footsie with for years. No one was surprised when state Sen. Brian Stack, the mayor of Union City, a grievously corrupt Democratic powerbroker in Hudson County and a key legislator in pushing through Christie's reactionary agenda, announced he's for Christie. From yesterday's Newark Star-Ledger:

One of New Jersey’s more influential Democrats, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, is poised to endorse Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon-- just a day after the Republican was backed by another Democratic powerbroker.
When many in New Jersey hear Christie's and DiVincenzo's names linked the first thing they think of is the 3 part New York Times expose from last year that resulted from a 10 month investigation and exposed the kind of corruption that has plagued New Jersey where corrupt Democrats and corrupt Republicans have each other's backs. "A company with deep ties to Gov. Chris Christie dominates New Jersey’s system of large halfway houses," reports the Times. 'There has been little state oversight, despite widespread problems... After decades of tough criminal justice policies, states have been grappling with crowded prisons that are straining budgets. In response to those pressures, New Jersey has become a leader in a national movement to save money by diverting inmates to a new kind of privately run halfway house. At the heart of the system is a company with deep connections to politicians of both parties, most notably Gov. Chris Christie. Many of these halfway houses are as big as prisons, with several hundred beds, and bear little resemblance to the neighborhood halfway houses of the past, where small groups of low-level offenders were sent to straighten up. New Jersey officials have called these large facilities an innovative example of privatization and have promoted the approach all the way to the Obama White House. Yet with little oversight, the state’s halfway houses have mutated into a shadow corrections network, where drugs, gang activity and violence, including sexual assaults, often go unchecked." Over 5,000 inmates have escaped, including two violent inmates who went on to commit murders. That's just one example about the way corrupt political bosses in New Jersey enrich themselves and their cronies and promote their careers-- all at the expense of the public. Christie has good p.r., but he's at the center of a web of corruption, bolstered by crooks like DiVincenzo.

In 2011 the Star-Ledger exposed another scam that enriched the politicians at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers-- so called "community education centers" that have been set up as shell corporations running the halfway houses and operates based on a rigged bidding system put together by Christie and DiVincenzo. "Community Education and its executives are major supporters of Mr. DiVincenzo, one of the most powerful politicians in North Jersey. Community Education employees, including senior executives and several of their family members, have donated a total of $30,600 to Mr. DiVincenzo’s campaigns since 2006," the New York Times reported. "The comptroller also questioned the legality of the state's contract with its largest provider of halfway houses, the politically connected Education and Health Centers of America. The state can only contract with nonprofit groups for halfway homes. But the report describes EHCA as a shell corporation, passing almost all its state dollars to the for-profit company Community Education Centers, which runs the houses. The same person, John Clancy, runs both organizations. William Palatucci, Gov. Chris Christie's close political adviser, is a senior vice president at the for-profit company."

Inmate escapes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in overpayments. Shoddy buildings. Lax inspections. New Jersey pumps nearly $65 million a year into a network of privately run halfway houses, but the system is rife with problems, according to a state comptroller report released today. Even when contracts are violated, the state has failed to crack down on security lapses, the report said. Worst of all, the report said, it’s unclear whether the programs are actually achieving their chief goal: reducing the number of inmates committing new crimes by preparing them for life outside prison. Comptroller Matthew Boxer said the state "cannot simply cut these halfway houses a check and hope for the best."
Meanwhile, Christie has asked Palatucci, who had been a registered lobbyist for Community Education (but so had Christie himself), to lay low while he's running for reelection in the hope that the voters will forget all the corruption. Yesterday's endorsement by DiVincenzo reminded voters about why they hated Christie so much before Hurricane Sandy swept away so many memories of his corrupt way of doing business and milking the taxpayers. Christie's p.r. attempts to make himself over as a reformer instead of a gangster was taking a hit.

[W]hen it comes to Community Education Centers Inc., the principal operator of privately run halfway houses in New Jersey, Christie is following the path taken by his predecessors. Christie forged a close alliance with a company that’s deeply entrenched in New Jersey’s political status quo-- a move at odds with the style that has made him such a hero among Republicans across the country.

That helps explain Christie’s vigorous defense of Community Education-- and the deafening silence from Democrats-- after a scathing New York Times examination this week of the state’s halfway house program. It found that the halfway homes system had morphed into “a shadow corrections network, where drugs, gang activity and violence, including sexual assaults, often go un-checked.” Supervision is lax and since 2005, some 5,100 inmates have escaped, the report found.

At town hall meetings and press conferences, Christie loves to single out examples of government gone haywire-- school superintendents who move like salary-padding mercenaries from district to district, retirees amassing enormous sick leave payouts, teacher unions using students as “drug mules” to carry home propaganda about school elections.

Those broadsides have become the hallmark of the Christie style. But he’s never vented his disgust over the thousands of inmates who slip away from halfway houses. He did not go bonkers last year when the state comptroller studied halfway houses and revealed “crucial weaknesses in state oversight.”

Instead, Christie is something of an apostle of Community Education’s work, citing it as a prime example of how a privately run company functions better than government-- in this case, by reducing recidivism and prison costs. By promoting their work, Christie has used private companies like Community Education to help fashion his own image as a cost-effective pragmatist.

“A spotlight should be put on them as representing the very best of the human spirit,” Christie said during a visit to a Newark facility in 2010. “Because as you walk through here, as I’ve done before many times, what you see right before your eyes are miracles happening.”

Christie’s relations with Community Education stretch back more than a decade. John J. Clancy, its chief executive and founder, hired Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci, a Westfield law firm, to lobby in Trenton. Its lobbyists were Christie and William J. Palatucci, who has been and remains Christie’s longtime political confidant and adviser. Although he was registered, Christie did not actively lobby for the firm.

In 2005, Palatucci was hired as Community Education’s senior vice president. Clancy’s son-in-law was hired in 2010 to work as an assistant in Christie’s office. And while Community Education officials have not made direct contributions to Christie or the Republican State Committee, which he controls, the firm donated $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association in late 2008 and 2009 at a time when the group ran ads promoting Christie’s candidacy for governor.

Political analysts say the Times report could put a dent in Christie’s well-crafted national persona as a former-lawman-turned-reformer governor. But there is a potential saving point here for Christie, thanks to the Jersey political culture that he decries. Whereas in other states, a report like this would fuel opponents, Democrats here in New Jersey have held off attacks on the Republican governor.

...Community Education’s contributions may also explain why Democrats have been so uncharacteristically muted about The Times’ report. Former Gov. Dick Codey of Roseland, a major recipient of Community Education campaign donations, did not return a call seeking comment. Codey was also a longtime insurance broker for the company, according to the newspaper. Only Sen. Barbara Buono of Middlesex County-- who received a combined $2,600 in donations in 2010 and 2011 [which she returned]-- publicly raised concerns about halfway house supervision and Assemblyman Charles Mainor, D-Hudson, called for legislative hearings on the halfway house issue.
Christie, of course, fought the efforts to investigate his cronies and "used a line-item veto to reduce new disclosure requirements about halfway houses that the Democratic-controlled Legislature inserted in the state budget" and "vetoed a requirement that the department report actions that the halfway houses had taken to prevent, and protect inmates from, violence." He and DiVincenzo have stood by each other's corrupt and criminal activities.

For those who know DiVincenzo, none of this comes as a shock. This is the guy who collects a $59,000 pension on top of his big salary, and he hasn’t retired yet. He knows the angles.

The surprise came when Gov. Chris Christie was asked about this at a recent news conference, and he chose to defend DiVincenzo, a key Democratic ally.

“If, in fact, what they are doing is moving forward on their political agenda, then that’s appropriate,” the governor said.

If you listened hard, you could hear the final nail being pounded into the coffin of ethics reform during the Christie years.

Christie is New Jersey’s only hope on ethics reform. Famous for his undefeated string of corruption convictions, he brought a busload of federal prosecutors with him to Trenton. And he presented a strong package of ethics reforms almost immediately.

The Democrats have ignored it. Turns out they like to have two government jobs, they like to keep their finances under wraps and they don’t want any do-gooder campaign finance rules that might deprive their political machines of needed cash.

So if the governor goes wobbly, too, there really is no hope. That’s why the news conference was so deflating.

“If they’re operating within the current law, then they’re operating within the current law,” he said of the crew in San Juan.

Say what? The cops who take home $200,000 in unused sick pay are operating within the law, and so were the teachers who refused to accept a pay freeze. He didn’t have any problem pounding them into dust.

It’s sad, really, that Christie has squandered his natural advantage on the issue. The first big blow came when he solicited secret donations to Reform Jersey Now, an outfit run by his closest allies. When the donors’ names were finally revealed, a number of state contractors were on the list.

He squandered more of his mojo when he lambasted the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for its patronage habits, but was moot when similar charges were made against the Elizabeth Board of Education, a political ally of his.

Christie’s hypocrisy on this gives Democrats safe haven. When the governor proposes limits on campaign spending by unions, for example, they can point to the money he raised for Reform Jersey Now.

“We’re supposed to silence the union, but let all his corporate buddies fund all they want?” asks Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester).
And let's not leave out George Norcross, the South Jersey Democratic political boss, another corrupt Christie crony, who desperately wants to see Christie reelected.

For students of Jersey politics, the elephant in the room, of course, is Christie’s role in the Palmyra investigation, and those notorious tapes of George Norcross practicing politics. I ask Christie to discuss the subject. "I made it a practice not to talk about that kind of stuff from when I was U.S. Attorney, in terms of ‘shining any new light’ on things," he replies. "I think if you want to know what my view of the investigation was, then read the letter I sent to the acting Attorney General." In that letter, addressed to the state Attorney General’s office, and ultimately disseminated to the media, Christie explained that he would be unable to prosecute Norcross because investigators bungled the case. They failed to obtain wiretaps on their principal subjects, including Norcross, and didn’t equip an informant with a wire at one key political function. Christie even wondered, in print, if the investigation had been purposefully undermined for political reasons… "Reviewing the letter again," I say to Christie, "as I did this morning… you look like a guy lamenting the one that got away. Right? And one of the ones that got away there was George Norcross." The entire time I speak, Christie sits there nodding. Then he responds: "Well, listen, you know, you change roles. Um, I’m now-- here I was the United States Attorney, a prosecutor, and I was doing my job as I saw it. And now I’m the governor. And now I’m a political leader, on top of being a governmental leader. And so certain things that I couldn’t do as a prosecutor, I can do now, and I’m really obligated to do, and certain things that I could do as a prosecutor I can’t do anymore. So, you know, your power is in some ways expanded and your power in some ways is limited, as the governor, as compared to being U.S. Attorney."

- See more at:

Narcissists are found throughout politics in both parties, and they tend to band together and support one another against the honest individuals like Barbara Bouno who are brave enough to challenge the status quo of tyranny!!

some background on narcissism in politics;

Narcissism: Why It's So Rampant in Politics

Narcissist politicians don't serve the people; they serve themselves.

Published on December 21, 2011 by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. in Evolution of the Self

Consider that two of the things narcissists most desire are money (i.e., lots of money) and power (the more the better). And these two assets can be tightly interwoven. Consider also that many of the individuals entering the political arena have already made their fortune, or inherited it. So what typically drives them is a lust for power, prestige, status, and authority. These (let's call them) "objects of admiration" not only gratify their need for self-aggrandizement by feeding their oversized ego. They also provide them with compelling evidence to confirm their sense of superiority to others—probably their most coveted need of all.

There's little question that politicians—especially those on the federal level— wield vastly more power and control than the average citizen. Moreover, privy to non-public, industry-related knowledge affords them all sorts of opportunities (blatantly unethical but not yet illegal) to substantially augment their income through "insider" trading and investments. For many of them (and here, as elsewhere, I'll resist the temptation to name names) their appetite for material riches can be insatiable. Which helps explain why it's not uncommon for them to leave office with far more wealth than when they entered it. At times the liberty that some of them can't resist taking with the public trust is so flagrant that (moralistically kicking and screaming) they actually end their careers behind bars.

What's Your Political Persuasion?

Liberals and conservatives do see the world differently

One of the primary characteristics of narcissists is their exaggerated sense of entitlement. It's hardly surprising then that so many politicians (or narcissist-politicians) somehow think they "deserve" to game the system. After all, from their self-interested perspective, isn't that what the system is for? In their heavily self-biased opinion, if they want something, by rights it should be their's. So, nothing if not opportunistic, they take from public and private coffers alike whatever they think they can get away with. And given their grandiose sense of self, they're inclined to believe they can get away with most anything. Sad to say, in today's world of capitalistic politics their judgment isn't that skewed. Which is to say they're much more often right than wrong.

Exploiting their privileged position in such a manner hardly leaves them plagued with guilt. In general, guilt isn't an emotion they're prone to. How could they be if they feel entitled to the objects of their desire? In their minds their very ability to attain something must certainly mean it was merited. So it's only when they're caught with their hands deep in the till and their various efforts at denial have failed them, that they're ready to admit responsibility, and posture remorse. But even then, whatever alligator tears they might shed are calculated to lessen the penalties for their misbehavior—or the time that otherwise they might be required to spend in lockup.

Ironically, despite the steadfast ethical values they profess, these politicians can be viewed as "moral relativists" in that what they adamantly deem immoral for others is yet somehow acceptable for themselves. Whether we characterize the personal "allowances" they make as constituting a double standard or outright hypocrisy, these privileged concessions to self clearly broadcast their overblown sense of entitlement. Which is precisely what enables them to regard themselves as sufficiently exceptional to exclude themselves from the rules and standards they impose on others (as, for example, a gay—but still-in-the-closet—politician striving to pass laws designed to restrict gay rights).

Even before winning office, these individuals may have been inclined toward such "entitled thinking." But there's little question that once elected their newly elevated status promotes further exaggeration of this tendency—which, ultimately, must be seen as anti-social. As senator or congressman the whole nation has become one huge "narcissistic supply" for them. That is, the ego gratifications available simply from residing in congress are truly extraordinary: such an unusually prestigious role can't but pump up their self-esteem to levels that further confirm their bloated sense of self. Whereas before they put themselves on a pedestal, now the whole country obligingly seems to follow suit. Moreover, once ensconced in office they may well feel accountable to no one but themselves—free to play their competitive power games with impunity (and frankly, the public be damned).

Now perched high above the populace, they're especially vulnerable to the vaguely camouflaged bribes that routinely come their way. If they didn't arrive in office "pre-corrupted" (as it were), such temptations enormously increase the odds that whatever venality they brought with them will succumb to the various lures they're subject to. And so, with all the perks of office and fawning by lobbyists representing private interests (frequently ex-office holders themselves, taking advantage of crony connections to further amplify their income), they can begin to exploit people and institutions with faint awareness that they're doing so unscrupulously. And with their grandiose sense of self fully ignited, they can easily convince themselves that they deserve everything they receive—while experiencing little to no obligation to respond in kind (unless, that is, they've forged a "privileged" deal to legislate in behalf of their campaign benefactors).

Beyond such pragmatics, implicitly believing that it's better to receive than give, narcissist-politicians' immense appetite for flattery, praise, and adulation is also abundantly gratified. Quite independent of professional achievement, they expect to be treated as superior. Their fragile psyche demands being admired and looked up to—and unquestionably holding high office almost guarantees that this ego requirement will be amply met. Such an enormous "fringe benefit," helps explain why so many of them become "career politicians," holding onto such psychological blessings as long as possible. In such instances, the chief reason for remaining an incumbent isn't to fulfill any idealistic aspirations. It's to "secure" their inflated self-regard.

In fact, much of their pompous demeanor and arrogant behavior is inextricably tied to this inflated sense of self stemming from their political "tenure." Curiously, even when they piously tout their religious convictions, it's done with such extravagant show that rather than reflect any sense of humility or submission, it betrays a smug grandiosity (as in, "I've received a message from God that this country needs my services and that I should therefore run for President!").

But while they may delude themselves that their country sorely requires their unique talents and skills, they experience little motivation to serve the citizenry as such. They've won their position primarily to serve themselves—and they can do so almost obsessively. The saying "Promises are made to be broken" rings particularly true for them. It's become almost a joke that the devout pledges they make on the campaign trail bear only trifling resemblance to what they do once in office. The ability to convince voters that they'll best represent their interests is what defines their success. Actually implementing what they avowed they'd tirelessly work for isn't really an essential part of their agenda—which is typically well-hidden from constituents (and many times from their conscious selves as well). In short, their campaigns measure how well they can dupe the public, not how well they'll fulfill their responsibilities once declared victorious.

Ultimately, as regards honoring their compact with the public, whether they're Democrats or Republicans is much less important than their character structure. And it's unfortunately the latter that determines how well they'll serve the people who elected them. This distinction between party and personality is crucial. For collectively, our politicians—by and large our narcissist politicians—really do run the country, regularly making decisions that affect the quality of our lives: our privacy and civil liberties, the education we receive, the social safety net so many of us depend on, the preservation and purity of our environment, the wars we engage in, the people and groups we discriminate for and against . . . even the food we put on the table. And our welfare is almost always at variance with those of the corporations and the (one percent) wealthy elites, whose lavish funds are so instrumental in putting such politicians in office in the first place.

Notorious for being empathy-challenged (though they may be extremely adept at masking this deficit), narcissist-politicians are frequently tone deaf as regards how some of their private, "entitled" actions can affect public opinion. Compartmentalizing their lives, they suffer from a peculiar moral myopia and lack of imagination, unable to anticipate how their sexual infidelities, or barefaced bribe-taking, might be held against them. In this sense, their exaggerated sense of privilege frequently undermines their better judgment. As cold-hearted and calculating as they can be—for they see others as essentially objects to manipulate for personal gain—they're strangely naive (or even unconscious) about how their unprincipled acts could be negatively interpreted by others, who don't necessarily assume such behaviors as "entitled" at all.

Closely linked to their amoral or illegal actions is the dominance their office bestows on them. It's this power—or the "corruptibleness" inherent in this power—that can create in them a reckless sense of invisibility. How else explain the foolhardy risks some of them take?—heedless, hazardous behaviors of such magnitude that the layperson can be left nonplussed, mystified, or downright appalled. "Is this the person I voted for?" they must ask themselves. No wonder that news headlines about their dalliances, debaucheries, and assorted depravities have become commonplace.

And then, of course, there's all the cover-ups and prevarications intimately connected to their various acts of entitlement. Lying on Capitol Hill abounds, and it can be executed with relative impunity since politician claims, however improbable, go largely unmonitored. (Truth-checking on the part of corporate-owned media seems increasingly rare these days.) Besides, no one equivocates or dis-informs with greater conviction than the narcissist-politician, whose blatant disregard for facts can at times be mind-boggling.

It's no coincidence that pathological lying has traditionally been perceived as a narcissistic trait. Which is almost intuitive in terms of understanding the related narcissistic tendencies to be arrogant, grandiose, contemptuous of others, interpersonally exploitive, ruthlessly competitive, hypersensitive to criticism, preoccupied with appearances, and manipulative of others' impressions of them. On the contrary, honesty or straightforwardness doesn't characterize them. For to reveal what they're really thinking and feeling—or the true motives driving their behavior—would be to render themselves more vulnerable to others' judgment than their fragile (though artificially inflated) egos could bear.

Eventually coming to believe their own falsehoods, they're fiercely defensive, and even attacking, when their illogical, inconsistent, or even contradictory, positions are questioned. Expert at lying to themselves, as well as to others, their inability to experience much guilt when they're found out is easy enough to comprehend. And tied to this distorted sense of entitlement (or "personal exceptionalism"), they can't really feel genuine sorrow for what they've done to betray the public trust.

Frankly incapable of emotionally identifying with others' distress, the wrong they may have done them remains forever out of their focus. What is in focus for them is the deeply felt assault to their self-image that comes from being charged with wrongdoing. And, so threatened, their push-back reactions are self-righteously contrived to reclaim both their personal and ideological superiority over their attacker. Flagrantly falsifying facts and details beyond reason, they vehemently proclaim the moral high ground. Which is to say that many politicians deserve to be rewarded honorary doctorates in Rhetoric and Verbal Acrobatics (dual major, indeed!).

But finally, is it possible that narcissism might just be an unintended prerequisite for being a successful politician? For to be elected to public service would seem to require a level of ambitiousness that may intimately relate to core narcissistic drives. As Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington, reflects: "How many of us would have the desire, much less the ability, to promote ourselves ceaselessly? You have to do that as a politician. It's an amazing level of self-love . . . and need for affirmation."

And speaking of "ceaselessly," the narcissist-politician's ambitiousness might well be viewed as insatiable. That is, they're always seeking to be more, have more, get more. Regrettably, they illustrate perfectly the Roman philosopher Epicurus' dictum: "Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little." In other words, their desires have no end point. Their inexhaustible appetite for wealth, recognition, adulation, influence and power winds up being a travesty. To go outside America, such insatiability is most pathologically—and farcically—exemplified by Saddam Hussein's literally cheating his country out of billions of dollars to "adorn" himself with some 75 shamelessly opulent palaces.

Which is reminiscent of another saying: that "you can never get enough of what you don't really want." And it's been noted countless times that what, typically, narcissists crave most (though it's so deeply repressed that they're hopelessly unaware of it) is the unconditional love, acceptance, and belonging they felt deprived of in growing up. So the outward trappings—or symbols—of fullness or fulfillment they so diligently pursue can never really satisfy them. Their single-minded, misguided quest for self-enhancement can never fill the enormity of the void that exists at their core.

Because they don't realize that their ancient narcissistic injuries can never be healed through the objects of this world, there's a tremendous futility in their seeking. And because to deny their vulnerability they defensively objectify everything—themselves included— their lives may teem with gratifications that provide only solace for their heart's actual desire. Given their detached, cynical approach to life, their gravest doubts about their lovability are unresolvable. And their prodigious compensatory efforts remain forever off target.

But most tragically, as they "successfully" rise to prominence and power, the whole diseased condition of their lives infects us as well. For in devoting their lives almost exclusively to selfish, ill-conceived goals, the needs of the larger community surrounding them either get ignored or abandoned. Inevitably, we all suffer from the fraud that so thoroughly envelops them.