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NJ Gov. Chris Christie's GWB-Gate Traffic Jam Shows Narcissistic Traits
The recently exposed recorded statements made by NJ Gov. Chris Christie's staff show a climate fueled by narcissism that enabled the retalitory actions against the Fort Lee Mayor in the form of several days of severe traffic jams. This unnatural traffic obstruction across the bridge resulted in the death of an elderly lady who was being transported by ambulance. As usual the narcissist does not care how their actions effect others and can scapegoat lower ranking staff as the culprits while escaping responsibility themselves.
Narcissists think of themselves as above the law and this describes Chris Christie's dismissive attitude about the purposeful acts to block traffic on the George Washington Bridge. Lack of endorsement of Christie from the Mayor of Fort Lee was the only reason that this traffic jam on the GWB happened. This shows that Chris Christie does indeed live up to his reputation as a narcissistic bully. Looks like Essex County Democratic party boss Joe "Judas" DeVincenzo knows to stay on the right side of King Christie or else face some trouble down the road in his county.
The reign of dictators is made possible by human psychopaths who are extreme forms of narcissistic personality disorders. They have the grand design in their head and everyone else had better listen or else. It is different from the expressions of genius that are not enforced by the authority of government forces. It does not take much to stand up and shout above all others and then beat them on the head when they don't agree, with the help of the state police and phony traffic studies to screw up a whole lot of people's days just to make a point.
"Authoritarianism and Psychopathy
I recently re-discovered the blog called Orcinus, and within it a series of articles by Sara Robinson about authoritarianism. She begins the series (click here) with a summary and review of John Dean‘s book, Conservatives Without Conscience. I was very much intrigued by this re-discovery, for several reasons. First, I did not realize that John Dean (who was made (in)famous by Watergate, and who is not a relative of mine, so far as I know), wrote about authoritarianism; second, I have not read anything within the academic literature about authoritarianism (see Dr. Robert Altemeyer) for years, probably not since I was in grad school; and, third, I am struck, again, by the very significant overlap between the construct of authoritarianism and the construct of psychopathy (which is an area in which I am quite interested in, click here).
I also am reminded of the phenomenon now known as workplace bullying, and especially the situation in which there is a supervisor who regularly targets others for mistreatment (click here for some of my previous writing about this). I have usually viewed that situation through the lens of the professional literatures about psychopathy and narcissism; but it is clear that the social psychology literature about authoritarianism is also very applicable. Here are excerpts from the first part of this series by Sara Robinson:
Authoritarians come in two flavors: leaders and followers. The two tiers are driven by very different motivations; and understanding these differences is the first key to understanding how authoritarian social structures work.
form just a small fraction of the group. Social scientists refer to this group as having a high social dominance orientation (SDO)… “These are people who seize every opportunity to lead, and who enjoy having power over others,” says Dean — and they have absolutely no qualms about objectifying people and breaking rules to advance their own ambitions. High-SDO personalities tend to emerge very early in life (which suggests at least some genetic predisposition): you probably remember a few from your own sandbox days, and almost certainly have known a few who’ve made your adult life a living hell as well.
High-SDO people are characterized by four core traits: they are dominating, opposed to equality, committed to expanding their own personal power, and amoral. These are usually accompanied by other unsavory traits, [as well]… High-SDO people are drawn to power, and will seek it ruthlessly and relentlessly, regardless of the consequences to others… [In modern America], we celebrate our most powerful social dominants, pay them obscene salaries, turn them into media stars, and hand over the keys to the empire to them almost gratefully. They have free rein to pursue their ambitions unchecked, with no cultural brakes on their rapacity. They will do whatever they can get away with; and we’ll not only let them, but often cheer them on…
While the high-SDO leaders are defined by Dean as dominating, opposed to equality, desirous of personal power, and amoral, right-wing authoritarian followers have a different but very complementary set of motivations. The three core traits that define them are:
1. Submission to authority.
“These people accept almost without question the statements and actions of established authorities, and comply with such instructions without further ado” writes Dean. “[They] are intolerant of criticism of their authorities, because they believe the authority is unassailably correct. Rather than feeling vulnerable in the presence of powerful authorities, they feel safer. For example, they are not troubled by government surveillance of citizens because they think only wrongdoers need to be concerned by such intrusions… ”
2. Aggressive support of authority.
Right-wing followers do not hesitate to inflict physical, psychological, financial, social, or other forms of harm on those they see as threatening the legitimacy of their belief system and their chosen authority figure. This includes anyone they see as being too different from their norm (like gays or racial minorities). It’s also what drives their extremely punitive attitude toward discipline and justice…
Right-wing authoritarian followers prefer to see the world in stark black-and-white. They conform closely with the rules defined for them by their authorities, and do not stray far from their own communities. This extreme, unquestioning conformity makes them insular, fearful, hostile to new information, uncritical of received wisdom, and able to accept vast contradictions without perceiving the inherent hypocrisy… Conformity also feeds their sense of themselves as more moral and righteous than others…
Anyone who looks at our contemporary culture, and the various parts of that culture, can see these characteristics and dynamics in full swing. They are readily apparent in government and big corporate environments, but they can also be seen in operation in smaller systems (closer to home, for most of us): in our work environments, in religious communities, certainly in the military, and of course within families. And I would submit that, although this set of dynamics might be over-represented among politically conservative (right-wing) groups and individuals, it is not their sole property; I have personally observed amazingly authoritarian types who identify themselves as politically liberal, and they are perfectly capable of garnering followers who may well also see themselves as politically left-wing. But this description of the personality, cognitive, and behavioral dynamics of authoritarian leaders and their followers, is right on target, regardless of political leanings."
Those who fall in line with the narcissist who is bound for glory will not find any phony traffic studies in their cities. The party boss of Essex County Joe DiVincenzo was relaxing at ease knowing that he turned his back on his mostly Democratic constituents and supported the future Pres. Christie who would shower him with gifts once he attained power.
Evil is a relative term and describes a set of traits often found on sociopaths, psychopaths and others who lack empathy for other living beings. Surely there are degrees of such evil behavior and this falls on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to Hitler, Stalin and other true mass murderers. The people who were effected by this traffic as a nuisance can only imagine what sort of problems this individual would have caused them if they were in a more vulnerable position such as being in an ambulance and needing to access a hospital.
Prior to his installation as the Chancellor of Germany, the younger Adolf Hitler was giving passionate speeches atop barstools about the threats facing the people. Then the scapegoating led to a well financed takeover of the once democratic government and the beginning of a totalitarian state. My bet would be on Adolf Hitler as a well manipulated individual with a personality disorder in the paranoid/narcissistic range. Many of our modern day politicians, both Democrat and Republican are potential narcissistic dictators who could cause people greater harm if unchecked by the popular vote.
We need to guard against the status quo of establishment Republicans and Democrats who support one another's corrupt campaigns while punishing anyone who feels differently from them or won't endorse them.
By Melissa Hayes
"Two top Democrats have created an "outwardly hostile" element inside the party, a situation that has kept Barbara Buono from pitching her vision for New Jersey to a wide audience, the Democratic candidate for governor said Thursday.
"The overarching premise of my plan would be to benefit the middle class, the working poor, and not have everything be at their expense like this governor. And it would make public education a priority once again and not a whipping boy, and it would ensure as a priority that average families see some of that property tax relief," Buono said in a meeting with The Record's editorial board. "It's a vision."
Buono is 29 points behind Gov. Chris Christie among likely voters in a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday and she faces a huge fundraising deficit _ one that has kept her from responding on television to the negative ads Christie has aired.
She blamed Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, an influential Democrat who has endorsed Christie, and George Norcross, a Camden County Democratic powerbroker, who hasn't endorsed the governor but fought Buono on her selection for state party chairman, for her lack of support within her own party. Christie has picked up the support of 49 elected Democrats."