Issues & Insights

Will The Left Finally Admit It’s Driven By Mental Illness?

For decades we’ve wondered what causes the Democrats and progressives to ignore facts, flog blatantly false narratives, take irrational policy positions, engage in megaphone politics, censor, bully and project their corruption and bad faith onto their opponents. Could they really be as unbalanced as they appear to be?

Turns out they are.

At least that’s what the science says. And we know how much the left loves its science.

A research paper published in March tells an interesting story. “Understanding left-wing authoritarianism” explores “relations to the dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment.” In an interview last month with PsyPost, a psychology and neuroscience news website, the authors said they had “introduced a new contribution to the literature on dark personality traits, coining the term dark-ego-vehicle principle.”

“According to this principle, individuals with dark personalities – such as high narcissistic and psychopathic traits – are attracted to certain forms of political and social activism which they can use as a vehicle to satisfy their own ego-focused needs instead of actually aiming at social justice and equality.”

As it turns out  – and this should be to absolutely no one’s surprise – “certain forms of activism might provide them with opportunities for positive self-presentation and displays of moral superiority, to gain social status, to dominate others, and to engage in social conflicts and aggression to satisfy their need for thrill seeking.”

Now we have an explanation for the Democratic Squad, Antifa, global warming foolishness, the disturbing obsession with wokeness and destruction, censorship, forced compliance, and a dictator’s lust for dominance on the left.

The question that logically follows is this: Do the dark personality traits affect only the fringes of the Democratic Party, or is the entire political left fueled by derangement? The only reasonable answer is the left is mad to its rotten core. But then we’ve known that since the 2016 election, when Trump Derangement Syndrome ripped through the Democratic Party and its many collaborative groups.

But it was merely confirmation of what we first suspected then were convinced of for many years before that: The worst in our society, the unstable, the cranks, the neurotic, the egomaniacs who feed on attention, the ruthless power seekers are drawn to the Democratic Party.

We anticipate that our detractors will say we are overgeneralizing, lumping all Democrats and progressives into a cohort that the researchers suggest are extremists. (They likely will also note that the researchers mentioned the existence of “right-wing authoritarianism,” to which we would reply that they also said “some left-wingers are more likely than right-wingers to endorse harming or even murdering their political opponents.”) Others will say we’re misrepresenting the research.

We argue that it’s self-evident that the entire Democratic Party – along with its media operatives, well-heeled financial contributors, activists, and many of its voters – has become an extremist group. Sure, there are some known Democratic moderates (they are an endangered species) and not all who vote Democratic are fanatics. But they are outliers, and are therefore inconsequential to the left-wing authoritarian machine.

And it’s not just the I&I editors who look at the Democrats and see a bulging basket of lunacy.

In 2019, David Limbaugh, brother of Rush, wrote “Guilty By Reason of Insanity: Why The Democrats Must Not Win,” which argues that “the left has truly lost its mind.” Washington Times columnist Robert Knight has written about how Democrats are “taking crazy to a new level” and are pressuring “​​people to pretend that crackpot ideas are sane.”

During the year of what we hope was Peak Riot, 2020, Wall Street Journal columnist  Daniel Henninger argued convincingly that “the Democratic left has turned certifiably insane, if one definition of irrational behavior is the refusal to recognize the damage being done, primarily to black and Hispanic neighborhoods, by catastrophic violence.”

With all due respect to the authors of “Understanding left-wing authoritarianism,” their research has broken no new ground. Nearly 80 years ago, in the 10th chapter of the “The Road To Serfdom,” Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek described the state of today’s Democratic Party when he explained Why the Worst Get on Top. “Bad men,” said Hayek, have no inhibitions about running other peoples’ lives. It is “the unscrupulous and uninhibited,” he wrote in 1944, who “are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism.”

In our current era, “the unscrupulous and uninhibited” – those whose behavior is fueled by their “dark personality traits” – are attracted to a left-wing bloc that is tending toward totalitarianism. It is undeniable that the Democratic Party has become a moveable asylum.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Yes leftism in all its forms does reflect a mental illness but it’s not the kind of thing cited in the study you mention because the things they describe are symptoms, not causes.

    The cause is both simpler and weirder: leftism is an offshoot of Christianity – a cult created by people who mis-understood Thomas Malthus – who then became the “failed prophet” needed for the cult to turn from a mistake into a disease.

    See telearb dot net for the gory details.

  • I read the research paper and note that it tread very very carefully into the subject of left-wing authoritarianism. They first genuflect on the various “right-wing” sins as seen by the political left, like being doubtful of the 2020 election (and the 2022 Arizona election) being honest and clean. Of course they are Swiss nationals and may be poorly informed about American elections — I’d say almost guaranteed to be misinformed.

    Nonetheless, having established their left bonafides they do proceed to note the very dark psychology of the left. Of course, anyone with one-eye open and a functioning brain cell has known about this for a century — towit: there’s nothing more fascist than an anti-fascist (Italy 1920s), there’s nothing more violent than a peace protest (America of the 1960s), and look at the outcome of the progressive-left projects of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    The authors also presume, a priori it seems, that pro-social attitudes (being softhearted, etc) are good. But all of us see the damage that many prosocial policies produce. However, to solve a problem first requires one acknowledge it and so this reseach is progress.

  • If the Left had the ability to admit this they:

    Wouldn’t be mentally Ill


    They wouldn’t be Leftists.

    What’s the old saying? “If you argue with a crazy person, they will drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”

    Data, facts, reason, common sense, logic are like Kryptonite to a Leftist. If these things worked in a debate, there would be no climate change cult, no tranny worship, basically no Leftists.

  • Fifteen percent of cry baby liberals are on some kind of medication for mental illness. The scary part is, that means eighty-five percent are running around un-medicated.

  • I have a cousin who is an extremely manipulative and controlling woman, and is always meddling in peoples lives. She takes anti-anxiety medicines, drinks, and smokes marijuana all day, and I do mean ALL DAY. She married money and is insufferable and vindictive. And yes, she’s a die hard liberal.

  • This is satire, right? There’s no way you could write this article with a straight face.

  • After you deny my comment you can open up Word and write a delusional essay on all the ways your freedom of speech is being taken away. Happy writing!

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