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