Thursday, June 14, 2012

Has Mormonism Made Mitt Romney A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR — Or Is He A SOCIOPATH?

AS AN INCREASINGLY ALARMED OBSERVER of the most psychologically flawed and temperamentally unfit major party candidate for president since Richard Nixon, my honest opinion of Mitt Romney to this question is, BOTH. Everything we know about Romney tells us his religion is central to who he is, to his core. At the same time, his political history of pathological lying, flip-flopping on every issue, recanting statements mere hours, sometimes minutes, after they're made, the constant, shameless dismissal ("what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" — weird) repetition of the few lies the press actually queried him about — all of this was rather breezily and deceptively condensed by the Beltway Media as "Mitt Romney has no core."

What does that mean?! According to Lady Alex's "intrepids," it means Mitt Romney is just another cynical politician who will do anything, say anything to get elected. But it runs deeper than that, and they all know it. There is a difference between a politician who spins, twists the truth in his or her favor, or exaggerates, which they all do, and someone who shamelessly, relentlessly, incessantly, pathologically — LIES.

Dr. Justin Frank, a Washington clinical psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical School, wrote a cautionary, provocative piece for TIME as part of his "On The Couch" series (ignored by the Beltway Media, naturally), in which he postulates that "the root of Mitt Romney's comfort with lying" is rooted in his Mormon faith: (Emphasis mine.)
I found myself discussing this situation with several colleagues, and we agreed that Romney doesn’t lie. Let me repeat: Mitt Romney doesn’t lie. He is telling the truth as he sees it — and truth it is, the facts notwithstanding. This is not simply a case of Hamlet arguing about point of view, saying, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” This is about a conflict between evidence and faith. There is a long tradition in the Mormon belief system in which evidence takes second place to faith. Examples abound, as when two Mormon elders who were questioned about the inconsistency in passages from the Book of Mormon said, “We know the Book of Mormon is true and that it contains the Word of God even in the face of evidence that appears contradictory,” according to The Mormon Missionaries by former Mormon Janice Hutchison. Thus there are no lies, only faith-based certainty that translates as truth for which no apology is needed, since what was said was not a lie.

Children learn to lie at different times in their development, but almost always by the age of 10. Their lies help establish them as separate from their parents, especially if the parents believe them. And one doesn’t have to be a Mormon to lie — just look at John Edwards or former Nevada Senator John Ensign. But in the Mormon Church, there was a decision to accept authority as true — whether or not evidence supported it. Hence Joseph Smith, the founder of the faith in 1820, claimed he was illiterate and received the Book of Mormon directly from God. But he could read, and read very well.

This unwavering faith is central to Romney’s comfort in deflecting any examples that the press might bring up of his lying. Further, it allows him to repeat lies again and again — both personally and in political advertising — because to him they are not lies at all. I’m reminded of that old epigram from the 1960s: “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.” That may be all good and well in many offices, but it’s not so good in the Oval Office.
Yet short of indicting all of Mormonism as a religion which breeds and encourages liars — a charge that could be leveled at every religion, with any literal reading of their holy books —I'm inclined to believe, based on my gut-check, personal observations of this perennial candidate for the world's most powerful office, that there's more at work here, which is disturbing in polite corporate media company, because it goes to the heart of Mitt Romney's mental stability and fitness for the office of president. Here is the best summation I've read of the question of Romney's possible sociopathy, focusing on three discrete and weird, or disturbing (depending on how you view them) incidents in Mitt Romney's past. He certainly meets the profile of a sociopath.

So, as discussed by Dr. Franks, not only is Romney's secretiveness about his religion disturbing as a likely source of his pathological lying; my gut also tells me he is a sociopath that is fundamentally, psychologically unfit to be president of the United States. That he is this close to becoming president should frighten the bejeezus out of 80% of the population that is essentially sane. I keep coming back to that right upper lip curl of contempt and ingrained cruelty, and to James Lipton's observation of the eyes that don't smile. My political instincts tell me this guy is really, really bad news. And he's skating along inside a bubble of secrecy that, for whatever backroom corporate deals cut, the press dare not burst. That, by itself, is unsettling. And my gut political instincts rarely let me down.


Anonymous said...

Whew, I thought that something was wrong with me.I have stated for months,there is something missing with Romney ,he is too disconnected and secretive.

Carlos said...

Nothing's wrong with you; quite the contrary. It's tough for regular citizens to step outside the MSM grid and see beyond the Beltway Media narrative.

What's the big deal with Romney releasing his tax returns? The outrage is his arrogant stonewalling and refusal to do so.