Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Enjoying the Suffering the Others

It has been my hypothesis that Americans have been becoming more and more narcissistic. If this is true; then Americans must also be enjoying the suffering and failures of their adversaries. This is shame, especially when most previous generations of Americans were brought up to respect their competition or adversaries.

Let’s think about it; we live in the age of social networking were people do nothing but brag about their daily activities. We are more polarized as a nation than ever before over political ideology because each side thinks they are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong and therefore, there is no room to compromise. It has gotten so bad we only listen to pundits that agree with our philosophies. This is narcissistic behavior.

Thus, if we are narcissistic, then it begs to reason we must also hope our adversaries fail. We cheer when opponents make mistakes or even get physically hurt. This is why people back stab, lie, and cheat – so they obtain an edge over their competition and can succeed at their expense. This type of narcissism is present during all aspects of our lives – school, sports, and work, but it is also very prevalent in politics.

If we need any reminder of how cut throat politics can be, we need to look no further than campaign ads that paint the competition as evil. Politicians are routinely compared to Hitler or other dictators that have murdered millions of innocent people. I hear people wishing that Bush would fail or that Obama would fail. I do not agree with Obama’s policies, but I sincerely do not want him to fail because that is not good for our country. I wish the stimulus was successful to combat unemployment and keep it lower than 8%. I wish that his healthcare reform lowered my insurance premiums and made healthcare more affordable for everyone. And if this happened, I would be the first person to admit I was wrong and would congratulate the president for his success.

Since adversaries do not want Bush or Obama to succeed then they must be secretly wishing that others will suffer. Think about it; people who wanted Bush’s Iraq policy to fail must also want our troops to fail. Why else would the media enjoy putting up daily death tolls and news stories about civilian deaths? Why else would the media paint our troops as being murderers and criminals? Did anyone notice these stories are no longer covered now that Obama is in charge? On the other hand, folks that wish for Obama’s economic policies to fail must enjoy seeing those statistics on high unemployment rates and more Americans living in poverty. And some pundits may secretly wish for a terrorist attack to prove that Obama has made us less safe. Have we stooped this low? Unfortunately, I believe this is the case. It is human nature. This is why Americans gawk at car accidents or fires. In a twisted way I think Americans find reassurance to see that there are people suffering more than themselves. This explains why Americans, even the poor, are generous and donate money to help others in need. But Americans certainly will not donate money to help an adversary who is ill or sick.

Until we become a nation of people who admit to our mistakes and praise our competition for their successes – we will continue to devolve as a nation. We will continue to secretly wish the pain and suffering onto innocent people in order to say “I told you so”. And as long as we have a president who insists on blaming his predecessor for all his problems – the personalities of Americans will continue to digress and our egos will continue to grow as they follow the poor leadership skills used by our president.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)


  1. Hey There Patrick,

    I’m sorry to disagree but I think it’s a mistake to lump everyone together when it comes to cut throat politics. Do I want Obama to succeed? No. But that’s because Obama and I have different definitions of success.

    Unfortunately much of the electorate has been dumbed down. They are incapable (or they pretend to be incapable) of connecting any presidency with the actions of past presidents or current/past congresses. They see everything as “the Bush years” or “the Obama years.” This devolution has put us in the unfortunate position of having to hope for bad things to occur under “Obama’s watch,” only because we understand that no thoughtful evaluation will be otherwise forthcoming.

  2. CW, your conclusions may make more sense. Maybe I am weird, but I do not want people to fail. At work, I think I disagreed with how my managers did their jobs, but my job and to some extent my success depended on them being successful. I may not agree with Obama and how he handled the economy, but I want the economy to turn around because people are suffering. And it is not just work or politics. I coach youth wrestling and I see how parents and kids behave when their kid loses or how they behave if their kid wins or how they behave if a kid gets hurt. In a lot of instances it is disgraceful. It is as if losing (failure) is not an option and wining at any cost is acceptable.

    I do agree the electorate has been dumbed down. i think they rely on the impartial media to think for them.

  3. Hi Patrick,

    I think you have the right idea in general, which is that we should all hope for positive things to happen for this country. The problem is that we all have different definitions of what constitutes “positive” things. Obama thinks his healthcare legislation is a positive thing, but conservatives can think of nothing worse.

    Because of the way liberalism works – by redefining our language (as in the way Obama recently tried to redefine judicial “activism” as abiding by the Constitution) – we can no longer use certain words to convey our points. “Success” is too vague. Define what success means to you (i.e. balanced budget, lower debt, less people on gov’t handouts, etc), versus what it means to Obama (wealth transfer, bigger gov’t, gov’t dependency, higher taxes). That exercise will show whether or not you really want Obama to succeed.

  4. I understand CW. Although I want Obama to be successful, I understood his policies were doomed for failure. I probably wanted my boss to succeed because I did not want his job while all those who wanted his job wanted him to do poorly.

    Speaking of words, did you see the list of words the NYC school system deemed as improper?

  5. >>”... did you see the list of words the NYC school system deemed as improper?”

    Ha! Yes I did! Or at least I heard part of the list on Fox. I guess that solves the mystery of why our schools are failing. The people in charge are idiot-mittens.

    I know you understand I don’t mean your wife. She’s as much a victim of this system as the kids are (and luckily she's not in New York).

  6. CW, I did not take it that way. The school system is not the only one taking political correctness too far, the same can be said for Texas Instruments, whom I worked for for 22 years. It is out of hand.