Home > Democrats, Psychology, Republicans > It’s All About Control! (Kind Of)

It’s All About Control! (Kind Of)


After listening to a group of friends discussing tactics and tendencies of the left, and making my way through a psychology book, I think I have come to some enlightening tendencies and rationales why the left, and politicians in general, behave as they do.

While many of us who are conservatives or libertarians easily repeat the tired axiom that the left “just wants control” or that they “want to run everything, because they think they know better”, it seems like that is the end of the statement. We roll our eyes, or shake our heads, or take another belt of the strongest liquor that is within arms’ reach. However, a statement made is not a reason understood, or is it a mind stoked.

The rationale behind that axiom seems to be the implication that the leftists just want control for control’s sake. Put more succinctly, they want power so they can do whatever they like. In some cases, that is true, but I think I have found the real reason so many liberals, and many Republicans too, now, seem to want power.

It is simply that they lack self-control. The lack of personal self-control forces them to seek another way to exert control, and they see government “service” as a viable substitute. And when you add to that, government’s coercive force – you have a situation made in heaven for someone who has to exert control somehow.

Former NJ Governor, John Corzine (seated) searching ardently for the $1.2 billion lost while he was CEO of MF Global.

That pairing – a lack of personal control and the ability to use governmental force – and it is little surprise to see the sorts of news stories that we do see frequently. Along with the lack of self-control, as if that were not bad enough, the media frequently gives the failing politicians a complete pass. So, it creates a politician who cannot adequately run themselves, but who benefit from a complete exemption from any results of when their new exercises of governmental power fail miserably.

We see this in any number of politicians who ardently fight for legislation that curbs rights and expands government, and who then have had to deal with numerous scandals and other ethical failings. The examples are all too common, including people like: Jon Corzine (ethical concerns during his tenure as New Jersey governor and a loss of $1.2 billion while he was CEO at MF Global) , Anthony Weiner (possible anger and interpersonal issues, as well as a well-publicized sexting scandal), and any number of other legislators or cabinet members revealed as tax-dodgers (Timothy Geithner, Jack Abramoff, Ted Stevens, and Charles Rangel [who, ironically, helped write parts of the tax code]) or found guilty of other corruption charges (James Traficant and William J. Jefferson). If it were not for the scandalous nature of the most egregious failings, the media would happily and continuously lay cover for the politicians.

When caught failing at their public roles, we frequently then see the politicians attempt to exert control over reality itself – telling us “that really didn’t happen”, or that we cannot understand the forces that they are under that lead to their actions. Another popular tactic is to invent a scapegoat – “someone else did it”, as Weiner did with his Twitter scandal. He blamed hacking until it was so obvious that no one believed that lie.

It is about psychology.

Sun Tzu famously told people in “The Art of War”, “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” Those who would be change-makers have so much ammunition given to them by the current, stale, time-to-go politicians, but they blanch too easily when confronted by the same politicians. When the people who would fight for the betterment of the country started to shrink back and disappear, I do not know, but the time of a pat on the back and a wink, are over. Now that you know the litmus test to apply to politicians (“Are they loose cannons in their personal lives? Yes? Then vote for anybody else.”) Use it.

Sun Tzu

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