Friday, February 25, 2011

Freedom Threatened By Glenn Beck's McCarthyesque Malignant Narcissism

Home Disclaimer Contents For Glenn Beck Share This URL
The following piece is reprinted here with permission of the author, Sarah JonesSarah brings her wide-ranging background of personal and professional experience to PoliticusUSA, which she joined in February of 2009. Along with her life long interest in feminism and social justice, Sarah has a background in TV/Film (TV host, news anchor, producer & writer) and has written and produced award winning documentaries. Sarah is PoliticusUSA's resident Palin analyst and a contributing author of the upcoming book "Palin's America: God, Guns & Greed," available through Barnes and Noble this April, 2011. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Psychology and Latin. This article was originally published on PoliticusUSA. It was edited with permission of the author to focus on Glenn Beck and exclude other right-wing commentators such as Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

Freedom Threatened By Glenn Beck's 

McCarthyesque Malignant Narcissism

...Glenn Beck appears to suffer from malignant narcissism. Malignant narcissism is a theoretic syndrome consisting of a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder as well as paranoid traits. Joe McCarthy is an historical example of the sanctimonious, self-righteous, single-minded, dogmatic tells of malignant narcissism with an authority attachment complex.

In his 1964 book, “The Heart of Man”, social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term malignant narcissism, describing it as a “severe mental sickness” representing “the quintessence of evil.” Fromm attributed malignant narcissism as the “root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity.” Otto Kernberg further argued that malignant narcissists had a sadistic component, and resulted in often sadistic psychopaths.
The malignant narcissism of Glenn Beck differs from plain old narcissism, which is sometimes curable and which we will most likely find in every politician to some degree. Malignant clinical narcissism is thought to have its roots in a childhood where the person does not evolve past the normal developmental stage of infantile narcissism. The onset of all narcissism is typically in infancy, childhood and early adolescence and is often attributed to childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers and with malignant narcissism, particularly involving humiliation for an imperfection.
Paul Lutus of “Children of Narcissus” explains, “Traits of clinical narcissism include grandiosity, a lack of empathy, unrealistic self-image, a sense of entitlement, a requirement for constant praise, ruthless exploitation, profound envy of others, and arrogance.” Digging deeper, psychologists have posited that these traits are defense mechanisms for a deeply, pathologically insecure person. Lutus explains that the narcissist with an authority attachment is one who has found a way around that pesky problem of competition with their entourage of enablers. They’ve found a way to separate themselves from every one else.
There is, of course, a danger to playing armchair psychologist and we observe that the Right has been glibly trying to attach the label of “narcissist” and “arrogant” to President Obama since his run for office. However, there are psycho-diagnostic tools such as Robert D. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) (1) used to diagnose patients by professionals. A few of the indicators (as determined by scale) are pathological lying, lack of remorse,(2) serial short term marriage, lack of empathy, shallow affect, and failure to accept responsibility for own actions.(3)
We do, of course, have endless proof of Beck's pathological lying, lack of empathy, failure to accept responsibility for his own actions...his calls to shoot radicals in the head and subsequent denials of any culpability in the attempted murder and successful mass murders of many innocent Americans.
Malignant narcissists prefer to remain ignorant rather than admit a need for personal growth and while studies have shown that most malignant narcissists are uneducated and simple minded, the matter of the chicken before the egg has yet to be sorted.
An example of the modern day Republican Party being led by such, we have the uneducated Glenn Beck (drug addict, scarred emotional past, he took one class at Yale about early Christology and dropped it) who makes up his own world in which he is King. Beck is incapable of seeing gray, incapable of learning from his own mistakes, and unwilling to engage in any forum where he might be questioned. As such, he has set up unilateral, one-way communication devices with the public.
In their constant need to shield themselves from the reality that they are merely humans, capable of making mistakes, the narcissist with an authority complex leeches onto to some authority such as a religious, legal or governmental power. Lutus describes the narcissist’s hunt for “the day when their actions will be beyond criticism.” 
Here’s Senator McCarthy in the army hearings, when finally the legal counsel for the army, Mr. Welch, now famously said, “Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you sense of decency?”

And here McCarthy is on Democrats:

McCarthy makes the sanctimonious and dogmatic declaration, “There is a small, closely knit group of administration Democrats who are the complete prisoners and under the complete domination of the bureaucratic Communistic Frankenstein which they themselves created…..They should be referred to properly as the CommieCrap Party (applause).”
Ringing any bells? The demonizing of Democrats that we’ve been witnessing for the last two years (longer on Fox) from Mr. Beck is the indicator of mental and emotional problems shared with McCarthy. We’ve heard on a daily basis that Democrats and liberals are ruining the world, are siding with whomever the bad guy of the day is, need to be shot down, need to be killed, are the anti-Christ, are coming for their guns, their religion, are Commies, are Marxists, are Nazis, are Socialists, etc. 
Clinical narcissism is classically displayed in their inability to grasp why anyone thinks differently than they do. This is evinced in leaders like  Glenn Beck and the entire sea of Tea Party candidates washed ashore this fall. This inability to countenance ideas different from one’s own is a classic tell of narcissism.
Malignant narcissism is incurable. A clinical malignant narcissist has no choice about their behaviors; they aim to destroy anyone who disagrees with them. They will display an inability to laugh at themselves or correct themselves in any way. We’ve seen this behavior over and over again from Glenn Beck. Malignant narcissism is a dangerous threat to American liberty, as seen in Joe McCarthy. And it has lead to dark, ugly times where liberals and Democrats are the targets of “random” but deliberately inspired mad men. The McCarthyesque malignancy ... needs to be called out.
Americans need to start asking, nay demanding, that Glenn Beck have some decency.

Before more people start tuning into Beck's malignant propaganda get involved
Post a comment
All non-spam comments approved
Free speech is practiced here
Please get involved for 10 minutes
Share this URL with your friends
Thank you
1) Hare, R. D. (2003). “The Psychopathy Checklist—Revised, 2nd Edition.” Toronto: Multi-Health Systems
2) Glenn Beck's apology to reform Jews for his ignorance on 2/24/11 is a rare exception.  If Beck would routinely lead in with his mistakes, he'd have to do so nearly every day.


Shaw Kenawe said...


Found you through "kid," and am adding you to my blogroll. I've been posting on Beckerhead for a long time, and am glad to find this blog as a resource for more info on him.

Right now, I'm concentrating on the Wisconsin situation.

Glad to have found this blog.

The Glenn Beck Review said...

Thank you Shaw. Momentum is building. I will add you to my blogroll as well.