WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.
"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness."
"Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."
While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy."
For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.
Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder.
"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do.
And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says.
"When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."
ALSO (by Terry Glavin)
British novelist Martin Amis recently confessed to being at a loss for words whenever he encounters the hysterical, "endocrinal state" that seems to befall certain people when the subject of Israel comes up in conversation.
"I just don't understand it," Amis said. "I know we're supposed to be grown up about it and not fling around accusations of anti-Semitism, but I don't see any other explanation."
And this got me to thinking. If it's not anti-Semitism, then what's the proper word for it?
What is the right word for a book like Greg Felton's The Host and the Parasite: How Israel's Fifth Column Consumed America?
What is the right word for Felton's thesis, which is that a Zionist "junta" was at work on Sept. 11, 2001, and that al-Qaida is a mere concoction in a secret plan to subvert the American Constitution, demonize Muslims and commit mass murder?
What do you call it when the Vancouver Public Library decides to present Felton, an apologist for the book-banning, journalist-jailing Iranian theocracy, as the featured author on the evening of Feb. 25, and as the library's contribution to national Freedom to Read Week?
What are we allowed to call Felton, who traces his Zionist plot back to the 1940s, when these same Zionists made "common cause" with the Nazis to rid Europe of its Jews, and participated in the herding of Jews into Hitler's gas chambers?
What Felton calls himself is an award-winning investigative reporter and Middle East specialist. His last legitimate journalism job appears to have been with a Vancouver weekly newspaper in the late 1990s, when his brief career as a columnist came to a famously embarrassing end.
The column that got Felton into such trouble was also about Zionists.
In that column, Felton traced Zionist swindles and trickery back through time and across Europe to a massive coverup of events that occurred in the Caucasus Mountains about 1,000 years ago.
Europe's Jews aren't Jews at all, Felton wrote. Almost all of them are "Khazars," a long-extinct Turkic tribe from somewhere north of the Caspian Sea.
Felton has been peddling this kind of thing ever since his departure from the weekly Vancouver Courier. He now writes for fringe Arab webzines and an online journal out of Tehran affiliated with the Iranian theocracy's Islamic Propagation Organization.
Felton's byline also routinely shows up on neo-Nazi websites, conspiracy-theory bulletin boards, and sometimes even in pamphlets of the Marxist-Leninist sort. And now,
Vancouverites can hear Greg Felton in person.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, Janice Douglas, VPL's director of youth services and community relations told me.
Felton approached the library looking for a gig. There was a "banned book" cachet about his tome, and the library hadn't hosted a Freedom To Read event in years. And Felton's book was "a book that people might not feel free to read."
That last bit was odd, I thought. From Dandelion Books, Felton's obscure little Arizona publisher, you can readily acquire titles about the lost continent of Atlantis, space aliens, New Age mysticism, mind control, 9-11 conspiracies, and even a novel by Yvonne Ridley, the disgraced, Taliban-admiring British journalist now working for an Iranian television network.
Whatever the right word is for literature like that, one thing that becomes immediately clear from reading Felton's polemics is that he's well aware of the mischief that even a writer of his stature can make with words.
You can choose words that hide meaning, rather than reveal it. You can avoid using words that would betray what you really are.
You can avoid saying "Jew" by saying "Khazar," or decide to say Zionist when everyone knows you really mean Jew.
The Khazar legend was a staple of 1930s-era European racism. Long after it had been wholly discredited by geneticists, linguists, archeologists and historians, the lie was revived by late 20th-century neo-Nazis.
Neo-Nazis find it useful as a twisted justification for their Jew-hatred. For Israel's more conspiracy-prone enemies, the Khazar legend completely delegitimizes the notion of Israel as a Jewish homeland.
That's how Felton employs it, and he gets extra mileage out of it as further evidence of the world's real, hushed-up history, which the Jews don't want you to know.
No, wait. Wrong word. Felton doesn't use the word "Jews" quite that way. It's the Zionists who are behind the curtain with their hands on the levers. Sometimes he uses two words to describe them. Zionist Jews. Jewish lobby. Zionist parasite.
When he calls them Khazars, he can attribute to them "the declared purpose of dispossessing and terrorizing" the Palestinian people, and by that one word -- Khazars -- the Palestinians become the only real Semites in the Holy Land, and Israel itself becomes anti-Semitic.
See how it works?
In Felton's words, Hamas is not an Islamist death cult animated by that classic anti-Semitic forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It's the equivalent of the French resistance during the Second World War, the "passionate defender of Palestinians."
There are no suicide bombings in Felton's lexicon. There are only "sacrifice bombings." Israel itself is a creation of the Nazis. It's the "Zionist Reich."
And that's the sort of ugliness that rushes in the moment the word "Israel" is mentioned in certain fashionable company these days. Martin Amis settled on the words "secularized anti-Semitism" to describe it.
If those aren't the right words, then words fail me.
(Terry Glavin's latest book is Waiting for the Macaws and other stories from the age of extinctions).