Thursday, August 14, 2003

Study of Bush's psyche touches a nerve

There's an article in the Guardian about a $1.2m study done by US psychologists on "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition" which apparently concludes that "conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity" and that George Bush is a textbook case. Now I could have told them that for much less money. Seriously though - clearly there is something about the way Bush and those around him think that seems unpleasant and odd (and even insane) to more liberal-minded people. However, I have my doubts about turning it into a psychological pathology. I think Bush et al. do bad things for selfish reasons and then use dishonest intellectual tactics to justify their actions. I think they sometimes tell deliberate lies and sometimes they just delude themselves. But I don't think they are any more 'neurotic' than the rest of us...