Psychopathy Update

If, in this hot weather, you feel like having a little cold chill run up or down your spine, check out Get Me Roger Stone on Netflix.   It’s a documentary about a man who claims to be, with a good deal of support to those claims, a trail blazing pioneer of political consultant/lobbyist influence selling, unlimited political campaign spending via legal loopholes and negative campaign ads.  He considers himself a genius in these fields and is coy about also being a master of what he calls disinformation.   Trump is this smiling sociopath’s proudest protege.  The president even models his speaking style on Stone’s.

Stone’s Rules, which are featured throughout the documentary, read like a psychopath’s catechism.  “Deny, Deny, Deny” is one of his rules. “Fuck ’em where they breathe” may be another.

The entire exercise for Stone is about winning and forcing his view on others, without regard for what many would consider ethics.   Stone proudly announces that with the election of Donald J. Trump we are all now living in the Age of Stone.   I suppose it could also be phrased as the Stone Age.    Stone’s comments about ethics and morality mirror comments made by no less an authority than the man the New York Times referred to as Mr. Hitler.  According to Mr. Hitler, “conscience is a Jewish invention”, morality is a Jewish device to weaken the will of those destined to rule the earth at any price.  

Roger Stone had a moment of revelation when he was an elementary school student during the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960.  He loved Kennedy, a fellow Catholic with “great hair”.   During his elementary school’s mock election he told every student in the lunchroom that Nixon had a plan to extend the school week to six days.  Kennedy won in a surprise landslide.  Stone was hooked on the rush of an audacious lie swaying an electoral outcome.  He childish infatuation with JFK was short-lived, he soon developed a lifelong connection with Nixon.

Stone had a political revelation around 1964 after reading Barry Goldwater’s manifesto “Conscience of A Conservative”.  At age twelve he became devoted to increasingly extreme right wing politics.  He worked for Nixon, who he greatly admired.  He was proud to be the youngest person connected to Nixon’s corruption, and has a tattoo of Nixon’s head on his back.   He helped Reagan win with the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”.  It was one of several slogans Reagan used, decades later it would be the only one Trump needed.

In the same way that the corporation, a “person” with only one legal concern, maximizing profits, fits the human definition of the psychopath (see this wonderful documentary  for a detailed comparison of modern corporations and serial killers — good website too), Mr. Stone and Mr. Trump are the human embodiments of this “no holds barred” kick ’em in the nuts approach to political dominance.  Heedless of anything but “winning”, unabashed about spouting the vilest fictions, they are examples of the great men that history, sadly, produces from time to time.


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