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Humanism breeds a generation of narcissists with huge deficits

There is a problem that seems to be the net result of self-esteem being propagated in our schools and other social settings that is out of control. Is it leading to a generation of narcissists?

A definition of a narcissist is: “A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and subconscious deficits in self-esteem.”

Narcissism—an inflated view of the self—is everywhere. Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Parents teach it by dressing children in T-shirts that say “Princess.” Teenagers and young adults hone it on Facebook, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. And it’s what’s making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.

Dr. Jean Twenge focuses on the pernicious spread of narcissism in today’s culture, which has repercussions for every age group and class. Dr. Twenge joins forces with W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, to explore this new plague in “The Narcissism Epidemic,” their eye-opening exposition of the alarming rise of narcissism and its catastrophic effects at every level of society.

Some have attached this label to President Barack Obama and leaders from both parties in Congress.

“Even the world economy has been damaged by risky, unrealistic overconfidence. Drawing on their own extensive research as well as decades of other experts’ studies,” Drs. Twenge and Campbell suggest.

Twenge’s definition and observing the behaviors of our national and, even some state and local officials, would seem to put a finger on some of the problems that were once considered routine. For example, the president seems bent on creating a major issue out of raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Rather than negotiate in good faith with congressional leaders, he has taken the approach of the Clint Eastwood character Dirty Harry, by suggesting that Congress “Make my day!”

Of course on the other side of the political aisle we have a Speaker of the House who is motivated by his own ego, stating that he’s willing to let the nation default on its financial debt rather than give into reasonable proposals from the Senate or the White House. Therein lies the problem, however: Nothing in Washington seems to be based in reason or common sense.

“While Nero fiddled (in this case President Obama)Rome (i.e. Washington, D.C.) burned.”

This recent confrontation in D.C. is a high priced game of chicken being played by 537 narcissists elected by “we the people.”

Is there no end to this kind of insanity?

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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