Essay:Andrew Schlafly and narcissism
As we all know, there are people out there who take their ego just a little bit too far. And then there are the pathological narcissists. Narcissistic personality disorder is defined by the DSM-IV by an insatiable need for attention and admiration, lack of empathy, grandiosity in fantasy and behaviour, and an all-pervasive sense of superiority over others.
Now, which celebrated blogger and loony arch-conservative does that description remind you of?
Having perused Andrew Schlafly's writings, both as displayed here and on Conservapedia itself, more times than is strictly healthy, it is my inexpert belief that he represents a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. To receive a diagnosis of NPD, the patient must fulfil at least 5 of the 9 symptoms, so bearing that in mind, here we go:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Absolutely. Schlafly claims expert knowledge in countless areas he has no training or credentials in, from mathematics to geology to psychology to economics. Fail to acknowledge his superior expertise on any of these and it’s Godspeed time for you.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Completely. In fact, Sir Andy seems to believe he’s already there, as his bizarre claims about Conservapedia replacing television and any other media source out there will show.
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
You betcha. Andy, for example, seems to believe that no less an organisation than the FBI should be interested in tracking down and disciplining garden-variety vandals. He even goes above and beyond on this one with the Lenski affair, which shows him not so much associating with a high-status person as treating him like a recalcitrant and deceitful seven-year-old. Oh, yes, and the Conservative Bible Project, which sees Andy seemingly placing himself on a par with God himself.
4. Requires excessive admiration
See point 1. Indeed, the best way to get anywhere as a Conservapedia editor is to suck up to and flatter His Royal Andyness at every possible opportunity. Do the opposite, and you’ll be Orwelled out of existence.
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
See: Lenski affair. Also, any random selection of his posts will showcase this perfectly.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
This one is slightly harder to prove, but note that Andy seems perfectly happy to let his henchman do most of the dirty work, while he sits back and takes all the credit.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
Bingo! Given that empathy is what allows us to consider and respect other people’s opinions, the only conclusion is that Andy has none. Indeed, Andy’s first and only thought when confronted with news of a celebrity death appears to be, “how can I twist this into a cheap shot against Hollywood/liberal values?” And there’s his callous treatment of his students, as evidenced here. Is your daughter in tears over her homework? Don’t expect any sympathy from Andy!
8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
Andy’s mockery of liberals very often has this flavour to it, in particular his need to prove the emotional, intellectual and physical superiority of he and his fellow extremaservatives. Why, them goddamn libruls is just jealous of our MA-CHEESE-MO!
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes
Do I really need to elaborate on this one?
There isn’t one, because a patient’s recovery depends on his or her willingness to change....and can you see Andy doing that? Can you?