Confirmation of sociopathy or of evil?

Today's P45 news begs the question of him, of us

vol. 2 issue 9


Several days ago on Facebook, I posted a provocative essay, a rant actually, written by a civil engineer who effectively drew comparisons about what happens when know-nothings are so angry at experts, they vilify and demote them vs. what happens when the experts are trusted to do what they have spent their lifetime dedicated to learning how to do. The context, of course, was that the federal response to this pandemic has been so chaotic and ignorant (or, corrupt now that we know many of the Republicans in the know were cashing in on the crisis before telling us we had to prepare for it or die), while in municipalities and states governments, we are seeing more coordinated responses. The reason being that this administration reflexively abhors anyone with expertise because it threatens the haters’ sense of divinely conferred specialness versus earned credentials.

Well, that was what the ranter in question had to say.

The response to it from one of my FB contacts was to scold me for injecting negativity into a crisis that needs more collaboration and empathy.

Sure. But we also have an election coming up and it’s important to remind the electorate that supporting candidates who can find their own ass with both hands before we hand them over the keys to the office does tend to result in more favorable outcomes.

But, let me ground that exchange in something else. It’s also nice to have those who are confident enough in their skills and experience that when faced with a challenge, aren’t questioning whether they know enough, but are asking themselves how to apply what they know they know. If you aren’t freaked out wondering how the hell you are going to approach a situation you are not qualified to handle, but gee whiz, lots of people expect you to know because, uh, that’s your job, then guess what you have plenty of room for? Collaboration and empathy.

Which is why this exchange below— it’s the same link as above; I am posting it twice because it’s so stunning, I had to watch it twice to believe it — today between P45 and a reporter who asked something plenty of everyone in this country right now would like the answer to, upset me and a hella lot of everyone else:

It was a slow pitch softball in a fast moving hard ball game, and P45 flubbed it. The reporter, NBC’s Peter Alexander, who lost a colleague to the virus today, actually asked him to offer words of hope, but instead, we got a rant. Not a rant in favor of expertise, not a rant even at China, which would even have been a step above what we did get: a rant in favor of shaming people in search of collaboration, empathy, and a little expertise.

And, by the by, his strike out didn’t do much good for the markets. They had been gaining until he spat out his denunciation of Alexander and the network. Then they tanked.

Vanity Fair called it the moment P45 confirmed his sociopathy, but in a month docu-mental has been focusing on the ins and outs of diagnosis, I can’t see this in clinical terms. Instead, I see this as the time we need, more than ever, a Jungian approach, one that views those who are troubled in spiritual terms, where what ails us is the manifestation of what we will not integrate of our shadow selves.

This man is our national id. He is the embodiment of all our collective deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

In a democracy, this kind of insanity doesn’t rise to the top without the electorate, however incrementally, giving up its power inch by inch until it no longer flows to and from the people, in and out of the conscious and unconscious, and into our lives, but instead stays stuck at the top.

Power, energy, commerce, currency.

Funny how these words, depending on the context, are all synonymous. And interesting that in our country right now, they are suddenly in play as Congress has to decide how much power to return to us by way of emergency commerce measures, access to healthcare, access to testing, access to our data so we can be surveilled to map the virus’s path.

This crisis of spirit and purpose which I believe is evil won’t be healed with clinical approaches, but with personal resolve to own up to what it is about each of us that made it okay to let this kind of energy metastasize rather than be in balance.

And then, you vote.