Special Edition

NOVEMBER 22, 2008


Have you ever run across something that confirmed a suspicion? Well, yesterday that very thing happened to me. What was it? It was the reading of reviews on the book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness," by Lyle H. Rossiter, M.D., Psychiatrist. I am not going to bore you with my own comments about this book (I am obviously not an M.D., nor a psychiatrist). Instead I am going to reprint a few reviews of the book made by others. Even the reviews are interesting, informative, and entertaining.

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About Dr. Rossiter -- Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D. received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago. He is board certified in both general and forensic psychiatry and has diagnosed and treated mental disorders for more than forty years. He has been retained by numerous public offices, courts, and private attorneys as a forensic psychiatrist and has consulted in more than 2700 civil and criminal cases in both state and federal jurisdictions.

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Are Liberals Out of Their Minds? Why do modern liberals think and act as they do? The radical left's politics and its destructive effects on our basic freedoms have provoked many to speculate on what makes these people tick. The Liberal Mind answers the question. This book is the first systematic analysis of the political madness that now threatens to destroy the West's greatest achievement: the American dream of civilized liberty. In his penetrating analysis, Dr. Rossiter reveals modern liberalism's assaults on: The freedom of adults to make good lives for themselves by cooperating with others, The ability of families to raise children to be self-reliant and mutual, and The morals, rights and laws that protect our freedoms. Modern liberalism's irrationality can only be understood as the product of psychopathology. So extravagant are the patterns of thinking, emoting, behaving and relating that characterize the liberal mind that its relentless protests and demands become understandable only as disorders of the psyche. The Liberal Mind reveals the madness of the modern liberal for what it is: a massive transference neurosis acted out in the world's political arenas, with devastating effects on the institutions of liberty.

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I purchased this book to illuminate the wellspring of a slightly different topic, Why liberals feel socialism is superior to freedom, given the evidence of the last 120 years and the blood spilled by governments against their own people. Rommels book "The Black Book of Communism" details the horrors, but not the "Why". Given the evidence of total failures of Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Castro, the African Communist states, the current clown Hugo Chavez plus the failures of the European states in both production and sheer vitality (their demographic populations will disappear within 50 years given current birth rates) you would think that even the liberal's would be demanding an overhaul of their own philosophy, or even second thoughts. Not so.

Throughout the centuries man has stumbled from one leadership model to another: Roman Emperors, Kings and Fuedalism, Popes, Aristocracy, and Socialism. All are dead ends for those who wished to rule over the individual. Everything from gun control to Gulags have been tried by the socialist state without achivement, yet they use the same methods over and over. To repeat the same action over and over and expect different results is the very definition of madness. This book gives the "Why"

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For years I have tried to discuss rationally with liberals/socialists. The only result I could get was to doubt my arguments, no matter how solid they were, because reason didn't seem powerful enough to move them. I could see that the liberal agenda was economically unsound and even against the basic facts of human nature. Just when I was giving up any possibility of ever understanding the liberal mind and its irrational assaults on reason and human nature, I came across Dr. Rossiter's book.

For the first time I could confirm a long held impression that liberals have some problem in their way of thinking. The Liberal Mind convincingly states that what appears to be just normal people worried about real social and political problems is in fact a neurosis which manifests itself in trying to manipulate those who just want to live their lives autonomously and cooperatively by attacking their freedom. Dr. Rossiter gives a complete description of signs, symptoms and causes of this neurosis. And a didactical one, for he emphasizes and repeats key concepts all through the book, so that when introducing new concepts the fundamentals are never out of sight.

Anyone who still understands man as an autonomous and cooperative being must read this book. The Liberal Mind is a wonderful guide through the sophisms the liberal neurosis creates in the mind of those affected by it, even if the liberal agenda has already dominated the mentality of almost a whole country.

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Dr. Rossiter's very illuminating and insightful book answers questions that many of us have asked about the essentially childlike behavior of liberals - for instance, their temper tantrums, sense of entitlement, intolerance, and grandiosity. While listing any number of liberals' infantile expectations - from a powerful parental government to a guarantee of material security from the state to laws that punish the "haves" for their excesses and compensate the "have-nots" for their pangs of envy to an international caring agenda that understands everyone's hardships and tolerates destructive actions by others, the list goes on - Rossiter concludes that, "these and other goals dear to the modern liberal heart are remarkable for the childhood needs they address and the adult needs they ignore." This is an important resource for those seeking to understand what makes the liberals among us tick. Joan Swirsky, NY-based journalist and author.

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Hear, Hear! You all have just made my day.

Of course, as a liberal, we all know that I'm deranged, but in the few moments of relative (love that word!) sanity that I occasionally produce, I certainly was able to recognize the best reason for taking any talk of making abortions illegal right off the proverbial table. Let's give a hearty and heartfelt welcome to Bullet Point (2) 'Honor the sovereignty, agency, autonomy and freedom of human beings. [Modern liberalism curtails individual freedom of choice and action, substitutes regulation and dependency for autonomy and freedom, and overrides personal sovereignty.]' (Apparently this is found on page 400.)

Thank you, Dr. Rossiter. May the rest of your life be peaceful, baby

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This book compares and contrasts liberals and libertarians. Most books on libertarianism are based on philosphy, ethics, politics, psychology, or economics. This one is different: it's based on psychiatry. As such it is unique and timely.

The book follows Erik Erikson's stages of life, showing how liberals develop differently from libertarians. To give a bit of the flavor of the book, here are the first four bullet points given on p. 400: "In the competent society, the competent individual is able to:

(1) Acknowledge the value of individual lives. [Modern liberalism devalues individual lives by violating individual rights and by treating citizens as fungible elements of economic, social or political classes.]

(2) Honor the sovereignty, agency, autonomy and freedom of human beings. [Modern liberalism curtails individual freedom of choice and action, substitutes regulation and dependency for autonomy and freedom, and overrides personal sovereignty.]

(3) Honor the freedom to consent and not consent that defines social cooperation. [Modern liberalism devalues voluntary cooperation in favor of government coercion and invalidates freely made contractual agreements.]

(4) Recognize the right to be let alone as a foundation right to individual liberty. [By invading every aspect of his life, modern liberalism's endless taxes and regulations violate the right of the citizen to be let alone.]

I do have a few bones to pick, however. The editing could have been better; for instance, the entire Table of Contents should not have been capitalized; but the word "Western" should have been capitalized throughout; on p. 57 the author writes "poles" when he means "polls"; and quotes are often given without specific references. On the other hand, the index is quite good.

One last quibble: the section on treatment is only two pages (pp. 405-406). Dr. Rossiter says "Therapy must also address the liberal's self-pathology, especially his immaturity, self-centeredness and grandiosity; his lack of empathy for and recognition of others; his marked sense of entitlement; and his impaired self-esteem and identity." This is fine, but please, doc, give us more than two pages of treatment after 404 pages of diagnosis.

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It's too bad this book had to be marketed as a political treatise because it covers all aspects of proper child rearing and normal and abnormal adult behavior in the context of liberal and conservative values. The book is well organized and very understandable, even to a non psychologist. It summarizes and repeats frequently to maintain the thought structure so that new ideas are easily integrated into existing knowledge. It pulls no surprises - it tells you what you already know, it just reorganizes normal knowledge and behavior into understandable cause and effect relationships. It is frightening to see where this country and the world are heading - there are many obvious effects, but the causes are obscured and the first cause is a major area of dispute. However the position that "If it's going to be, it's up to me" (which is the Conservative value advocated in this book) can be clearly differentiated from the popular current Liberal thinking that "Everything that isn't exactly the way I want it, is somebody else's fault." This book points out the disastrous long term consequences of depending on somebody else (namely the government) to cure our problems. The author states that politicians see the ills of society, poverty, illness, unemployment, etc., and they attempt to cure them from a central government level. The author claims that is this action actually increases the problem, because it develops more and more dependance on government, instead of developing our own skills to provide our sustenance. We are beginning to see these consequences in terms of family disruptions, increasing crime, and loss of jobs. This author knows what is going on in this country and the world, and presents an excellent description of what is happening, but it is my opinion that nature will have to take its course, and we will have to get very hungry before we learn what we are doing wrong. This book is an excellent guide on how to raise kids in an environment of trust, dependability, and predictability, so that they will become independent and productive citizens and not excessively dependent on the government or others for their sustenance.

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It's groundbreaking because Rossiter's goal is to specifically help people understand this mental disorder. It's not about anything other than to focus on the causes of Modern Liberalism. He logically builds a case and it's not hard to follow.

People have been describing the symptoms of these people for years, but as far as I know, no one has described the causes so clearly. (Someone should segment Liberals into various categories because not all people who say they are Liberal are truly Modern Liberals. Some people vote for Modern Liberals because they focus on only a few issues or if they don't have the inkling to dig into things to see how the Modern Liberals lie. Let me be clear, I don't want to say that everyone who votes with or for Modern Liberals is truly a Modern Liberal. In any event, these Modern Liberals are in the driver's seat in the Democratic Party and understanding them is paramount.)

Many people are confused with Modern Liberals because they really don't make sense. Rossiter points out that the "liberal neurosis" is "disguised as a rational political philosophy." I think that most people used to think that these Modern Liberals were just "different." It's more than just being different. I think it used to be that both conservatives and liberals had the same aims and goals - just different ways to get there. But since the Modern Liberals have come on to the scene, they are diametrically opposed to just about everything. The book explains the symptoms and the source of the disorder. I know someone who is an alcoholic and in learning more about the disease, I have found that many, many of the issues of denial and ignoring facts are the same as with Modern Liberals. This book confirms it.

If you read the book (and I recommend that you do), you'll learn about the psychological nature of man and many aspects about how we tick. The product description isn't bad. If you are on the edge of Modern Liberalism and find that the book is too much, you can just read the first 100 pages or so, skim the middle and then read the last 75 or so pages.

Independent of Rossiter, there is a video from a guy named Evan Sayet giving a talk called "How Modern Liberals Think." Evan is a comedian and he used to work for Bill Maher. He comes at the problem from an inquisitive angle while Rossiter's book is a treatise. The video and the book complement each other. Evan's talk is at [...]. (I see that Amazon sometimes pulls urls. Just go to YouTube and search on "Evan Sayet" and pick the "How Modern Liberals Think" video.) I'd say that between Rossiter, Evan Sayet, the scores of talk radio people, bloggers, etc., that we have cracked the code on these people. It's a matter now of getting the word out and challenging them and their ideas in the public square. (Watch that Evan Sayet Video.)

I do wonder about the psychological community because they seem pretty Modern Liberal too. What effect is this book having on psychologists and psychiatrists? If Rossiter is right, what some of them will do is "change the science" so what is abnormal becomes normal - sort of like rewriting history. (I don't follow that industry so they may have already done it!)

I used to listen to these Modern Liberals and think "Well, maybe they know something that I don't" or "Maybe I'm wrong." Not anymore.

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Good & well supported explanation of today's entitlement driven, tantrum throwing angry liberals. To those who find it a bit *dry* this is actually a serious work by a psychiatrist not an interview on Leno.

Early childhood development crisis explains liberal behavior quite nicely. Recommended reading if you have to interact with liberals in your daily life & are continually baffled at how those who constantly screech & preach *tolerance & diversity* are actually less tolerant than the Taliban if you dare disagree with their irrational & destructive belief system.

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An excellent work on the psychology of political thought. Dr. Rossiter deftly delves into such areas as early childhood development, socialization, paranoia and narcissism to help explain what appears to be the incorrigible irrationality of liberal political thought. The insights provided by Dr. Rossiter give understanding into liberals' exasperating and seemingly infantile behavior patterns: their need for immediate gratification, their whining about imaginary victims and raging about imaginary villains, their pulling the blanket over their heads when confronted with real and immediate danger, their running to the government for immediate relief whenever stumbling on to life's inevitable foibles and adversities--"mommy, mommy, make them stop", their hysterical, drama-queen, absolutist view of life.....

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