Long before he learned the facts about Sarah Palin, my husband remarked that there was something terrifying behind her eyes. He described them as ruthless and lacking in warmth, the kind of eyes that give you nightmares from which you wake up in a cold sweat.
Other people have pointed out that lots of her personality traits fit the definition of a narcissist, a psychopath or a sociopath.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior.
Psychosis is characterized by an adherence either to fixed, false beliefs outside the normal range, thinking that does not follow any rational line. False beliefs that cause a person to suffer, produce conflict with others or render a person unable to comfortably adapt to the demands of life, are delusions if they are not relinquished when the person is presented with adequate evidence to the contrary.
Symptoms of sociopathy may include an inability to tolerate boredom, feeling victimized, and a diminished capacity for intimacy.
• Glib and superficial
• Egocentric and grandiose
• Lack of remorse or guilt
• Lack of empathy
• Deceitful and manipulative
• Shallow emotions
• Lack of responsibility
• Early behaviour problems
None of us can presume to diagnose Sarah Palin as suffering from a mental illness, but her behaviour certainly gives rise to speculation.
In what ways has she acted that would indicate a pattern of behaviour consistent with the symptoms described above?
- The way she treated the people who launched her political career when they were no longer needed or stood in her way.
- How she can't stand to be criticized or challenged by anyone and either fires the individuals who do so, manoeuvres them into resigning their posts , or derides and humiliates those she has no power to dismiss from their jobs.
- Her account of Trig's birth, all the deception involved, her outrage when people doubted her highly suspicious story, lashing out at anybody and everybody.
- How she used her daughter Bristol to cover up her previous deceptions and continued to use her daughter for political reasons.
- Her treatment of baby Trig as a mere prop, disregarding his welfare and needs. Trig was paraded before the cameras during the VP campaign at all hours, passed from one person to another like a doll or mascot.
- The complete lack of empathy for the people of Western Alaska during the energy crisis, later taking credit for the efforts of others.
- Her religious beliefs are quite frightening and defy rational explanation. Witches, second coming, speaking in tongues, God speaking to her.
- Lying is as natural to her as taking a breath. "I said thanks, but no thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere", "Todd lived in a village in rural Alaska but seized an opportunity upon the North Slope, returning to the village to keep his ties to that lifestyle", and on and on and on, there are too many lies to list them all.
- Portraying herself as a victim of the media, the bloggers, the RNC handlers for her shortcomings during the VP campaign, not once taking any responsibility for anything.
- Not recognizing how her conduct may be seen as unethical. There have been several occasions when her ethics were challenged, but she never, ever does anything wrong, people are after her for political reasons, or they are petty, whatever.
- Her grandiose ideas about the gas pipeline, drilling everywhere and saving Alaska and the whole country from depending on hostile foreign powers for their energy needs.
- How she seizes every opportunity to be the centre of attention.
There's a lot more, feel free to contribute to the list.
If Sarah Palin is mentally unbalanced, her behaviour may be explained as the effect that all those symptoms entail. She can't help it. In that case, she shouldn't be in a position of power and would be well advised to seek medical assistance.
If Sarah Palin is completely sane, there's no explanation for her behaviour other than unbridled ambition and complete disregard for the consequences of her actions.
Whether she's insane or just bad, it doesn't matter, Sarah Palin doesn't belong in politics.
I think it's a combination of both and I agree with my husband, her eyes are terrifying.