An interesting reading about psychopaths is also: The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain, James Fallon, 2013. The author is a bit of a psycho himself which makes the book even better (and no, you don't want him as your surgeon or brother or ...).

A problem in politics is that it's an area for compromise. You can promise your voters whatever but once in power, it may not be so easy - practically or because of the different priorities etc of other people in power. For normal people that makes it hard; for habitual liars such as psychopaths, that's not a cost.

Of course, the public is at fault, too. If voters are ready to listen to statements with qualifications rather than sound bites, honest politicians have an easier life. Or if the public were better informed (eg some constituents were mad at my party for not delivering on an election promise, unaware of the fact that we are in opposition, not in government)

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Brian, this pairs well with your previous Substack regarding conspiracy and the political right. Question for you and others: What happens when people/politicians only have 2 of 3 or even 1 of 3 of the dark triad?

My guess is that narcissism is accompanied by some kind of psychopathic/sociopathic tendencies. For example, the right in the US is the party of grievance and victimhood. That definitely has a narcissistic bent, but also lacks empathy as well as if others do not have problems to bear. To me that is 2 of 3.

Or the Machiavellian “ends justify the means”? That is usually accompanied by narcissistic behavior. Again, 2 out of 3.

One can be politically savy and navigate the jungle that is politics in government and the corporate world while still having empathy and serving the greater good. Jimmy Carter comes to mind. But those people are few and far between. As you say, why would anybody want that gig.

So what are we to do? Cannot cure a mass psychosis so easily unless something terrible happens..see Italy and Germany in WW II. What will it take to change this dynamic?

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