A couple of weeks ago, I meant to comment on Roger L. Simon’s piece on Moral Narcissism. In it, he expounded on a phenomenon which I’ve seen and been irritated by all my life, but had no name for.
Moral Narcissism is an evocative term for the almost schizophrenic divide between intentions and results now common in our culture. It doesn’t matter how anything turns out as long as your intentions are good. And, just as importantly, the only determinant of those intentions, the only one who defines them, is you.
In other words, if you propose or do something, it only matters that you feel good or righteous about what you did or are proposing, that it makes you feel better personally. The results are irrelevant, as are how the actual activity affects others.
Roger points to egregious examples of our society’s Invasion of the Moral Narcissists.
The Obama administration is loaded with moral narcissists, including, obviously, the president himself — Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton etc. The media and Hollywood are also clearly stuffed to the gills with moral narcissists.
Obamacare is a perfect example of moral narcissism in action. Never mind that the public didn’t want it. Never mind it was an atrociously planned bureaucratic mess (in fact that comes with the territory). It was what Barack Obama wanted — for himself.
Moral narcissism creates an atmosphere of dishonesty bizarrely similar to Islamic taqqiya. In Islam, the believer is permitted to lie to the non-believer because the believer has the greater truth. For the moral narcissist, lies becomes truth in almost the same manner. Some like Dan Rather (a moral narcissist par excellence) could thus pronounce the Bush National Guard papers real when anyone with an IQ in triple digits could see that they were fake. They felt real to Dan. And, crucially, that made him feel good about himself.
Roger goes further in claiming that the Bergdahl affair was another example of moral narcissism in action: that President Obama fancies himself “The Great Emacipator, Part II.” It is here that I disagree with Roger.
Barack Obama had it within his power to help six of his fellow Muslims get back to their respective homes, so that’s what he did. It was simply an act of Islamic loyalty; nothing more complicated than that.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!