It is time that we realized just how damaging political leaders are who have psychological issues (psychopathology, narcissism and schizophrenia), issues which actually confer an increased chance of political success.
TO SURVIVE THE ONSLAUGHT of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, a cancer cell needs to be almost pathologically resistant to being killed. Unfortunately, these methods of killing cancer cells are not 100%: the tiny percentage of surviving cancer cells are the more virulent ones, the ones most resistant to treatment, which is why cancer that returns after "successful" treatment is usually far more deadly.
To survive the onslaught of the modern political systems, those who successfully get to the top are the ones who are most resistant to the enormous pressures and back-stabbing associated with the political environment. And the type of psychology most able to cope in this environment can be characterised as: thick-skinned, narcissistic, charismatic, duplicitous, conscienceless, cruel, repressed, unempathic, selfish, expedient, ruthless and cut off from reality.
Of course, not all politicians are have these qualities; the point I am making is that those who have these qualities have an easier ride in the modern political system, and so are more likely to get to the top, to get into positions of authority. Consider it as survival of the fittest.
This is why politicians tend to be so out-of-touch with the people: they are a system-selected group of very unsavoury and self-centred characters pretending to care about social issues as a means to the end of selfish accumulation of power and wealth. In other words, the very people in power are the very people who should not be in power because they will abuse the system — which of course they do. You read about them in the papers every day.
If these were just unsavoury but normal psychological characteristics, we could always hold to the hope that our leaders, in the right situation, will behave with responsibly and with genuine care. But a percentage of people in society are mentally ill, hardwired with these characteristics to the exclusion of any redeeming qualities. These are the borderline psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths and schizophrenics. (Those that are not borderline tend to be on strong medication and/or in institutions.) And these individuals, unfortunately, have a HUGE advantage in making it into positions of power because they have absolutely no conscience holding them back from taking what they want in any way that they can.
[If you are interested in how these types of individuals get to the top, check out the book Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes by by Andrew M. Lobaczewski.]
As a consequence, we have a disproportionately high percentage of borderline psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths and schizophrenics in positions of political power (not just political power but all positions of social power). And as political office, especially high political office, holds great social responsibility, allowing these types of individual to act as leaders is… well, insane!
There has been much talk about George Bush and Tony Blair having these types of anti-social characteristics, which is why they both could lie their way into a war that killed over a million people and then show absolutely no remorse when their lies have finally been exposed (it is now accepted that WMDs never existed and that both men knew this before they went went looking for blood).
So how do we stop these types of individual from gaining positions of power and authority in society?
We can only do this by weeding them out at an early age, before they can do too much damage. But this will require the labeling of a small percentage of children as unsuitable for positions of power, something that many will find abhorrent. It goes against the grain of our democratic belief that all people are equal, and that anybody can become Prime Minister or President. But all people are not equal, and different individuals are suited to different positions in life — short people, for example, are not really cut out to having careers as basket ball players. And those with pernicious and untreated mental health issues should not be allowed to take up positions of responsibility in society, otherwise society will soon be reduced to the chaos of a mental asylum.
If branding young children for life is not an option, then at the very least all those entering public office should be vetted psychologically. We lose to much if we allow ourselves to be blinded by the modern ideology that regards everyone as equal.