Sociopaths and Georgia Republican Politicians
As the Harvard psychologist Martha Stout pointed out in her book The Sociopath Next Door, a defining characteristic of sociopaths is that they lack a conscience. They can only think of their own interests. They aren’t capable of empathy.Many sociopaths rise to positions of power. It’s convenient not to be slowed in carrying out your ambitions by thinking about how your actions might hurt others.
A trouble for sociopaths, however, is that this cognitive abnormality sometimes prevents them from seeing how thoughtless their behavior would appear to others. A recent instance of this was senator Ted Cruz’s escape to Cancun with his family when most of his constituents in Texas were freezing and without power and water after an unusually severe winter storm. Last week, the sociopaths who control the Georgia Republican Party passed an assortment of targeted voter suppression laws, one of which made it a crime to give someone who has been waiting in line to vote for hours (another effect of voter suppression) a bottle of water regardless of how thirsty they might be. Were they not sociopaths, they would have foreseen that by inserting such a provision in the law, they would reveal themselves to be bizarrely antisocial in pursuit of their ambitions.