It’s All in the Brain

Using the Findings of Neuroscience to Assess Political Behavior Sherwin A. Steffin May 12, 2009

A Personal Note from the Author
There is an old saying, the original author of which, I must confess I have been unable to locate or identify. However elusive he or she may remain, the power if this statement is shown by its ubiquitous appearance. A Google Search reveals 151,000 pages where this short statement appears.

“Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.”
This paper introduces some controversial concepts. Much of what I conclude about political behavior will be offensive to some, controversial for others, and hopefully thought provoking for most. While trained as a statistician, I have no formal training or experience in neuroscience. I have attempted, wherever possible, to provide links to any statement which I assert to have a basis in fact. I trust that most will agree that the “sandwich wrappings” around the facts are reasonably drawn inferences, and testable hypotheses. That being said, there are statements I make which are pure, unadulterated speculation – my “bronze” conclusions. To make certain you know the difference, I have set these conclusions apart, using a blue background. For what it is worth to you, be aware that these are my personal, unsupported hunches, so make whatever use of them you see fit.

Part I -- Defining the Problem
Introduction
The impetus for this article began in November, 2004, when George Bush secured reelection, and a conservative Congress retained its legislative control. All of this in the face of a war which, in every way, had failed to follow the course the Administration had so confidently predicted. All of this in the face of growing evidence that the WMD rationale for this expensive war, was either the product of incompetent intelligence gathering at best, and outright, deliberate lying, at worst. There were ample data available to differentiate between Bush and Kerry supporters, with some more salient results from an analysis by this author, provided here. Yet, the Democratic party, in nominating Kerry, proved itself, at that time, unable to field candidates with sufficient credibility to wrest either the presidency or control of Congress from conservatives. Within government, there is a cluster of jobs in which the participants are at physical risk, as found in law enforcement, counterespionage, and special military operators. For these individuals, risk taking, resistance to pain and tolerance for prolonged physical discomfort are essential attributes necessary for survival, if not success, in achieving their missions. Yet, finding candidates to fill such positions, proves to be an almost impossible task. They demand rocksteady psychological stability coupled with extraordinary physical skills. Finding suitable candidates for military elite forces such as the Navy Seals, or Delta

Force, is proving extremely difficult. Equally problematic is the task of maintaining the general military force, sufficient in size and quality to meet the warfighting needs of the nation Whether seeking candidates for the military or service in elective office, the problem remains the same. Candidates are expected to have the extraordinary skills necessary to meet the requirements of the positions they seek; at the same time, we expect (more realistically, hope) that office holders will display behavior and attitudes exemplified by the West Point motto – “Duty, Honor, Country.” Thus, our country faces a crisis which has become more evident over the last forty years, the specifics of which are known to all, but the generality of which has been little addressed. We have seen a nation paralyzed by corruption, incompetence, and polarized politicization of issues. In theory, there exist mechanisms for “checks and balances,” to control government run amok, but we have sadly seen how distant the fantasies offered up in public school text books are from the realities of government practice. In 2006, with the war raging unabated, growing military casualties, a trillion dollars spent in prosecuting the Iraq war, Democrats were able to regain substantial control of the House, and obtaina razor thin margin in the Senate. While a preponderance of Americans seek an end to the war, control of illegal immigration, ending the tenure of a politicized, incompetent Attorney General, and reversing illegal privacy violations by the FBI, the new Congress appears unwilling or incapable of resolving these, among many other issues. While the presence of corruption and incompetence give the appearance of an increase in frequency and magnitude, it is the author’s contention that they have always been present, but with the introduction of the new media, and the proliferation of multiple information channels, it is public awareness which has grown exponentially.

Questions
In considering the problems described above, several questions are immediately evident: Are there physical, economic, social, or neurological characteristics which reliably differentiate between those who label themselves as “Liberal,” vs. the “Conservative?” Does affiliation with political party occur first, with adoption of philosophy following, or is the reverse the case? Are there physical or psychological characteristics of individuals which increase the probability of selection and incumbency of elected politicians, apart from political affiliation, or stance on specific issues? (A prime example of this possibility was the reelection of Senator Joseph Lieberman, after being abandoned by the Democratic Party as a result of his position on the war.)

Are criminality, corruption, and incompetence conditions which will universally be present in government operations or are there mechanisms available which could modify the behavior of elected officials? There are numerous explanations for these and similar questions. The perspective of this paper is one of using the experimental findings of neuroscience. While there was a great deal of foundational work in understanding the anatomy and physiology of the human nervous system, a revolutionary tool became available in the 1990s which made it possible to reliably provide experimental verifications of the activity in the human brain as well as methods to assess these measurements.

The “Lit Up” Brain
With the development of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), neuroscientists acquired the ability to directly measure and thereby verify their theories of the electrochemical processes involved in human behavior.
The MRI Device, ready for use

While thousands of pages of material have been written about the methods and applications of fMRI, there are only a few concepts which need to be understood to follow the ideas developed in this paper: The fMRI device allows scientists to inspect changes in Blood Oxygen Levels as various areas of the brain become more or less active.

While there are literally millions of interactions within the brain, linked to our behavior and our perceptions, only three areas within the brain will be examined here – the Amygdala, a center of emotion and the Orbitofrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for decision making, logical analysis, and high level reasoning. The hypothalamus is a small structure located at the base of the brain. It is responsible for many basic functions such as body temperature, sleep, appetite, sexual drive, stress reaction, and the regulation of other activities. The hypothalamus also controls the function of the pituitary gland which in turn regulates key hormones. We shall return to the interactions of these three components of the brain, along with the effects of various neurotransmitters (chemicals that act on behavior) and hormones (most notably, testosterone) on the political behavior of voters and politicians, alike.
Map of key Areas off the Brain

Part II -- Voters and Candidates Who’s Conservative, Who’s Liberal, and the Choices They Make
A Quest for Certainty In our day-to-day world, we are confronted with making many decisions. In only a few of these cases are the consequences and probability of any given outcome totally clear. When this kind of decision occurs, the “best” choice is readily apparent. Even when we make a choice for the lesser of a number of evils, we seldom look back and agonize over whether we did the “right” thing, As a recent study about how we behave in the more frequent instances where results are uncertain, our brains behave quite differently than they do when there is certainty. “Unfortunately, this isn't how the real world works. In reality, our gambles [decisions] are clouded by ignorance and

ambiguity; we know something about what might happen, but not very much. (For example, it's now clear just how little we actually knew about Iraq pre-invasion.) “[When engaged in a gambling game with odds ambiguous, and difficult to calculate] the players exhibited substantially more activity in the amygdala and in the orbitofrontal cortex, which is believed to modulate activity in the amygdala. In other words, we [fill] in the gaps of our knowledge with fear. “This fear creates our bias for certainty, since we always try to minimize our feelings of fear. As a result, we pretend that we have better intelligence about Iraqi WMD than we actually do; we selectively interpret the facts until the uncertainty is removed. Purposefulness and Decisiveness In what we perceive to be a dangerous, challenging world, many of the selections we make in electing and supporting the policies of our leaders can be explained by a striving for certainty. Consider the attribute heading the list of the priorities of many when rating others on their “leadership.” That attribute is one of decisiveness. We expect of our leaders that they will assess complex problems, and once having made a decision, “Stay the Course.” Perceiving “flip-flopping” in incumbents or candidates tends to make us uneasy, and to lose confidence in their ability to solve problems of greatest concern. This quest for certainty goes a long way toward explaining the conservative personality. Moreover, it serves to provide am understanding of the electorate since 1994, as well as the profound aggression displayed toward traditional media editorial positioning as well as the negativity toward academia. In an article titled, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," published in the July, 2003 issue of the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin, a profile of this personality is clearly set forth. The researchers reviewed fifty years of literature related to finding commonalities in the behavior of the conservative. In summary, they found the following common to the thinking of those so categorized: • • • • Fear and aggression Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity Uncertainty avoidance Need for cognitive closure

Fear and Aggression The conservative sees those who differ in any way from himself, (personally, culturally, racially, gender or sexual preference among others) as persons to be feared, and as targets for aggression. After all, “a good offense is the best defense.” The greater the difference the greater the perceived threat. The greater the perceived threat, the more likely the hostile response, regardless of the nature of actual provocation. The author sees this fear of differences as serving to explain much of what we see as prejudice – whether racial, religious, or gender preference. Behavior or cultural values different from one’s own, under this paradigm, would automatically elicit anxiety. When some members of the targeted group demonstrate behavior seen as threatening, the perception of threat readily generalizes to the entire group. Thus, when we are told of drive-by shootings in predominantly black neighborhoods, association of criminal behavior with racial membership becomes an easy connection to make. Whenever change occurs in the life of an individual, it brings with it uncertainty, As discussed above, uncertainty evokes anxiety. To avoid this uncertainty and the accompanying anxiety, the conservative personality seeks clarity and simplicity. Complex ideas contain ambiguity and many “shades of gray,” are difficult to process. Such processing, in the brain of the conservative produces real and genuine fatigue. Attention Fatigue Giving one’s attention to the unfamiliar, the new, the challenging requires energy. As with physical activity, demanding exercise drains energy reserves. Like physical activity, attention, concentration, and focus, eventually depletes nervous energy available. In this experiment, the following results appear to support this conclusion: Stanford professor Baba Shiv invented an experiment where he manipulated the "cognitive load" of subjects. Shiv gave half of the subjects a two-digit number to memorize (low load), while the other half were given a seven-digit number (high load). Subjects were then instructed to walk to another room in the building. On the way they passed by a table at which they were presented with a choice between a caloric slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit salad. Fifty-nine percent of the people trying to remember seven digits (high load) chose the cake, while sixty-three percent of the two-digit subjects (low load) chose the fruit salad. In other words, having people memorize an extra five digits made them exhibit significantly less self-control. Why did the number of digits have such a strong effect? Shiv speculates that the effort required to memorize seven

numbers drew cognitive resources away from our ability to control our urges. This makes anatomical sense, since working memory and self-control are both located in our prefrontal cortex. Having to remember seven numbers occupied neurons that would otherwise help us decide what to eat, which causes us to become more reliant on our impulsive emotions. While we tend to think of self-control as being an innate trait, it is actually dependent on a range of extrinsic factors, all of which affect the way our brain responds to a given situation. Thus, the need to process complex questions with simple answers. Repetitive and certain-sounding slogans are likely to elicit more positive responses than will complex analyses containing many options, costs, benefits, and explanations. It is far easier to process, “If we don’t conquer them there, we will be fighting them here,” than to deal with the extraordinarily complex issue of how best to protect the country from a within-borders attack. Beyond the selection of political leaders, these concepts potentially serve to explain many of the attitudes and beliefs prevalent among conservatives. Those who revel in chaos, disorder, ambiguity, and a probabilistic view of the universe are the exact opposite of the conservative personality. The great preponderance of those in academia are just such people. This profound difference in problem solving and desire for intellectual challenge between this group and the conservative personality could well be the basis for the great animosity existing between these groups. Factor in the perceived or actual threat the academic poses by exposing the children of conservatives to new ways of thinking and managing knowledge and this threat is perceived as very real, indeed. The journalist, too, is typified by curiosity, accuracy, a search for detail, and a demand for clarification of ambiguity. Is it any surprise that this professional group, as with academics, is the target of hostility, if not outright hatred, from the Conservative? Words and Actions One of the key factors distinguishing between the Conservative and Liberal is the choice of tools used for problem solving. The Conservative sees military force, property destruction, and physical coercion as the preferred method for addressing disputes. (“Our job is to kill people and break things”). Conversely, the Liberal selects words, as well as money, using symbolic, rather the physical tools preferred by Conservatives, to solve complex problems. We have only to inspect the proposals for resolving the Iraq War, to discern these differences. In the face of united opposition, the Bush Administration was steadfast and unwavering in its view that “Victory,” through the employment of military force was the only solution to then existing conditions in Iraq. All of the

Republican contenders for the 2008 Presidential nomination, voiced variations of this same theme, even when acknowledging that this strategy may well end in failure. While Liberals acknowledged the necessity for some level of force, their diversity of proposed solutions, all included negotiation, economic aid, and political action as primary elements necessary to achieve ultimate peace in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. This animosity between words and actions extends to other areas of policy preference, as well. The desire of many Republican politicians and party members to address the immigration problem with security, deportation, and exclusion from American society, when contrasted with the Liberal’s proposals for integration, amnesty, and a path to citizenship might well be interpreted in the same way. Reliance on Tradition For those who crave certainty in their lives, who see the world as binary and simple, it is far easier (thus less fatiguing and painful) to recall past solutions to similar problems, than it is to find novel strategies to resolve the newly presented challenge. Of course, while there are similarities in problems, there are also differences. Such reasoning goes something like this: The old problem to which a satisfactory or satisfying resolution has been found contains attributes and characteristics designated as a,b,c,d.e.f. When a new problem presents itself, analysis of its ingredients reveals that it contains some elements that are exactly the same as the initial problem. These are identified as a,b,c. Yet it contained some elements different from the first problem, g,h,i. The notation for expressing this description is shown below. The Union of the two sets (the common elements of the two sets) is the area represented as the white background containing the elements in common (a,b,c). The non-common elements are shown in different colors, over a gray background. This background represents the expected diminution in attention directed at these disparate elements. Problemold = {a,b,c,d,e,f} and Problemnew = {a,b,c,g,h,i}

Prominence of Similarities and Differences Between Old and New Problems

Using the findings of the Shiv experiment, it can be inferred that the differences between Problemold and Problemnew will be less prominent in consciousness than will be the case for the similarities. The importance of the differences can be expected to be relegated to the view of being, “differences that don’t make a difference.” Can this theoretical construct be translated to familiar real-world problems? • Although there is considerable diversity among Republicans regarding many issues, there is one about which there is universal agreement – conformity to a “strict constructionist” view of the Constitution. Senate conservatives will go to great lengths to prevent confirmation of any nominee holding “progressive views” to the Federal Judiciary. The notion that it was not even possible for the writers of the Constitution to anticipate or even consider future fundamental societal changes seems to hold no merit to those subscribing to this rigid view. The mottos and symbols of time past seem to hold particular value to the conservative. Biblical proscriptions and prescriptions become the foundation for issue advocacy. The American Flag is such a symbol of reverence that attempts are made from time to time to make its destruction, burning or desecration, a criminal offense. The ultimate symbol of tradition is the (Christian) Bible – if you have any doubts of this, recall the uproar accompanying a new Congressman when he took the (symbolic, not the actual) oath of office using the Quran at a swearing-in ceremony.

Morality and the Conservative For most people their concepts of good and evil, morality and ethics originate with authority. Conservatives perceive the origin of morality as coming from some specific authority, such as the teachings of their religion, their parents, or their clergy. Those who see morality originating with authority, see moral rules has being absolute, unvarying, with breaches of these rules being largely

unforgivable. Conservatives almost universally hold this view of morality, best articulated in the communications issued from the neo-conservatives. Many Liberals hold a quite different view of what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Rather than originating with a single source, they see the aggregate culture of which they are a member, as the provider of moral guidance. Since societal values will vary, such a view is identified as moral relativism. Others will argue that morality determined by the situation in which one finds himself, another relativistic view of morality. Even the most stringent supporter of the tenets of moral absolutism is forced to concede that that the same act can at once be moral, (in fact required under traditional moral views), while with only a minor change be viewed as the among the most heinous of crimes – murder. To better understand this distinction, consider the trolley dilemma, a philosophical thought-puzzle first coined by Judith Jarvis Thompson in the early 1970's: Suppose you are the driver of a trolley. The trolley rounds a bend, and there come into view ahead five track workmen, who have been repairing the track. The track goes through a bit of a valley at that point, and the sides are steep, so you must stop the trolley if you are to avoid running the five men down. You step on the brakes, but alas they don't work. Now you suddenly see a spur of track leading off to the right. You can turn the trolley onto it, and thus save the five men on the straight track ahead. Unfortunately, there is one track workman on that spur of track. He can no more get off the track in time than the five can, so you will kill him if you turn the trolley onto him. Is is morally permissible for you to turn the trolley? In this hypothetical case, about ninety five percent of people agree that it is morally permissible to turn the trolley. Some moral philosophers even argue that it is immoral to not turn the trolley, since such a decision leads to the death of four extra people. But what about this scenario: You are standing on a footbridge over the trolley track. You can see a trolley hurtling down the track; it's out of control. You turn around to see where the trolley is headed, and there are five workmen on the track...What to do? Being an expert on trolleys, you know of one certain way to stop an out-of-control trolley: Drop a really heavy weight in its path. But where to find one? It just so happens that standing next to you on the footbridge is a fat man, a really fat man. He is leaning over the railing, watching the trolley; all you have to do is to give him a little shove, and over the railing he will go,

onto the track in the path of the trolley. Would it be permissible for you to do this? The brute facts, of course, remain the same: one man must die in order for five men to live. If our ethical decisions were perfectly rational, then we would act identically in both situations, and would be as willing to push the fat man as we are to turn the trolley. (Kant wouldn't have seen any difference.) And yet, almost nobody is willing to actively throw another person onto the train tracks. The decisions lead to the same outcome, and yet one is [is agreed as being] moral and one is murder. A real-life study of efforts to raise funds to assist victims of the Darfur Genocide reveals a sharp decline in funds raised when advertisements when statistics demonstrating the magnitude of the tragedy were substituted The difference in the two actions is that one is seen as being impersonal, wile the personal behavior clearly requires directed personal action. fMRI recordings clearly indicate that even when presented with a written, rather than video or photographic description of a hypothetical situation, brain responses are differentially activated as subjects attend to the scenarios. In a study titled, fMRI Investigation of Emotional Engagement in Moral Judgment, a clear difference in the patterns of response by seven areas of the brain, to Moral Impersonal, Moral Personal and Non- Moral decisions is shown in the graph below.
Brain Activation under Differing Moral Choices

An Hypothesis which might further explain the apparent “coldness” of the Conservative might well rest with a failure of this brain to differentiate

between Personal and Impersonal Morality. Certainly, this would be consistent with the desire for simplicity, blurring the perceived differences between quite different situational perceptions. Need for Strong (Masculine) Leader Returning for the moment to the seeking of certainty, we can see how a strong leader (much like the father figure model assumed by Ronald Reagan) has extraordinary appeal for the conservative personality. Found on Page 1 of The Neuroscience of Leadership, the authors tell us ‘Working memory — the brain’s “holding area,” where perceptions and ideas can first be compared to other information — is frequently engaged when people encounter something new. When you see a new product on a supermarket shelf and rationally compare its benefits to a product you already use, it’s your working memory that takes in the new information and matches it against the old. This kind of memory activates the prefrontal cortex, an energyintensive part of the brain. ‘The basal ganglia, on the other hand, are invoked by routine, familiar activity, like putting an often-purchased product into a supermarket cart without consciously paying attention, and perhaps without later remembering having picked it out. This part of the brain, located near the core, is where neural circuits of long-standing habit are formed and held. It requires much less energy to function than working memory does, in part because it seamlessly links simple behaviors from brain modules that have already been shaped by extensive training and experience. ‘The basal ganglia can function exceedingly well without conscious thought in any routine activity. In contrast, working memory fatigues easily and can hold only a limited amount of information “on line” at any one time. Therefore, any activity conducted repetitively (to the point of becoming a habit) will tend to get pushed down into the basal ganglia, the habit-center part of the brain. This frees up the processing resources of the prefrontal cortex.” While findings such as cited above provide confirmation of much of what has been discussed, observations of characteristics common to all of our Presidents clearly set our top leaders aside from the general population. Thus far, every president has been a male, taller than the average. All of the remembered presidents have had interest in sports, and engaged in physically demanding recreation – ranching, sailing, mountain biking, golf, etc. Many had served in the Military during periods of combat. With few exceptions, (notably Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter), they were perceived as being virile, sexually attractive men.

Almost all elected, or elevated from the Vice Presidency, were viewed as charismatic and decisive. There are many inferences which seem evident from such expression of masculinity. While there have been notable exceptions, there is a pronounced difference in the representation of males in political leadership positions, as opposed to any other occupation. The closest private sector parallel to the occupation of President of the United States is that of corporate Chief Executive. Even there, while women overall were (as of the 2000 census) 46.4% of the U.S. Labor Force, and were over represented in the Management and Professional occupational category (50.6%), they comprised only 23.8% of Chief Executives. With 100% of males historically occupying the presidency, coupled with the parallel private sector data, the likelihood of Hillary Clinton achieving the nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for President, appeared (during the 2008 primary season) to this author, less probable than other male competitors, based solely on gender. A second element, critical to the perception of masculinity, “a man’s man,” is energy and strength. While the conservative reveres tradition and experience, the perception of debility and fatigue is a confidence killer to the campaign of any candidate. Thus, John McCain is appears at a severe disadvantage. His age, and lack of energy are painfully evident in the flatness of his delivery in his speeches. Coupled with this projected lack of energy is his apparent carelessness in presenting conclusions, so transparently self-serving, they and he are dismissed as either a fool/and or a liar. Decisiveness, identified as the killer of uncertainty, is among the most valued of traits expected of the leader, and is almost always associated with masculinity. This attribute has two requirements. The decisive leader must have conviction about the correctness of his position; equally important is his ability to communicate the nature of his position, and the rationale for it must be perceived as credible. Testosterone and Success There have been numerous studies relating success in this and other cultures with characteristics associated with masculinity (such as height), shown to have a direct relationship to educational attainment and income. Interestingly, more subtle visual elements serve to reflect the testosterone level found in a given male. Specifically, women, will differentiate attractiveness of male faces, as a function of where they are in their menstrual cycle. The study also linked other elements of masculinity to personality and behavioral traits. The results are supported by previous research which showed that a male hormone smells unpleasant to women, except in the week of fertility. Also, the smells of more symmetrical, and therefore more attractive, men are preferred by women but again only in that week.

Men who look more masculine have higher levels of male hormones and also show a better ability to fight off disease. This makes them attractive as potential mates because their children will inherit this useful characteristic. Professor Perrett believes that preferences for certain types of faces will have an effect on the partners people choose: "We keep finding very strong links between the appearance of males and their perceived personality. People reckon they can judge personality from the way others look." "And as long as those links are there, I think preferences will be a profound influence on choice," he said. He also points out that there are real links between face form and behavior. For example, a study has shown that more masculine-looking US servicemen are more likely to get divorced and be violent towards their partners. Historically a preponderance of Presidents and members of Congress, as well as Justices of the Supreme Court had physical appearances indicative of testosterone derived masculinity – particularly those of the last half of the 20th Century, whose television appearance was carefully crafted to emphasize this characteristic. For those women who have succeeded in positions of political leadership, few if any can be considered to be the target of male sexual attraction. If for no other reason than being of an age beyond menopause, their declining estrogen levels reduce the elements of femininity which they could have once displayed. Reliance on Religious Teaching as a Source of Leadership and Wisdom The reliance on religion as a guide to the global philosophy of the Conservative has been well established. Intensity of participation in religious activity is the single best demographic measure, discriminating between political affiliation. Religious belief has all of the ingredients sought by the Conservative in shaping his world view. Its teachings are seen as originating with an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural entity. This entity has, through human designates, provided mankind with a complete guidebook to its expected (and required behavior) – which within the United States is referred to as the “Holy Bible.” How do we arrive at the conclusion that intensity of religious belief discriminates between Conservative and Liberal? The Pew Forum, a well respected survey organization, has recently released the findings of a study about religious affiliation and choices made in the 2006 election as well as the pattern of these same choices in the two prior elections. It rather conclusively demonstrated that those with strongest religious affiliations (regardless of the specific faith) tended toward conservative attitudes, while the reverse was directly associated with the liberal personality.

Part III – A Statistical Portrait of the Electorate Some general contrasts between Liberal and Conservative
To validate some of the views advanced above, a statistical portrait of 2004 voters is presented. In essence, the archetypical Liberal has been portrayed as being to the left of the midpoint of a continuum reflecting attitudes regarding the rights and privileges to which all individuals are seen as entitled; s/he is above the midpoint on a measured combination of Educational/Economic Attainment; morality and attitudes toward compassion, empathy and concern for people are in the direction of “Personal” morality as previously described. The Social Liberal and the Social Conservative The views of the Social Liberal and the Social Conservative can be drawn in broad strokes with the Social Liberal pictured as a focused on the Government’s obligations to care for its citizens, while the Social conservative sees that same care being the responsibility of the individual, his family, or private sector organizations. Some of the issues which follow from these diametrically opposed philosophies are shown in the table below. SOCIAL LIBERAL “Pro Choice” Progressive Judiciary Expansion of all medical research, funded by government Elimination of Death Penalty Unlimited recovery in tort suits Use of diplomacy, economic sanctions, as primary foreign affairs mechanisms Priority to individual privacy, with sharp limitations on government access to private information Support of Affirmative Action, “Political Correctness” Gun Control Strengthening of United Nations and world globalism Teaching of Evolution as recognized SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE “Pro Life” (Reversal of Roe v. Wade) Elimination of “Judicial Activism” Limitation on stem-cell research and applications Death Penalty expansion and reduction of appeal process Tort Reform, limiting recovery in medical malpractice cases Use of military force to achieve foreign policy aims Support of Patriot Act, behavioral profiling Elimination of Affirmative Action programs Individual ownership and access to firearms Reduced involvement and participation in the U.N. Teaching of “Creationism,” or

Science No public funds to religiously based schools Alternative energy and environmental concerns have low priority

“Intelligent Design,” in Public Schools Funding of religiously based schools with public funds (School Voucher Program) Alternative energy and environmental concerns have high priority

Liberal and Conservative Economic Views Historically the membership of the Republican party was composed of those who were wealthy, educated in Ivy League schools, and were clustered in business, professional, or financial occupations. Consistent with those demographics, they largely held the values of the ECONOMIC CONSERVATIVE, as shown below. These views were highly consistent with those social perspectives represented by the SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE. Beginning with the mid-term elections of 1994, and the Newt Gingrich “Contract with America,” There appears to have been a 180 degree reversal in this continuum, as the religious neo-conservative became the dominant force representing the perspectives held by the electorate. Their demographics can best be described as nation’s Caucasian failures. Poorly educated, in the bottom half of state rankings for income, and largely found in occupations using unskilled labor, their economic interests largely resembled those of the 1930’s Democrat. Yet, those who they elected continued to enact legislation reflecting the traditional Republican philosophy. Since the ’94 elections, however, this dissonance between the Democratic Party voter and candidates failed to materialize. Democrats in Congress as well as President Clinton continued to advocate programs representing the interests of the Economic Liberal. ECONOMIC LIBERAL Government sponsored welfare programs Expansion of Medicare, Medicaid, giving free medical care to those who cannot afford private insurance Government imposed price controls Heavy taxes on the wealthy and corporate earnings Maintaining Inheritance Tax Extensive regulation of business activity ECONOMIC CONSERVATIVE Reduced individual and corporate taxes Strong limitations on government sponsored welfare and “safety net” programs Deregulation of business activity Tax incentives and “Loopholes” offered to Wealthy and Business Ending of Inheritance Tax Reduced government oversight of economic activity

Personal vs. impersonal Morality As previously defined, Personal Morality can be thought of as judging behavior as acceptable or unacceptable, when directed at a known or identified person, where Impersonal morality is judged only from the perspective of the originating authority. Personal morality is relativistic, and complex, where Impersonal morality is Absolute, and simplistic. Perhaps a prime example of the application of Impersonal Morality was the intervention of the U.S. Congress in the Terry Schiavo case. After months of dispute between the Schiavo family who wanted their brain dead daughter’s feeding tube to continue in place, as the divorced husband insisted that it be removed, Congress, in an emergency session passed a bill once more requesting a Court to once again consider the case. After signature by Bush, the Court ultimately rejected the request, and the feeding tube was removed. The ultimate rationale adopted by Congress, and protesters alike, was one of “the sanctity of human life.” In this case, all considerations of the merits of the opposing argument (and for that matter the appropriateness of Congressional intervention in the case), were swept aside by the weight of a religiously derived precept. Composite Political Personalities Having conceptualized three dimensions of attitude, graphic representations can clearly represent the likelihood of advocacy or opposition to various issues, by both Conservative and the Liberal. The contemporary Liberal has totally reversed his historic position on the continuum of economic, educational, and professional standing. Formerly representing the “working man,” He now occupies the upper ranks of economic success, educational attainment, and employment in Management or Professional Positions. He is personal in his morality, supporting individual protection from harassment (enforcement of “Politically Correct” speech), advocating universal health care, vast entitlement programs, and a government providing an economic safety net for all citizens. He supports globalization, and believes strongly in negotiations as having priority in international relations over force.

Dimensional Portrait of the Liberal
lson a P er son al r m pe I

ED-Eco Status

Liberal

Conservative

The prototypical Conservative is seen as the mirror image of the Liberal. While once perceived of as being a member of the wealthy class, the conservative voter today tends to be in the lower ranks for both income and education. He views the arena of issues related to health and economic well being, as being the responsibility of the individual, rather than that of the government. His view of morality is decidedly impersonal, with origination of moral justification coming from tradition and authority, resistant to change from individual situations or cultural change.
Dimensional Portrait of the Conservative
lson a l P er a rson m pe I

ED-Eco Status

Liberal

Conservative

The Numeric Findings
To validate what would otherwise remain armchair conjecture, requires that real world data be associated with the theories advanced here. To do this, a large collection of 2000 Census and other data was assembled on a state by state

basis. Each of these demographic variables was compared with the percentage of Total Vote received by George Bush in the 2004 election. For a variety of technical reasons and user ease of interpretations, all numeric variables were converted to rankings, with 1 representing the lowest value and 50, the highest for the variable under consideration. While such conversions will certainly receive some critique from professional researchers, differences in processing the data in this form, in the end, produces no differences in the understandings reached by viewers. The Ed-Econ continuum As the scatter plot below demonstrates there is a strong relationship between Family Income added to educational attainment (percentage of state population with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher) as related to Liberal vs. Conservative political orientation. While by no means a perfect relationship, all but one of the states voting for the Democratic candidate were above the median (“Hi IncomeEd”). The Best fit curve forming the right-side portion of the graphic illustrates the predominance of lower income states as conservative voters, and upper income states as Liberals. The recovering trend in the right side graph, present an interesting group of Red states, in that they are largely clustered in the Northwest, where the both income and education trend higher than is the case in the Southeast, where conservatives predominate.
Relationship Between Combined Economic-Educational Rank and Conservatives

Contributing to this reverse upward economic/educational trend are the states of AK. IO. MT. ND. SD. and WY. Without looking at the specific dynamics affecting this difference, it should be noted that the overall trend remains intact as reflected in the graph at left. Using slightly different calculation methods, we see confirmation of this relationship to an greater degree. When you see p ≤ .0001 in the table, this can be interpreted as there is a .9999 probability that having a Liberal or Conservative point of view is related to the voter’s Household Income and Educational Attainment.

Contingency Table -Combined Economic-Educational Rank and Conservatives

Personal vs. Impersonal Morality Unlike The Eco-Ed variable, which is constructed from recorded observations, the Personal-Impersonal variable is a theoretical construct. No large census exists to verify the position of the electorate on a state wide basis, with respect to this variable. Yet, by 2004, there was no mystery surrounding the Bush view of applied morality. Perhaps no better measure of the translation of this view to public policy was the Bush position opposing the funding of research requiring harvesting of expanded lines of embryonic stem cells. In his generalized view of “protecting the life of the unborn,” he clearly came down on the side of an impersonal approach to morality. What variable or combination of variables would be likely to best predicted by Bush’s moral views? Religious proscriptions/prescriptions seemed an excellent place to start. Bush had on various occasions referred to the guidance he received from his religious belief. At the same time the positions of major religions on moral issues clearly pointed to some points of differentiation among competing philosophies. Percentage representation of major religions by state was available from a number of sources, so the same ranking tools could be applied. Two, quite diametrically opposed religions seemed excellent candidates for consideration. As a “Born Again” Christian, the teachings of the Evangelical cluster of values appeared most compatible with the Bush personal view. Conversely, those affiliated with the Jewish faith appeared to hold views diametrically opposed in direction and content to the Evangelicals. Initially, these variables taken together appeared to be an ideal metric for measuring moral views. Because of the sharp difference in actual percentages of the population, reflected in the histograms below, there was a question of the relative impact of one group over the other, even when ranking was done.

Percentage by state of Evangelical and Jewish Adherents

The histogram above confirms the differences in both weight and the relative presences of each population cohort.

Thus, several different computational methods were tried, as shown below. Most surprising was the relatively greater correspondence between Rank -- Jewish, vs. Rank -- Evangelical. In any event, religious views are confirmed to have a powerful effect on moral perspectives.

Confirming the Prototypical Political Model Recalling the two summary conceptualizations of the hypothesized Liberal and Conservative, the graphic below appears to confirm this view by using the two dimensions calculated above.
Combining Measured Dimensions

Part IV– The Sociopathic politician
In all of the previous discussions, regardless of political stance, both the elector and the elected are seen to have a driving moral philosophy, be it personal or impersonal, relative or absolute. Yet, there exists within our society a small percentage, estimated at 1-4% of the population, predominately male, who are totally lacking in this “Moral Compass.” Those who attain positions of corporate or government leadership are consistent in demonstrating these characteristic behaviors: • • • • • • • • • • Engages in, and in fact seeks, high personal (economic or physical) risk taking as a critical element of lifestyle are callous, cold and calculating are devious, clever and cunning are ruthless in the extreme displays zero empathy have no emotions, no emotional processing capability and no ability to understand other's emotions are totally lacking in anxiety resistant to pain, and dismissive of physical discomfort completely without conscience, remorse and guilt are likely to be leaking confidential information or secrets to third parties

• •

show no limits on their vindictiveness constructs believable and credible lies, often undetectable

Rarely, if ever in our history, have we had both a President and Vice President who demonstrated almost every characteristic of the Sociopath. Yet, George Bush and Dick Cheney along with Karl Rove formed the perfect storm of governance by sociopathy. Neither the author, nor most readers, have training as psychiatric clinicians. Given this, how can assertions asserting the presence of this most serious of medical conditions be given credibility? Like any other research hypotheses, these assertions can be tested, and their likelihood of being correct, assessed. There are two approaches which can be usefully applied. If an individual consistently demonstrates most or all of the behaviors listed above, it seems appropriate to label him as a sociopath. As the research in, “Moral judgment fails without feelings,” effectively demonstrates, there is an area of the brain (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex), damage which is specifically associated with sociopathic behavior. This small section of the brain, when damaged, renders one incapable of human feelings – compassion, empathy, loving. Extended alcoholism as well as other addictions is frequently associated, either as a cause or effect, with damage to this section of the brain. Thus, when a history of addiction is established, when coupled to other indicators, it is probable that this essential component of moral judgment has been impaired. Another element of medical history, common to both Bush and Cheney, raises speculation about its possible impact on brain function. When the brain is deprived of Oxygen, for even a short period of time, rapid damage begins. First to respond to this condition are the higher level (cortical functions). Keep this in mind as you read the following.

George W. Bush
The speculation that something was very wrong in the brain of George W. Bush is neither new, nor unique to this author. Unlike Dick Cheney, whose behavior alone is sufficient to characterize him as a sociopath, the etiology of the bizarre and inexplicable behavior which is generated by the President, remains shrouded in mystery. His unbending maintenance of policy positions in the face of overwhelming evidence demanding reversal, his cliché, repetitive, off-point justifications of decisions, denial of statements made, even when very public recordings verify their presence, coupled with his repeatedly incoherent speech leave listeners or viewers in wonder. Some Bush watchers are convinced that, rather than having some devastating and dangerous (to the country) brain injury, Bush is just plain stupid. A 2004

article in Slate, titled, “The Misunderestimated Man - How Bush chose stupidity,” proposes somewhat complimentary analyses: The first tells us that he is simply stupid. “Quotations collected over the years in Slate may leave the impression that George W. Bush is a dimwit. Let's face it: A man who cannot talk about education without making a humiliating grammatical mistake ("The illiteracy level of our children are appalling"); who cannot keep straight the three branches of government ("It's the executive branch's job to interpret law"); who coins ridiculous words ("Hispanos," "arbolist," "subliminable," "resignate," "transformationed"); who habitually says the opposite of what he intends ("the death tax is good for people from all walks of life!") sounds like a grade-A imbecile. “And if you don't care to pursue the matter any further, that view will suffice. George W. Bush governed, for the most part, the way any airhead might, undermining the fiscal condition of the nation, squandering the goodwill of the world after Sept. 11, and allowing huge problems (global warming, entitlement spending, AIDS) to metastasize toward catastrophe through a combination of ideology, incomprehension, and indifference. If Bush isn't exactly the moron he sounds, his synaptic misfirings offer a plausible proxy for the idiocy of his presidency.” For those who continue wedded to deep oedipal interpretations of behavior, we are provided with: “Why would someone capable of being smart choose to be stupid? To understand, you have to look at W.'s relationship with father. This filial bond involves more tension than meets the eye. Dad was away for much of his oldest son's childhood. Little George grew up closer to his acid-tongued mother and acted out against the absent parent—through adolescent misbehavior, academic failure, dissipation, and basically not accomplishing anything at all until well into his 40s. “Dubya's youthful screw-ups and smart-aleck attitude reflect some combination of protest, plea for attention, and flailing attempt to compete. Until a decade ago, his résumé read like a send-up of his dad's. Bush senior was a star student at Andover and Phi Beta Kappa at Yale, where he was also captain of the baseball team; Junior struggled through with gentleman's C's and, though he loved baseball, couldn't make the college lineup. Père was a bomber pilot in the Pacific; fils sat out 'Nam in the Texas Air National Guard,

where he lost flying privileges by not showing up. Dad drove to Texas in 1947 to get rich in the oil business and actually did; Son tried the same in 1975 and drilled dry holes for a decade. Bush the elder got elected to Congress in 1966; Shrub ran in 1978, didn't know what he was talking about, and got clobbered. “Through all this incompetent emulation runs an undercurrent of hostility. In an oft-told anecdote circa 1973, GWB—after getting wasted at a party and driving over a neighbor's trash can in Houston—challenged his dad. ‘I hear you're lookin' for me,’ W. told the chairman of the Republican National Committee. "You want to go mano a mano right here?" Some years later at a state dinner, he told the Queen of England he was being seated far away because he was the black sheep of the family. “ While this witty and thoughtful article provides a credible explanation, there seems to be sufficient evidence that addiction coupled with a genetic predisposition to cardiovascular events, to hypothesize a biological foundation to the incredibly inept performance delivered by this President.. Rather than present these individually, a review of his verified medical history appears a more productive foundation to begin the process of constructing some useful hypotheses to explain his behavior. Failed Flight Physical “On August 1, 1972 Bush was grounded, in part (or wholly?) because he had failed to complete his flight physical [9]. “As an Air National Guard pilot, Bush would have been required to have a physical examination each year, no later than July 31. (Flight physicals in the USAF/ANG expire on the last day of one's birth month. Bush was born July 6.) Examinations can be accomplished as early as 3 months before one's birth month. “Thus, when Bush was ordered on May 4, 1972 to undergo a flight physical, this would most likely have been the routine start of the 3 month physical exam window. On May 19, Bush asked his superiors how to ‘get out of coming to drill from now through November’ [9]. Flying examinations are normally given only at drill.” The implications for failing to take this physical are speculative, yet nonetheless tantalizing. Did he anticipate that his unit might be assigned to active duty, which he sought to avoid? Or, was he concerned that his cocaine use might be discovered? That there can be no certainty as to what actually transpired to case this gap, is one of the great unanswered questions, which must be left to the historians to unravel.

Alcohol abuse “He has admitted problems with alcohol consumption in the remote past. The week before election day 2000, reporters found record of an arrest and or conviction [?] for driving while intoxicated in the 1970s. “Bush told his doctors in August 2001 that he currently abstains from alcohol. In 1999 he released a three-page statement from doctors saying he had "totally abstained from alcohol during the past 13 years" [4]. “ While drug abuse and binge drinking were far from unusual as the recreation of choice engaged in by young adults of all generations following the 1960’s, the prevalence of this deadly combination should not be taken as any evidence as a lack of consequences from their use. Should there be any doubt of the accuracy of this warning, consider the PET Scans of two brains – one normal, the other after long term alcohol abuse: Note the destruction of the frontal cortex in the brain of the Alcoholic.

Quite aside from any current abstinence, in assessing Bush’s intellectual capability, consider the following from an a 2003 analysis of Binge Drinking by college students. One paragraph says it all: “Studies show that more than 35 percent of adults with an alcohol problem developed symptoms—such as binge drinking—by age 19. Long-term use risks liver damage, pancreatitis, certain cancers, and literal shrinkage of the brain. Alcohol use is the second-leading cause of dementia; one simply ages quicker on alcohol” Cocaine use “During his 2000 presidential campaign there were persistent questions about a history of cocaine use. Eventually Bush denied using cocaine since 1992, then quickly extended the cocaine-free period back to 1974 (age 28). NBC reporter

David Bloom then noted ‘that current White House appointees must disclose any drug use since their 18th birthday’ [17]. Bush, however, refused to make a disclosure, instead admitting he'd made mistakes in the past, and if voters didn't like that ‘they can go find somebody else to vote for. That's the wonderful thing about democracy’ [17]. “Comment: … Cocaine use has clear medical implications. For example, it is associated with elevated risk of acquiring chronic diseases, such as viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted disease. Acutely, it can trigger cardiac or cerebral-vascular catastrophe.” Fainting/Choking Incident “On January 13, 2002, Bush lost consciousness while sitting on a couch in the White House, watching a football game. His head hit the floor, resulting in an abrasion on his left cheekbone and a small bruise on his lower lip. The incident was blamed on a combination of (a) Bush not feeling well in previous days, and (b) an improperly eaten pretzel. Their combined effect was to slow the President's heart. (The description suggests a vaso-vagal attack.) The period of unconsciousness was brief [28].” Some unexplained phenomena “Bush's Presidential debates with John Kerry in 2004 provided an unexpected and rich set of potential medical observations of Bush, including eye blinking, jaw thrusting, mouth spittle, and jacket bulging The significance of these observations is currently unknown, but they are recorded here should something develop later (even decades later).” Leading to what Conclusions? The reader is asked to consider the following hypothetical candidate for employment as a senior executive in a multi-division company. As Chairman of the Search Committee, you have gathered all the available information about him, checked his references, and now are preparing for an initial screening interview. The son of a respected political leader, the candidate has a mediocre educational resume, a general history of failure in attempts at business leadership, and an unexplained failure to qualify for a flight physical during National Guard Service.

He has held a successful, if undistinguished mid-level management position, which should provide the requisite knowledge necessary for the position he is seeking. He is well liked, fosters loyalty of employees, and is viewed personally as “good ‘ol boy,” and “a guy you’d like to have a beer with.” His medical history includes a multi-year period of severe alcoholism and drug abuse, extending beyond college age, and at least one incident during which his brain may have been deprived of oxygen for a short, but inexactly known period. There is suggestive evidence of additional heart arrhythmias, evidenced by a the appearance of some unexplained bulging of the jacket, indicating the potential use of a portable defibrillator. Additionally his father had a similar history of cardiovascular problems. During your initial employment interview, he makes major grammatical mistakes, mispronounces common words, and fails to demonstrate the most rudimentary knowledge of the organizational structure of companies having positions similar to that of your company. You are aware that this behavior, with the accompanying medical history stated here, is indicative of moderate to severe damage to intellectual functions of the brain. Since all of the medical information has come from public media reports, some speculative in nature, you are restricted from probing this information in any depth – at least not in this initial round of interviews. Using only his interview performance, and the inferences you draw from the probable, but unconfirmed medical history, do you want to screen him out, or pass him to the next round of interviews? All of the above was known to the electorate in 2004. It is indeed curious that the voters accepted him as their President in the face of such damning information.

Dick Cheney
In Cheney’s case, we need no medical history to substantiate our suspicions that he is a classic political sociopath. Early Dick Cheney – Some Initial Clues From an “Unauthorized” Cheney biography we find some illuminating background information: Jacob Plotkin was Cheney's Yale roommate: "It's hard to flunk out of Yale. It's something that one really has to put effort into. Yale at that time tried to make sure everybody who entered graduated. Where others might spend some time on the weekend studying, Dick was either talking, drinking or playing cards with his football buddies." From 1962 through 1966 Cheney applies and is granted deferment from military service four successive times. During his confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense He made this statement: Cheney, when asked why he sought draft deferments during the Vietnam war said "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." So much for any sense of duty to country. Making the Cheney “Bones” In 1990. after confirmation as Secretary of Defense, the following shows a pattern of disregard for facts and prohibited behavior demonstrated by Cheney. AUGUST 1: Cheney gets briefing from General Norman Schwarzkopf about Iraqi threats against Kuwait. AUGUST 2: Iraq invades Kuwait. AUGUST: Cheney flies to Saudi Arabia to convince King Fahd to allow US troops into his country. SEPTEMBER: The Pentagon says that 250,000 Iraqi troops with 1500 tanks are massed on the Saudi border. The photos are never made public. Soviet satellite imagery taken that day shows no troops near the border. (see the photos) 1991: Journalist Jean Heller learns about the Soviet satellite imagery and presents them to Dick Cheney's office at the Pentagon. They ignore the story. in 1995, with Clinton in his first term, Cheney’s long and profitable business relationship with Halliburton pays off He is appointed C.E.O.

Business reporter Dan Briody says that Halliburton did business with both the U.S. government and its enemies. "Dick Cheney is simply the latest in a succession of politicians that Halliburton has used to secure government contracts. He (Cheney) says he wasn't aware that Halliburton was doing business with Iraq while he was CEO...if you believe that either he's a very bad CEO for not being aware or he's not telling the truth." During his five year stint at Halliburton, the company wins $2.3 billion in federal contracts, almost double the total of the previous five years, and another $1.5 billion in taxpayerinsured loans. Halliburton is fined almost 4 million for selling products to Libya that could be used to trigger a nuclear program. In March, 1995: President Clinton signs an order prohibiting "new investments [in Iran] by U.S. persons, including commitment of funds or other assets." U.S. companies are prohibited from performing services "that would benefit the Iranian oil industry." Companies face fines of up to $500,000 and individuals may receive 10 years in jail for breaking the embargo. By May, 1995 President Clinton imposes a near total U.S. economic embargo on Iran. The Halliburton Years – Godfather of the Military-Industrial Complex With this embargo in place, follow the Halliburton money, with C.E.O., Dick Cheney at the helm. Watch as he plays fast and loose with presidential orders, apparently unconcerned with U.S. efforts to protect itself from its enemies. Abdulamir Mahdi, an Iraqi who'd come to Canada in his 20's owned a business that supplied oil fields in Iran with North American parts. His Toronto office places an order for $41,000 worth of Halliburton spare parts for a cementing unit in Iran. He says before the deals, he consulted with lawyers and Canada Customs who told him that the US embargo didn't apply to Canadians. SEPTEMBER 25: Halliburton Energy Services prepares an invoice for spare parts that have been sold to Abdulamir Mahdi. The invoice puts Kuwait as the final destination for the parts. In fact, the equipment is headed for Kala Naft in Iran. OCTOBER 7: In a purchase separate from the Mahdi transaction, Kala Naft’s London office, the purchasing arm for the National Iranian Oil Company asks Halliburton

subsidiary in Dubai to send a price quote for purchases for the Iranian oil industry. OCTOBER 16: Mahdi’s office receives a statement of compliance from Halliburton Energy Services in Texas saying the parts he ordered has been inspected and meet Halliburton and industry standards OCTOBER 30: Spare parts purchased by Mahdi are shipped to Canada for a Halliburton cement unit in Iran. Halliburton is opposed to the U.S. embargo and lobbies congress against the Iran/Libya sanctions bill. Abdulamir Mahdi sold Halliburton's and other parts to Iran. He was arrested and spent four years in U.S. custody for evading export laws. He wrote a letter to Dick Cheney. "If I'm guilty, you're guilty. If you're innocent, I'm innocent. You did business with the same country that I did." Abdulamir Mahdi sold Halliburton's and other parts to Iran. He was arrested and spent four years in U.S. custody for evading export laws. He wrote a letter to Dick Cheney. "If I'm guilty, you're guilty. If you're innocent, I'm innocent. You did business with the same country that I did." In Nivember, 1009, Abdulamir Mahdi receives a 51-month sentence on one count of conspiracy to evade export regulations for sending equipment to Iran and Iraq. (read about the case .) Early in 2000,: Halliburton opens an office in Tehran while Cheney is still CEO. At the same time, Halliburton ends its presence in Iraq. Senator Frank Luttenberg: "To be looking for breaks in the law that permit them (Halliburton) to profit while this hostility (with Iran) is in front of us is unacceptable under any condition."

The Mature Sociopath Entering the race for Vice President, Cheney conveniently resigns his C.E.O. post at Halliburton and financially divests himself, by selling his stock at a 30million dollar profit! Then comes 9/11. Whether from behind the scenes or publicly disclosed by the media, it is clear that war and security policy comes from Cheney, articulated by Bush. Intelligence, critical to the interests of the country, is manipulated, promoted or withheld to meet his personal agenda. Here are the thoughts of two individuals, caught up in this process of distortion: Intelligence specialist Greg Thielman says his State Department Office was receiving information that was different from what the White House was saying. "Their starting point was not 'let's try to figure out what is going on' but 'let's see what kind of information we can come up with to justify the policy line we want to pursue'. Cheney was the driving force behind an orchestrated presentation to the American public of a different version of reality than the reality we saw." Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski worked at the Pentagon along side the 'Office of Special Plans' a group that worked with Cheney on intelligence matters. "When I heard those (President Bush's) speeches I recognized many of the anecdotes. Having seen the intelligence I knew this was a manipulation of the information. It was cherry picked information, out of context information. It bothered me a great deal because I saw it to be conscious manipulation. Not an

oversight but consciously done. If you don't tell Dick Cheney what he wants to hear, you're out of a job." By early 2002, the Bush Administration (read Cheney) campaign to enlist public support for an Iraq war is well underway. Using the fear of nuclear weapons the [in]famous “Daisy Ad” impetus for the Vietnam War, “Ambassador Joe Wilson is told by the CIA that Cheney is interested in an allegation that Iraq had tried to purchase Yellow Cake uranium from Niger. Wilson goes to Niger to investigate and concludes the rumor is false.”. A memo written in late June, 20002, by INC (Iraqi National Council) lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a U.S. Senate committee lists John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheney's staff, as one of two "U.S. governmental recipients" for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. The letter shows Cheney's office was getting intelligence from a highly suspect source. During August, Cheney tells an audience of veterans "There’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction [and that he will use them] against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Selling the nuclear threat became key to convincing Americans to support the war. The Wilson report had the potential to completely unravel the carefully crafted nightmare scenario upon which the Administration had constructed its justification for removing Saddam. When Wilson had the temerity to make public his conclusions, the Cheney guillotine was swift and certain; coupled with an attack on Wilson’s credibility, his wife was “outed,” as a covert undercover CIA operator. Cheney managed to leak the information using his Chief of Staff, “Scooter” Libby to disseminate the secret information to reporters. Since the leak involved classified information regarding the CIA, the Bush Administration initiated an investigation of the source of the leak, with Libby, a loyal friend to Cheney indicted and eventually convicted of perjury -- and much as Nixon FBI loyalist, Patrick Gray – was left, “hanging in the wind.” For those seeking a fuller understanding of Cheney’s role in this whole unseemly affair, the collection of articles found here should provide a rich understanding of what one might expect from this political predator.

Perhaps this account of the accidental shooting of a long-time personal friend by Cheney, and the entire handling of this affair is as good a place as any to round out the picture of the sociopathic lack of human feeling and concern which typifies Dick Cheney, the man.

Concluding Comments
While, hopefully, the material presented above has provided some insight into the complex interactions of the human brain with political behavior, much has been left shrouded in mystery. We know that there are significant differences in electrical activity between the brains of conservatives and liberals. Yet we have no clue about how they got to be the people they are. Are there subtle genetic differences between these groups? In a 2004 Cover article, Time Magazine notes a number of research studies which suggest a genetic basis for religious beliefs, or lack thereof. Yet while the previously noted Pew Study shows major differences in religious beliefs between the two groups, far more would be required to establish a direct genetic origin for political belief. With much of this nation demanding withdrawal of the Iraq forces, a huge question remains. With such opposition, how is the military able to recruit men and women who are willing to risk either their lives or the chance of permanently life-changing injury to serve? The Department of Defense has enlisted a number of combat veterans to travel around the country, telling audiences, “Why I Serve.” Ask Army Staff Sgt. Jerome MacDonald why he serves in the military, and he doesn’t talk about pay raises, tuition assistance or job security. “My biggest reason for serving is my family,” said MacDonald, a combat medic who returned in 2006 from a deployment to Iraq. “I looked at my family, and I realized that I want them and their way of life to be protected,” he said. “And one of the only ways to do that is to go overseas and take the fight to the enemy who are perfectly willing to come here and kill themselves just to kill an American. … It requires some sacrifice, but I am willing to do that.” That he steadfastly holds the belief that indeed that his family’s life requires protection, in the face of compelling contrary evidence, cause one to call this view into question, remains a mystery to this writer. Last, but far from least, is the public apathy toward government, The Boomers and their children were the most activist generations in American history. Yet, today, as they approach old age or middle age respectively, neither group appears willing or able to take on the what is perhaps the highest level of corruption, lying and incompetence at any time in U.S. History

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