Retired in luxury.
What do we do with our worst criminals? We make them our leaders.
Why would we do something that stupid? That's like making a con-man your financial adviser. The end result is that you become the victim of a crime. Obviously, we don't knowingly make criminals our leaders. We are tricked into doing it -- by the criminals. How did this happen?
It begins with abnormal human behavior. There is a small percentage of the world population that is socially "defective". People with these defects are called sociopaths. Primarily, they lack a sense of empathy, the ability to sympathize with the feelings of other individuals. As a result, they are callous, conniving, manipulative, egotistical, and selfish human beings. Because their world centers around themselves, a rather confining focus, they are often very bored individuals in need of stimulation and satisfaction. Normal people find a great deal of satisfaction constructing and maintaining social ties with others, but sociopaths do not. As a means of staving off boredom, sociopaths often develop an all-consuming substitute for this normal social interaction. Rather than pursuing meaningful social links, they focus on getting what they want. Sociopaths find a great deal of satisfaction in lying, scheming, and manipulating others to get whatever it is they desire. In this way, everything becomes a game for them, and their goal is to win the game. Winning becomes everything. And a large part of winning is disguising what you are doing so that the people around you don't realize what you are doing. Sociopaths are very skilled at deceiving others into believing that they (the sociopaths) are normal people.
Now, use your thinking skills here a bit. What kind of occupations would sociopaths find to be a good fit for their personality traits? A performer, like a star athlete or a movie star? Yes, but think bigger. How about a lawyer? Yes indeed, many sociopaths follow this career path, but they usually want more, so think bigger again. How about the coporate head of a large business conglomerate? Yes, sociopaths are well represented here. But there is one occupation where sociopaths can really shine, and where they can fully exercise all of their unique "defective" skills -- they become politicians. Not surprisingly, many politicians have law degrees or experience directing large business concerns.
So, just as iron filings are attracted to a magnet and tend to congregate around a magnet's pole, sociopaths are attracted to politics and tend to congregate in our leadership positions. Yes, at the highest levels of power in most nations are sociopaths. Though they falsely present themselves as working for the common good, they are really working to get what they want, to win the game, to make the deals that enrich their lives but sell out the ordinary and unaware masses these sociopaths claim to represent.
By the way, a very interesting thing happens to many "normal" individuals who find themselves in politics or leadership positions. They tend to adopt the very traits that define sociopaths! Common wisdom recognizes this tendency with the old saying that "power corrupts -- absolute power corrupts absolutely." But actual studies confirm that this popular wisdom is not just whistling Dixie. The more power normal individuals have, the more sociopathic traits they display!
So, the bad news is that our system nearly guarantees that we are led by sociopaths. They are like parasites feeding on us, making us sickly and weak while they grow strong and powerful (reminds me of Congress). But that's not the worst of it. The mind-blowing kicker is that there are no real safeguards in place to prevent sociopaths from attaining or holding office! None of our leaders undergo any psychological testing as a requirement to hold office! We employ no effective screening to identify and remove from office a sociopath. Essentially, we give abnormal people with criminal intent the reigns of power and let them quietly victimize us until they either retire in luxury or are accidentally caught red-handed in some blatant crime that they can't successfully whitewash (like President "Tricky Dick" Nixon, who resigned rather than face trial, and we let him get away!).
Is there something wrong with us "normal" people for allowing this insanity? Or are we just idiots?
It's a science you'd better know.
George H. W. Bush,
classic, successful sociopath.