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About Paul R. Hollrah
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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The Cheney Syndrome
Paul R. Hollrah
April 2, 2012
Medical dictionaries define “syndrome” (sĭn'drōm') as, “A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, a psychological disorder, or another abnormal condition.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is the most unlikely major political figure who anyone would ever expect to be the target of hatred. Yet, hatred of Dick Cheney among liberals and Democrats rises to the level of a syndrome, a psychological disorder. The reaction to his recent heart transplant is proof of that.

One does not have to know Cheney personally to recognize that he is perhaps the kindest, the most decent, the most quietly competent public figure of the last century. By comparison, television’s Mr. Rogers would be seen as a black-hearted ogre. Yet, liberals and Democrats regularly say the most despicable things about Cheney. Their hatred of him borders on the pathological.

So the question arises, does the “Cheney Syndrome” say something important...anything at all...about Cheney, himself, or is it a mass psychological disorder peculiar to those who are infected with the disease?

In an interview with the Today Show’s Matt Lauer, NBC’s leftist chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who appears to be auditioning for a slot on one of Obama’s “death panels,” said, “...this has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions, about whether the Vice President, in fact, should have received his heart against – ahead of other people. And, raises the question, how old is too old to receive such a precious transplant?”

MSNBC’s unbalanced talk host Ed Schultz suggested in February of 2010 that Cheney’s heart should be used as a “political football.” He said, “We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him.”

When asked to comment on Cheney’s transplant, Schultz said, “You’re damn right, Dick Cheney’s heart is a political football...How come Dick Cheney’s health care isn't being dropped? Do you realize that if you had five heart attacks, hell, you wouldn’t get past two heart attacks and they’d dump you? But because you’re a war criminal and because you are on the take from Halliburton... you can get the best health care on the face of the earth.”

Daily Koz, where the mentally unbalanced go to get their daily ration of heart-stimulating hate speech, quoted a number of liberals who expressed themselves in the only way they know how:

@yokelesy tweeted, “Whoever donated their heart to Dick Cheney: f_ _ _ you!” .

@SolidGlo tweeted, “Cheney’s black soul keeps rotting out his heart. F_ _ _ that bitch.”

@Jedimasterbator tweeted, “I’m glad Cheney survived his heart transplant because I’ve always wanted him to die in a horrible fire.”

@HVonHankelton tweeted, “Angry villagers have gathered outside of Inova Fairfax Hospital with torches and pitchforks demanding the monster be put to death!”

Clearly, the “Cheney Syndrome” tells us nothing at all about the man, himself. In fact, those inflicted with the disease would have us believe just the opposite of what is true.

In her February 5, 2007 dissertation, The Pathology of Liberalism, psychotherapist Joan Swirsky speculates that at the core of liberal “thinking” is the “same kind of pathology that characterizes other mental disorders, i.e., a glitch in the brain that produces ‘feelings’ and behavior over which liberals have no control…

“The reason why liberals have remained so intractably unhinged about (Cheney) is not because of their ideological differences with his conservatism. It is because of their collective inadequate egos. This is no surprise because children have ‘developing’ egos, not full-fledged senses of themselves, their places in the world, and their worth. Children are wildly egocentric, seeing themselves as the center of the universe and having no appreciation of the vast world that lies outside their limited awareness. In fact, they echo a saying from the Talmud: “We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.

“Liberals entertain the conceit that they are quite evolved and superior, both morally and intellectually. In their childlike minds, they are ‘good’ and the people (such as Dick Cheney) who set limits, demand accountability, expect empirical results, fight their enemies, and also make judgments about what is good and bad and right and wrong, are ‘bad…’”

Explaining why liberals and Democrats react to Cheney the way they do, Swirsky tells us that, “Among the many symptoms of liberal pathology is out-of-control anger. When things aren’t going their way, liberals behave much like any child who has not yet learned to debate and so resorts to his or her most primitive emotions…

“Simply, the liberals’ childlike rage completely eclipses any semblance of rationality. Their opposition to and obsession with (Dick Cheney) has frozen the higher centers of their brains, effectively preventing them from ever presenting any intelligent alternative to the domestic and foreign policy strategies they object to, outside of socialist let’s-all-get-together ideas that eliminate capitalism, the competitive spirit, and American exceptionalism.

“Another symptom of liberal pathology is a deep identification with ‘victims,’ who to liberals are all women, all African-Americans, all Hispanics, all union members, and all denizens of Third World countries, as well as anyone else they perceive as being either ‘victimized’ by big, bad corporate America or by those (e.g. Dick Cheney) subscribing to conservative ideology. This is because suffering, or perceived suffering, animates them, makes them feel useful, like saviors, and, of course, ‘good.’”

In what he calls the psychopathology of the liberal mind, Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D., a psychiatrist and the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, says this:

“In his determination to control the world, (the liberal) constantly defends himself against the most basic of human fears: being alone and helpless in a dangerous, indifferent world, the nightmare of the abandoned, terrified child. Persons plagued with such fears easily conclude that it is in their greatest interest to dominate others, or to imagine that they can, and to set about achieving that goal through the manipulation of government power.”

But the road to unfettered government power is not an uncluttered freeway. Liberals are generally enraged by the thought of inconvenient obstacles...such as the U.S. Constitution, and principled men such as Dick Cheney...standing in their way.

The liberal, Rossiter suggests, is “not called to maturity but is instead invited to begin a second childhood. Like the child at play, he is given, or at least promised, ultimate economic, social, and political security without having to assume responsibility for himself.”

To the liberal mind there are no absolutes, no imperatives...everything is relative. Liberals much prefer that all political decisions, all moral dilemmas, and all constitutional questions must be relative...relative to whose ox is being gored on any particular day. That is why they despise men such as Dick Cheney.

To the liberal mind, it is all about “feelings,” as Joan Swirsky suggests, and feelings must be displayed with passion, not quiet resolve. They despise Cheney because they see him as a man with an unshakeable set of values, a man who knows that absolutes exist and is not afraid to stand by them, a man who stands by his beliefs quietly and dispassionately...and that they cannot stand.

Hatred of Dick Cheney is a mental illness. Fortunately, it is not a condition that is covered by Obamacare because it is so common among liberals that the country could not afford to treat it. But one thing is certain: there is a fifty-fifty chance that the Cheney heart transplant denied a functioning heart to a liberal hater, and for that we must be thankful.


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