The Bad News: Supporting Hillary Clinton Is Turning People Into Sociopaths. The Good News: It Revealed A New Rationalization For The Ethics Alarms List


This is rationalization #49, The Apathy Defense, or “Nobody Cares.”

I encountered this rationalization in a roundabout way. I was reading the Mediaite account of Clinton paid liar Lanny Davis attempting to explain away Hillary’s blatant lie in the Recent CNN interview about how she “never had a subpoena” regarding the e-mails on the personal server she used to avoid transparency. The subpoena she was sent in March was promptly mad public by House Republicans, so Lanny was dispatched to the media dutifully spin Hillary’s lie away.

After hearing Davis argue that Clinton was speaking of a time when she had not received a subpoena yet, or maybe that she misunderstood the question,

Newsmax TV’s Steve Salzburg unfairly played the video of Clinton specifically saying “I’ve never had a subpoena.” Unfortunately for Hillary and Lanny, words have meaning.  It is true that Hillary didn’t have the subpoena when she destroyed the e-mails involved; it is also true that she knew the Benghazi committee wanted them. PolitiFact, biased and Democratic excuse-making “fact check” service, tries to cover for Hillary by claiming…

“On the other hand, House Republicans seized on Clinton’s claim without regard for the nuance of the question she was responding to — leading people who did not watch the interview in full to think Clinton said something that she really didn’t. They should be very familiar with the timeline here, as well. Suggesting that Clinton deleted emails while facing a subpoena contradicts what we know about the controversy so far.”

But she WAS facing a subpoena when she deleted the e-mails, because she knew one was coming. And “I’ve never had a subpoena” is what Clinton said. Regardless of the “nuance” of the question asked, that statement means I HAVE NEVER HAD A SUBPOENA.  She didn’t say “I didn’t have a subpoena.” She didn’t say “I never HAD a subpoena,” both of which would have sustained the interpretation Lanny and PolitiFact—who aren’t all that different, come to think of it—are trying to claim. But I HAVE NEVER HAD A SUBPOENA is unambiguous. It means not then, not now, not ever—never. That’s what it means. It cannot mean anything else. See, this is where Hillary is no Bill. Bill’s deceit is plausible; his sneaky sentences can be translated fairly to mean what he claims they meant, even though what he said was meant to deceive listeners into believing something else.  “Oh, you thought that by “sex” I meant oral sex?   Oh, no, I don’t consider oral sex to be sex. Sex is sexual intercourse where I come from!”  That’s Bill. Hillary’s statement, however, means only one thing. That one thing is demonstrably untrue. Thus, when Salzberg confronted Davis with the video, Lanny hung up.

It’s going to be a long, long year for Lanny. Pray for him.

I read the comments to the article, as I find Mediaite comment threads depressing, hilarious and revealing—they deteriorate into name calling and partisan slogans and talking points almost immediately. Several Clinton stalwarts, however, kept repeating the same defense, As one particularly adamant one phrased it.

“Nobody cares about the e-mails. But Faux News keeps trying to make it into another fake scandal.”

I realized that I hadn’t been hearing this argument as the proof of brainwashing, or perhaps scruples-washing, that it is. Scandals are misdeeds a public figure should be ashamed of. The first defense against a potential scandal is hiding it; the Clintons are good at that. Their theory is, however, that if they confuse, muddy and bore the public sufficiently with doubletalk, deceit, and technical quibbling, the public will tune out, because it won’t be willing to devote the time and energy necessary to understand why what was done is wrong.

The Clintons have a back-up argument, however, that is sinister. They argue that they shouldn’t have to be ashamed when the public doesn’t regard what they did as shameful, no matter how unethical it may be in the abstract. If the public isn’t making them feel ashamed, then the conduct isn’t scandalous, and if it isn’t scandalous, then there’s nothing wrong with it. This is the epitome of ethics corruption. Sociopaths, who have no empathy or conscience, think that way: if I don’t think it’s wrong—and I think nothing is wrong that benefits me—then it isn’t wrong. To defend the serial lying, manipulating, law-skirting Hillary Clinton, one has to begin thinking like a sociopath. When the entire public, or a substantial portion of it, has been trained to shrug its collective shoulders over wrongdoing, the Clintons can justify unethical conduct as benign, because nobody cares about it. If nobody cares, the conduct can’t be wrong. Thus anyone trying to make the public care is pushing a “fake” scandal. Brilliant!

Please welcome Ethic Alarm Rationalization #50: The Apathy Defense, or “Nobody Cares.”

Rationalization #49 is kind of a reverse #1, which is, of course, “Everybody does it.” The Apathy Defense doesn’t hold that wrongful conduct is right because lots of people do it. Its dark genius is to confuse consequences with values. What nobody will hold you accountable for must not be very wrong, or even wrong at all, since people are good, and good people care about right and wrong. Therefore, if a wrongdoer can successfully convince the public or society not to care that they are doing wrong, that wrong no longer exists, at least as far as that wrongdoer is concerned. It’s not wrong, because nobody gives a damn.

The Apathy Defense is at the root of many other rationalizations, like The King’s Pass, The Saint’s excuse, and even “the ends justify the means.” It is, in fact, one of the most dangerous and corrupting rationalizations of all. Politicians are taking bribes? Who cares? What matters is whether they make the government work. So taking bribes becomes acceptable. Leaders are lying to the public? Nobody cares! What matters is that he’s our guy! It only matters when their guy lies! Now leaders know they can lie with impunity, without consequences or shame.

Our Jewish neighbors who are being shipped out of the country are being liquidated? Who cares? Things are getting better here.

Naturally, the next step is to mock and deride anyone who says we should care.

When a wrongdoer or a wrongdoer’s allies use Rationalization #49, be afraid…for yourself, and your culture.


12 thoughts on “The Bad News: Supporting Hillary Clinton Is Turning People Into Sociopaths. The Good News: It Revealed A New Rationalization For The Ethics Alarms List

  1. Hillary and her hubby are both sociopaths, IMHO, but the key difference is that Bill had the ability to charm a listener or audience into making enough folks see it his way. Hillary is not a charmer. She reminds me of a serial pro se litigant I had to deal with who simply lied loudly, confidently, and angrily, although whether that was a tactic or simply because he was off in his own world I do not know. She too lies loudly and confidently, and acts like anyone who challenges her on a lie is either wrong, partisan, or sexist, and her followers, like the commenter you mention above, lap it up like deer just coming from the salt lick, and compose bumper-sticker posts like the one you quoted (although “Faux Noise” is also popular).

    The public shrug has been around since long before Mussolini made the trains run on time, but I think it was only encouraged in the US during Bill Clinton’s time in office. Scandals ultimately brought Harding low, and FDR and JFK had the good sense to keep scandalous personal behavior quiet. It was only when Bill got caught with Monica and all the other nonsense came out that we started to hear all the spin doctoring from Dem operative and mainstream media alike not to worry about it, he was keeping the economy on track. That was frankly a double lie, because I submit that if Bill had not been occupied fending off subpoenas, etc., he would have been free to take a much more direct hand in the economy. Still, the principle stuck, and has now become firmly embedded in both the party and the country as a whole. I agree we should be afraid, but to some degree we are our own worst enemy if we are comfortable with this culture.

  2. I’m not sure this isn’t the worst rationalization of all. It is a negation of argument, a denial that there is anything to be discussed, a mental, if not actual, turning the back and walking away — it says the person using it isn’t even going to expend the energy it takes to lift an eyelid, much less look at the point. I get it a lot. Now I have a name and a number for it, thanks.

  3. I take heart in the Lincoln quotation: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Sociopaths generally do not realize this: It is their Achilles heel. Whether people can be converted to engage in sociopathic thinking and behavior habitually in a relatively free society (unlike nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia) is possible but runs up against the fact that most people have a conscience.

    • So far. However, the point is that “they” (Hillary supporters) are trying to train the rest of us NOT to have or use a conscience.

  4. Jack, I read through your post with more haste than typically besets me (but I did NOT skim), so I might be suggesting something off-the-wall. Nevertheless, I think I get what you are trying to make clear. I am not sure “Nobody cares” is spot-on. People still care; you and many more who follow and who comment here render that “nobody” part invalid.

    I think what you are describing is a variation on, appropriately enough, #42, the Hillary Inoculation (“If he/she doesn’t care, why should anyone else?”). Isn’t what we are seeing more of a case of (1) deliberate mass abandonment of ethics (because of ideological bias), combined with (2) power to encourage more of the same? That is what I think is going on: T. Revagina has virtual carte blanche acceptance, and loyalty to the bitter end, from the vast leftist mediaplex.

    So we are seeing, in all public glimpses of “Hillary,” a majoritarian apathy (with her having the good fortune of the particular apathetic majority being those in the mediaplex – the “Ministry of Truth”). Thus I think the most precise name for this newly distilled rationalization is: “Nobody who matters, cares.”

    Submitted humbly and without sarcasm,

    • Good point. If you care, you must be an idiot or a rube or a Republican or some other unhip, uncool cretin.

      Eight more years of Lanny Davis. Makes my skin crawl.

  5. Lucky
    You’re correct. I’ve found that if I ask myself “What would my dad think of this?” I almost without exception get the answer that’s the most opposite of what the left and their media minions enthusiastically support. Sadly, it’s also often what Republicans also eventually get around to espousing.

    So, as wrong as my dad’s generation were about some things, Jim Crow, underestimating women, color schemes, architecture, car design… They were right about the danger of eroding core American values.

  6. Well, it is true that people are the source of all normative statements. Thus, only things that people care about matter. However, people can undermine themselves by not caring about something that has side-effects that hurt what they care about. For instance, people might not care about brushing teeth, but they care about not getting cavities, which is directly affected by brushing teeth. Thus, brushing teeth does matter, even if people are too foolish to see the connection.

    Likewise, people care about the world working right and problems being resolved, so even if they aren’t wise enough to figure out how to make those things happen, there are certain issues that are important. My job is to show people these connections and teach them to be wise enough to realize them themselves. However, the necessary first step is to exercise their minds and introduce them to different ways of thinking. That will make them more receptive to good ideas and better able to understand them.

    Speaking of which, Jack, did you get the email I sent? I included a hyperlink, so it might have been marked as spam by accident.

  7. I believe most people know that much of what the Clintons do is wrong on an intuitive level. The problem is that they do not realize it consciously, so any justification can work to make them deny their intuitive sense of right and wrong.

    This is a direct result of the lack of ethics – as well as reason and logic (a lack of philosophy if you will) – being taught in our education system; the abandoning of the very tools that can be used to help an individual overcome a “sense” of right and wrong to make those judgments concrete, rather than mere abstractions.

    Since the end always justifies the means for those on the left, exploiting a deficiency they’ve largely created by ruining our education system comes as naturally as breathing.

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