Sociopath-endemic in America
Covid-19 was far and away the worst crisis in America in recent memory, a crisis that was multiplied exponentially by certain peoples refusal to comply with CDC guidelines. Whether or not people believed the science behind Covid is one thing but far more alarming was the lack of empathy exhibited by a large portion of the population. Many questioned how someone could treat their choice of wearing a mask equal to a life or death struggle, going so far as committing homicides in the name of preserving their self-righteous struggle for “liberty”. Answers did not come easily. Were people behaving this way because they simply didn’t like being told what to do? Or did they truly believe that Covid-19 was nothing more than an elaborate hoax? The answer, I believe, is quite simple. We not only have a health crisis but a mental health crisis, specifically a sociopath crisis.
Trump didn’t start this, though he did use those who may be associated with sociopathic behaviors for his own purpose. No no, we have been brewing our own sociopaths for decades since 2000. You see it with a rise in gun violence, in hate crimes, in police shootings and the most obvious being the non-compliance of wearing a piece of cloth over your mouth and nose to protect others from a highly transmissible virus. It is not limited to any one political affiliation yet the rise of extremism in general could be tied to our ever increasing subjection to leaders or groups displaying sociopathic attributes.
Let’s use one example, George Zimmerman.
The neighborhood watchman who shot 17yo Trayvon Martin should be well known by now. In an interview with KTNV 13 News, George describes his experience in the aftermath of the shooting, his reasons behind later selling the gun used online for over a 100K, and the advice he would give someone facing similar charges.
“You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. You’re the victim of a political persecution.”
The remorse and regret for ending someones life is non-existent. Neither is the thought or acknowledgement for how the Martin family may have felt after hearing he was selling the weapon that killed their son for a small fortune.
He would elaborate sometime in the same interview that keeping it would have been “selfish” and that by selling it off on an online auction he was doing what Americas fore-fathers did, by “putting it all on the line” and using the funds for political donations. The justification for selling the weapon was that it was the ‘patriotic’ thing to do, no matter how immoral or selfish it looked to anyone else, including the Martin family.
If division is at the heart of our discourse today, lack of empathy and mutual respect would be it’s core.
A more recent example is the reaction toward Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17yo who drove across state lines to “defend property” with a local militia whom he had no previous affiliation with. While it’s argued whether or not Kyle acted in self defense, the argument at large is how did a 17yo end up shooting several people in a town he had no residence in. The aftermath was even more troubling as many people praised Kyle for the shootings. A contentious topic that usually draws out strong emotions, the supporters usually argue how Kyle acted like a “true patriot” by gunning down fellow Americans (which according to them was justified) who were rioting in their own town.
This brings us to weird place today, where we have Americans cheering for others to be shot and holding those who engage in acts of violence to an iconic — almost celebrity like —level of admiration. If we are to change this country perhaps we’re all better off asking questions first instead of shooting…and actually wait to listen for a response. Though there is good chance it’s already too late and we’re only going to witness an ever-lasting escalation of violence in response to violence.
The covid-19 pandemic may be nearing its end, the crisis of sociopathy remains larger than ever today.