Roger L. Simon

Separated at Birth - Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul

On one level you have to laugh that Kucinich and Paul were the only two dissenting votes in a 411-2 Congressional resolution urging the UN Security Council to charge Iran’s president Ahmadinejad under genocide conventions. But it is interesting these particular men stood alone in supposedly principled opposition to the obvious. And I’m sure their supporters would cite these “principles” as being great and idealistic. I’ll leave aside all the usual Neville Chamberlain clichés, because, well, we all know them, and cut to the chase – my view of their true motivations.

I think both of these men became highly-rigid narcissists decades ago. Their entire public personae … and the attention they crave… are totally dependent on maintaining an inviolable public image. You can invariably predict everything they are going to say, every attitude they take. There is never a surprise, because they are playing roles they have chosen for themselves and for which they were rewarded with public and media attention from years in the past. If they changed their positions and became more reasonable, even in a few areas, they would simply disappear because they no longer fulfilled their roles.

This disappearance, of course, is intolerable to the narcissist. The point – for both Kucinich and Paul- is not to win, but to bask in that reflected glow that justifies their existence. This is also an indication why both do not appear to listen when others talk. To do so would be to have their thought processes challenged and to risk change. What fascinates me in this, however, is that, unlike in national polls where they barely register, a large number of people in their home areas actually voted for the Congressmen. Perhaps Paul and Kucinich have different personalities for the hometown crowd – a kind of sudden practicality – or maybe it’s just earmarks or maybe… those folks back home bask in the glow of the narcissism too. Hey, this famous guy comes from our little town!