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The Pathology of the Politician. Matthew Parris Explains It All.

Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and who knows who else as another week begins.  Are we governed by loons? How do these men rise in politics?  What drives them?

British columnist and former MP Matthew Parris deconstructed the type last month in this essential piece for The Spectator.  It’s written in the British political idiom but applies to the gladiators tussling with one another in every democracy.  Lobbyists and staff members, print it and put affix it to your desk or the back of your iPad.

Here are some samples of Parris’s wisdom:

Politicians are not normal people. They are weird. It isn’t politics that has made them weird: it’s their weirdness that has impelled them into politics.

On the whole, by and large, and with any number of exceptions, individuals drawn to elective office are driven men and women: dreamers, attention-seekers and risk-takers with a dollop of narcissism in their natures.

As I’ve so often written, elective office feeds your vanity and starves your self-respect.

If you read just one thing today, let it be this short essay that Freud could not have improved.