We all recall with horror the tragic bombing and shootings in Norway in July, wherein a wingnut @$$hole named Anders Breivik — who absolutely cannot be a “terrorist” because he is white and Christian — targeted liberals in government as well as their children attending a camp of young leaders of the Labour Party. Some of Breivik’s “manifesto” (massive pdf) reads like the national Republican platform (pdf), and the rest of it reads like the rantings of a garden variety CPD case. Hardly anything in it would be out of place in an Ann Coulter screed, or anywhere else in the cesspool that is the right-wing blogosphere:
[The manifesto] includes support for varying degrees of cultural conservatism, ultranationalism, Islamophobia, right-wing populism, Zionism, anti-feminism…and white nationalism. It regards Islam and cultural Marxism as the enemy, and argues for the violent annihilation of “Eurabia” and multiculturalism, to preserve European Christendom.
Unless you have been living in under a rock* for the last decade, such rhetoric will be painfully familiar to you.
We awoke today to the news that the psych evaluation ordered by a court in Oslo has determined that Mr. Breivik was “psychotic” and “insane” during the July attacks:
The conclusions, which will be reviewed by a panel of forensic psychiatrists, contrasted with comments made by the head of that board after the attacks. Dr. Tarjei Rygnestad at the time told who told The Associated Press that it was unlikely that Breivik would be declared legally insane because the attacks were so carefully planned and executed.
“The conclusions of the forensic experts is that Anders Behring Breivik was insane,” prosecutor Svein Holden said, adding Breivik was in a state of psychosis during the attacks.
Now, loyal readers know the Palace has expertise in many, many things, but the nuanced workings of the legal system in Norway, alas, is not among them. But for my purpose herein (which, by the way, is to render the question in the title of this post non-rhetorical) it is the reasoning and conclusions of the forensic psychiatrists who examined Breivik that are of paramount interest:
In their report, the experts describe a man “who finds himself in his own delusional universe, where all his thoughts and acts are governed by these delusions,” Holden said.
If that is not a perfect description of every single conservative I have ever met, read, heard or seen, then I don’t know what is. Their very defining characteristic is to cling to and defend their selfish, petty and irrational delusions,
even especially in the face of overwhelming evidence that completely obliterates them.
“They conclude that Anders Behring Breivik during a long period of time has developed the mental disorder of paranoid schizophrenia, which has changed him and made him into the person he is today.”
The interesting question that arises here is whether or not some degree of paranoid schizophrenia is at work in the conservative mind generally, or if the tragic disorder occurred in Mr. Breivik’s particular case only coincidentally. To be sure, conservatives would love to pin Breivik’s despicable actions on something, anything that cannot be said to universally affect them as well. But without rigorous investigation, testing and analysis, the truth is impossible to determine with any degree of certainty.
Needless to say, the Palace’s CPD research program is working on a definitive answer. Given how things played out in Norway, the urgency of our mission cannot be overstated.
*We mean no disrespect for those who may choose to live under rocks: the obvious benefits of sub-rock-dwelling are certainly not lost on us.