Democrats & Liberals Archives

Number-One Syndrome

Do you have a neighbor who thinks he is God’s gift to the rest of us? In school, he was the smartest. In business, he makes the best product, for the best price at the greatest profit. His employees adore him. His kids, he tells you, are the best behaved and smarter than all the other kids on the block. Whatever he believes is right. Whatever he does is good. He is perfect.

He has the number-one syndrome. When talking to him it appears that no one else exists. This syndrome is bad enough in an individual, but extremely debilitating in a political party. Yet the Republican Party is wracked with the number-one syndrome.

The Republican Party is run by CEOs and elite investors, who think of themselves as great successes. These fatcats believe they are number one among the rest of us and deserve number-one treatment in legislation and in access to government officials. Of course, the Republican Party always treats business as number one.

To increase its influence, the Republican Party attracted to itself another group that thinks it is number one: Christian fundamentalists. They are positive they are right. They know what God wants. They possess absolute truth. They insist that their truth be incorporated into law. In the social area, Republicans treat the religious Right as number one to the total disregard of the many Americans with different viewpoints.

While in office during the past 6 years, Republicans governed as number one, without considering the opinions of Democrats. There was no number two. Bush famously disregarded anything Democrats said. Both the House and the Senate were run by Republicans and without input from Democrats. The idea was to gain majorities only with Republicans, who after all, according to them, were number one.

With reference to other nations on the Globe, Republicans thought of America as number one. This meant to them that they need not get involved with treaties, agreements and other forms of concord. They scrapped ABM agreements with Russia, the environmental agreement of Tokyo, the agreement for the International Court of Justice, and many others. As number one, they thought, America can take care of itself and did not need anyone else.

So, the Republicans disregarded the UN and the WMD inspectors, paid no attention to our allies, and jumped into Iraq in order to achieve a regime change. Yes, sir, went Republican logic, since U.S. is number one, it could invade any country it wishes whenever it wishes. The number-one superpower cannot be stopped.

Now, there are some people who advocate diplomacy in order to extricate ourselves from the quagmire of Iraq. To which Republicans reply: No way. Their number-one syndrome has reached the point where they are stymied and helpless. America itself has been isolated from other nations. What a breakdown!

Fortunately, the country has started to cure itself of the number-one syndrome last November by voting Democrats into power. Democrats know that they are not number one. They are not rich and they are not big-business elites. Democrats represent workers, as well as business people who believe they are number one. Democrats want to achieve access and legislation that benefit all elements of society. Democrats believe that people of all religions (and of no religion) should be treated equally under the law, not that people who consider themselves number-one religious elites should have their religion imposed on everyone else.

After the election, afraid that the number-one syndrome is beginning to infect our civic life, Nancy Pelosi, the new Democratic Speaker of the House, decided to take a firm stand against it. She announced that Republicans will be included in discussions of bills. She figures that since these Republicans were elected, they may be able to contribute to legislation - if they can counter their number-one syndrome.

Democrats are upset with the biggest catastrophe caused by the Republican number-one syndrome: the Iraq quagmire. Forget about being number one. We need to destroy the terrorists. And we need to enlist Iraq's neighbors to the task. We need to open the rusty machinery of diplomacy. We are not number one, without need of other nations. We must work with nations all over the world to help ourselves and to help others in order to achieve enduring peace.

Democrats do not believe they are number one. Democrats have a healthy respect for those who disagree with them. Democrats may not cure Republicans, but they will cure our civic society of the number-one syndrome by following America's motto: e pluribus unum - from many one.

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 28, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #200697

Stereotype much?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 28, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #200699

Paul, you appear pretty certain that you’re right too.

I read your post and can’t really see how you’re any different from those you criticize. You don’t like those who feel like they have all the answers because in your mind YOU are the one who really has all the answers.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at December 28, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #200704

You mean like those that swear global warming is absolute, undeniable scientific truth? Or that Kyoto was flawless?

I sympathize with your feelings, I hate those guys, too, but think this is a vast oversimplification of Republicans.

I had a contractor ask me yesterday, if I always thought I was right when I rejected his reinforcement. I said nope, but that this WAS not to code. I was perfectly willing to hear his version, but he didn’t really believe it met code, but the violation wasn’t significant in his mind. He didn’t like it, but he redid it to my satisfaction.

He hasn’t liked me since I caught him using the wrong grade steel at the beginning of the project.
I’m often not liked. That’s O.K., it’s not my job to be popular, but I do try to work with people.

Posted by: gergle at December 28, 2006 9:53 PM
Comment #200710


The only difference I see between Democrats and Republicans is different areas where they profess to have all the answers.

And, BTW, if someone doesn’t believe they have the answers to problems, why would they want to go into politics?

And, when you talk about the “rich folks”, are you including Rockefeller, Kennedy, and Bill Gates? If I’m not mistaken, they are all Democrats.

It is going to be interesting to see what Pelosi and Co. can accomplish in 2 years. If they don’t follow through on some of the promnises they have made, we may have a Republican in the White House and a majority back in Congress in 2008.

Going to be an interesting 24 months or so.

Posted by: John Back at December 28, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #200733

Paul, this article reads like so much partisan drivel, to me. Successful people make better leaders than unsuccessful people hands down, as a general rule. The problem America faces in leadership is not addressed by your partisan arguments. The problem is far more complex and dynamic than you portend here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 29, 2006 8:40 AM
Comment #200743

Maybe Dems have good reason for their humility. But I do not really think they will be any more inclusive. During the early times when Dems were in charge, they did not cooperate with Republicans all that much. Politicians cooperate with others when others have something to bring to the table. When you think about it, it makes sense.

A wise person takes into account what others think and say, but in the final analysis makes the decision he thinks is right. Those whose ideas were rejected or not fully implemented will always complain and sometimes they will be right, but the nature of a decision is to include some things and exclude others. It is in the nature of things that more is excluded than included.

Posted by: Jack at December 29, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #200767

Jack Said:
“Politicians cooperate with others when others have something to bring to the table. When you think about it, it makes sense.”

While I agree that this is SOP Jack, what are they “bringing to the table?” party, party, party. Was there ever a time in our country, ever a leader, a president that said to hell with the party I am for America? Im only 42 and having no luck recalling such.

Perhaps Paul struck a partisan chord here, however he does not say that we should not strive to be the best. He in fact does not say that we aren’t the best.

I would paraphrase this whole post down to this “many hands make light work.”


Posted by: JayTea at December 29, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #200768

it appears that in general you have summed up the attitude of the leadership of the house and senate of the last few years. However I dont think that small group of ideologues represents the poltical parties as a whole. Further I think this number one syndrome is really some good traits taken to extremes by us humans, especially in this day and age.
It seems as a country we tend to go from one extreme to another rather quickly without spending much time in the middle as we pass by, like a broken metronome.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 29, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #200780

No, Paul. Last Novembers elections didn’t cure anything. We’ve just traded one “number-one syndrome” for another.

Posted by: vietnam_vet at December 29, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #200781

vietnam_vet said: “No, Paul. Last Novembers elections didn’t cure anything.”

Sometimes a cure does not occur until quite a length of time after the medication has been taken. It is too soon to tell if the elections cured anything, the new Congress has not even been seated yet.

Sheesh, a little logic goes along way toward stemming the tendency to make outrageously unsubstantiated and illogical comments as this.

If I were betting, I would bet November’s elections won’t (future tense) cure anything sunstantive, but, still, logic demands a wait and see before such a judgment is pronounced.

At the very least, November’s elections afforded an opportunity for improvement which was clearly non-existent while Republicans ruled. They couldn’t do anything right by their own standards and platform goals. Smaller government? No. Cut spending? NO! Reduce debt? Just the opposite. Win a war? No! Twice! Protect Americans at home from attack? NO! Support our troops with the best equipment and protection available? NO! Protect Bill of Rights freedom and liberty? DOUBLE NO! Reinstate confidence and trust between the people and their government. HELL NO!

And I am just getting warmed up, but, I presume I have substantiated my point adequately. The Pat Paulson party could have fared better than that track record. Their motto was laugh and do no harm. At least we would have laughed and half their party platform would have been fulfilled.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 29, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #200833


I generally agree that Republicans have the America is #1 approach to all things. Actually, most people have the same feelings toward their country, High School football teams, college teams, professional sports teams, companies worked for, wives, kids, etc.! This a pretty healthy attitude because it builds team spirit and loyalty. In the military it is absolutely essential to team building.
On the other hand, I believe now we have adopted, with the election of the Democrats, the attitude that America is the worst of the worst; just as bad and terrible as Hitler’s Nazi Germany. All you have to do is listen to what they have said for the last four years in the House and Senate. America is ruining the environment, almost single-handedly causing global warming, causing the pain and suffering of millions of poor people across the globe even though we give more than double any other nation in foreign aid, completely ignoring the aids epidemic in Africa though we give more than any others to that cause, treating the U.N. as a bunch of incompetents though without our funding and leadership there would be no U.N., neglecting and mistreating minorities within the U.S. though minorities in this country receive more benefits and are more prosperous than anywhere else in the world. Is this the attitude you want us Republicans to adopt. Sorry, some of us will always love and respect the U.S. and think of it as the greatest nation God ever placed on this planet.
It is because of the condescending and hateful attitude of the Democrats in Washington toward this President that they were left out. I didn’t hear Joe Lieberman whining about not being included. Maybe it was because he is not among the hate America first crowd and stopped to give the President a little bit of encouragement and even dared to agree with him on at least a few things, putting partisanship aside. It is this breed of Democrat that the President was looking to work with in Washington. You see what it cost Lieberman! He is no longer a Democrat. Unfortunately, the President found very few such Democrats. It is doubtful he will find any in the next two years either, even though the Press was toting the newly elected Democrats as blue dogs. I assume these blue dogs will be whipped into submission by the more experienced canines showing their teeth in the leadership of the House and Senate. Only time will tell!


Posted by: JD at December 30, 2006 12:13 AM
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