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This should be the top comment, thank you for providing a source.

How do these people justify these things to themselves? I honestly don't understand. How do they not have a "are we the baddies" moment?

237 points · 3 months ago

Because they've already realised it and it gets their rocks off. Evil people don't care that they're evil.

I like think that in the past few years, quite a few Republicans had their personal Wilson Fisk moment.

Texas
7 points · 3 months ago

Fuck that's a great scene delivered immaculately. Thank you for reminding me that Daredevil is good.

Or they are hiding something.

Evil people are usually attracted to evil acts. And evil acts are typically illegal.

4 points · 3 months ago

its probably because they are complicit in the crimes and also may suffer repercussions

Right.

It's not about what we're learning about today that matters. They're fighting their fight because they're worried about what we might discover tomorrow.

It's like they're drunk at the wheel 24/7. "Will this hurt me tomorrow? Maybe. But I feel like a champion today!"

Not really. It's a chance to validate themselves in the Senate and with the Republican party. This type of play can help them move up to more powerful committees or positions within their party. The more power you have in your party, the more interesting favors you can trade with lobbyists.

Those lobbyists are the source of a politicians true power. They can make incredible things happen. Need a protest? How bout a counter-protest too? Do you need a palace for some political event? Does your hometown need a nice donation? Do you need to hush someone up?

Power.

-3 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

My understanding of psychology, sociology, and politics does not include the kind of mustache twirling evil that you are speaking of. The same 'us or them' narrative structure that you are basing this on is how I understand people justify doing seemingly heinous things. I implore you to prove this or at the very least clarify that it is your opinion rather than fact.

If you need me to cite sources I will.

EDIT: yes downvote the person asking others not to demonize without reason.

[deleted]
7 points · 3 months ago · edited 1 month ago

0

You want him to prove that this sort of motivation exists in general, or that this sort of motivation is what is driving a large percentage of the GOP?

in general.

OP describes these humans motivations as intentionally harmful to others and seeking pleasure from it rather than intending to do what they (falsely in this case) believe is the best course of action or simply trying to avoid catastrophe and trying to justify a bad thing.

IMO, and at the risk of being as sweeping as the person I am contending with, OP thinks they live in a movie and hasnt taken the time to really think through why they believe what they do. Their tribalism has blinded them to the same in others.

hmmmm... This certainly provides an alternative explanation than my happy-go-lucky ones but it doesnt seem to imply that these people would be getting direct gratification from doing things they believe to be wrong (IE movie style super villain). Perhaps I need to look into it more (since I had little direction of where to look in that gargantuan wiki article) or we have a misunderstanding?

They know that the things they do are wrong when they do it to someone who isn't in the in-group. Outgroup people are okay to abuse, exploit and destroy. Those that stand up for them are weak, feminine, and asking for whatever punishment they can be dished out--and it is dished out with glee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarian_personality is another thing you can look into.

Comment deleted3 months ago(2 children)

to give some credit where it is due, as trump looks worse and worse for the GOP, the ones with a stronger tie to their ideals rather than loyalty to trump will attempt damage control for those ideals. If they can lessen the damage while still allowing the justice system to accomplish something then they can continue to pursue their ideals. The same kind of damage control happened with bill clinton.

at its core it is tribalism though so don't mistake me, you are 100% correct. We all believe ourselves to be the hero's of our personal story and that motivates us to sometimes do less than heroic things.

Tribal power - while we still have it - might mean we have to roll some heads outa Washington. Is it too late for a citizens revolt? It's only going to work if the military stands down. So I suppose the pending authoritarian regime will complete the coup.

I think if we apply Ocham's razor we can get a pretty clear picture of whats going on, in my mind there are 2 very likely possibilities :

A.) They are guilty, they don't want the investigation going forward because there may be dirt on them.

B.) The investigation being obstructed or shut down directly translates into more (R) votes in the mid-terms.

edit: or both, or neither, obviously. But I feel like there is no nebulous or ideological reasoning behind their rhetoric. They're scared of the direct effects on them personally.

You assume they give a shit.

Oregon
17 points · 3 months ago

They definitely don’t get the benefit of the doubt.

For those unfamiliar with the reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn1VxaMEjRU

Massachusetts
3 points · 3 months ago

Because at the bottom of the rabbit hole is the entire GOP establishment taking money from the Russians, whether unwitting or not. They don't give a fuck about Trump, they're terrified that Mueller will take an exhaustive look at the books of the RNC and GOP SuperPAC's. We already know Rubio took a ton of money from the NRA, what happens if that money was laundered there from Moscow?

They assume the other side would act the same way if they were in power.

Keep in mind that “both sides are the same” is a narrative being pushed by Russian shills.

The ends justify the means + foot in the door psychology.

Basically they have a goal, and they have what they're capable of doing. They'll do anything they're capable of to achieve their goal - everyone does this.

Their skillset used to not include things that others would say are evil, because of morality and wanting to fit in, but over their career they did more and more to stretch their morality, and maybe found that people liked the results and forgot about how they happened. They got used to things working that way, even to the point of considering things like adding secret amendments to be a perfectly fine thing to do.

Once they consider it part of their skillset, they'll use it if it helps achieve their goals. They forget that it became something they could do because people liked the results and forgot about how they happened, and now that the situation is changed and people hate the results and remember who caused them they don't do the necessary critical thinking to realize the tactic no longer works that well.

Unless of course it does work, and they become a little more justified.

Because they’re sociopaths. You don’t get to be a powerful politician by having a conscience.

They do, and then they remember all the money they make by being scum, and keep doing it.

I wonder if Grassley isn't compromised. He's been slow walking the Senate judiciary investigation and turning it on the FBI.

Fucker just got reelected in 2016 though so it'll take an act of Zod to get him out before 2022, when he'll retire and hope he can get his grandson into a life of fucking over Iowans.

Because they've been doing it for years. Ultimately it's about the money, and if you ever get to the point where you're second-guessing your own morals, you have to look back at your entire political career and realize your life has been nothing but exploitation and lies. It's a lot easier to just stick your head in the sand, make your paycheck, and go home every day without acknowledging the destructive effects of your actions. Denial is a powerful drug.

Remember Umbridge from the Harry Potter books.... yeah these people are like her in that they believe what they are doing is right and that they know better than others and they need to take control for the greater good. That and they have to protect their rich friends who keep them in power.

Because they use extremist consequentialist ethical systems (the end goal is all that is ethically relevant, the way we get there doesn't matter). And they believe the end goal they're driving towards (1950 all over again) is morally right.

They’ve sold their souls a long time ago. The rest is cognitive dissidence. All these paper pushing, glad handing weasels haven’t had consequences in so long they just assume they have the authority to do whatever they like.

Few years ago when the government shut down one REP held the budget approval hostage till a clause giving his state 2 billion for a dam that was suppose only cose a few hundred million was added..

Can you imagine the humiliation you'd feel if you openly and loudly supported Trump to everyone you know, and then woke up this morning having the realization that you were so, so wrong?

“Nothings black and white, the world is a fucked up place, you have to be willing to do bad things to get anywhere, and I won’t be alive to see the consequences.”

They honestly believe that they are doing the right thing for the right reasons.

That or they don’t see right/wrong only power/more power.

Plenty of sociopaths and/or moral cowards are genuinely unaware they are sociopaths and/or moral cowards.

Delusion is one of humanity's most potent talents.

You have to have a conscience to have an "are we the baddies" moment.

Getting caught up in “winning”

Which is made even worse by the fact that we set ourselves up with two “teams”

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