Post # 602 PARANOID PATRIOTISM: pliny Editorial

As we see it the Nation is noticeably in a bit of a quandary as to the fundamental motivation behind the violent insurrection at the Capitol Building, January 6, and consequently, of an appropriate, punitive, and deterrent response, to the observably dedicated participants.

There would appear to be a significant qualitative difference between the legislated and enumerated Crimes enunciated in our Criminal Codes and Statutes, viz., Murder, Robbery, Larceny, Assault, including the legal precedential treatment of the same, and, by contrast, the facts of the January 6th  criminal insurrection, perceptively grounded in perverse conspiratorial paranoia, bizarrely complicated by the overt and express encouragement by a sitting President and by certain aberrant members of Congress.

The nuanced motivations of the hundreds of rioters may be every bit as diverse and multifaceted as the substantial number of ardent participants. Conceivably, the same may have a background in neurotic insecurity needing the redemptive recognition of acceptance by a group of recognized others, disappointment in aspirational goals and the projected displacement of blame, harsh and disappointing experiences in upbringing or in later life, inculcation in anti-social or unrealistic delusional beliefs, self-deprecation leading to an existential need for an elevated place in some pecking order or other (such as the perverse belief in the superiority of white, over other skin colors), or merely, reductive ignorance.

It may be contextually useful and logical, at this point in the writing, to examine the pathologically  related subjects of paranoia and chronic  perception of conspiracy.   

As revealed in our cursory readings, paranoia is an instinctive thought pattern, believed to be greatly influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the extent of irrational and delusional thinking. Paranoid thought, we read, typically induces persecutory beliefs which include beliefs in conspiracy concerning perceived threats, accusations, and a general all- pervasive distrust of other people. This biased abnormality includes the misperception of reality such as the existence of external control and manipulation, which at times, may be exacerbated by low socio-economic status. Especially relative to this writing is the fact that a percentage of the individuals characterized by paranoid delusion, often have the tendency to take affirmative or violent action, founded upon their delusional beliefs in the form of violent and criminal behavior. It is our unprofessional, but considered view that the insurrection is an instructive laboratory demonstration of this empirical observation.

Considering the reported scientific and medical fact that paranoia type personality disorder is among the most common personality disorders, is there any wonder that among our sizeable and diverse population, there was enough number of individuals vulnerably open to Donald Trump’s insistence on his delusional lie to the effect that the election was, conspiratorially, stolen from him? Let us focus on the fact that this is the same Donald J. Trump that must have certainly won the hearts of many paranoid personalities, by his constant denigration of truth by his tactical and defensive accusations of “false” facts” and “alternate truth.” Such a call to arms, from on high, and especially from a fellow eternal seeker of “the hidden ultimate truth”  would decidedly be inspirational, irresistible, and incite the undeniable, patriotic duty of those chosen watchmen of “conspiracy.” Ergo, we witnessed on television the “patriotic” insurrection heard around the World.

Although one responsibly, should comprehend the pathological etiology underlying the horrific and deadly insurrectionist activities of January 6, such rational understanding should not at all portend acceptance or undeserved forgiveness. In the interest of the preservation of our Nation and its rare and invaluable Republican Democracy, together with the continued existence and advancement of lawful and peaceful society, the imposition of meaningful and sufficient criminal penalties on all those responsible for and physically participating in this atavistic criminal event which featured insurrectionist murder, injuries, multiple aggravating assault, costly  damage to the Capitol Building; justly inclusive of the related and supportive crimes of incitement, planning, preparation, and participation in the terrifying Insurrection. These would be inclusive, for the World to see, every illegal participant, starting from the arrogant and tactically shrewd Donald Trump and the cadre of atavistic and bigoted Congressional supporters, down to all those, whose personality disorders confused anti-social and violent criminality with their skewed delusions of American patriotism.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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