The Man Without a Soul

Author: Gary Hart

It cannot be seen, touched, or operated on.  Yet many religions and spiritual people believe there is such a thing as a soul.  Though ideas about this may differ widely, there does seem to be a consensus of sorts that the soul encompasses the attributes of enlightened humanity, such as kindness, respect, decency, integrity, empathy, warm-heartedness, and much else.

We are drawn to people with qualities such as these.  We want to form friendships with them and to exhibit those same attributes.

(Throughout, “he” is used for both genders.)

Yet, history shows that many of the political leaders across the ages have had few if any of the qualities we associate with soulfulness.  The Hitlers, Stalins, and Mao tse-tungs of the previous century were among them and rose to power with the admiring support of throngs who seemed to care little for the human qualities of the soul.

A person without a soul lacks empathy.  He has no ability to share the plight of those in need who look to a humane society for help.  He may appear to do so, if nothing else to appease his followers that he is indeed human.  But overall, he really doesn’t care.

The soulless man cares only about himself.  This self-focus is usually called narcissism or egotism.  Everything in life is seen by a person without a soul in light of how it relates to him.  The first-person singular pronoun is used relentlessly.

The vacuum where a soul should be must be filled by adoration by the multitudes.  Believing himself to be far superior to all others, the man without a soul requires periodic reinforcement by the masses who confirm his inflated self-image.  The political rally replaces reflection and introspection.

Because reality refuses to bend to his will and his self-image, the soulless man simply denies reality and creates his own world in which he is central.  Those who do not participate in his self-adoration are dismissed as fake or phony or ignorant.

The man without a soul must surround himself with servants and sycophants.  They must carry out his wishes unquestioningly and religiously.  Deviations are not permitted.  Those not mindlessly loyal are dismissed forthwith.  No one is permitted, even in a democracy, to question the great figure.

The soulless person is seldom surrounded by individuals of high quality and achievement.  High achievers with large souls cannot relate to the narcissist who is the center of his own universe.

The soulless person often seeks political power to demonstrate to himself, if no one else, that he is all the things he thinks himself to be.  If he were not a super genius, how could he have achieved so much power.  The ego and the power complement each other.

The greatest political threat of the man without a soul is the constant need to override existing systems and methods and the achievements of others who have gone before.  Upset all existing patterns of conduct and norms of conduct to demonstrate your own superiority.

The man without a soul has no concern for those he alienates, including members of his own family, if the adoring cult is there to confirm his self-centered conduct.

The man without a soul seeks the company of others like him and often emulates them to demonstrate his own power.  This behavior is antithetical to democracy, the rule of law, and popular sovereignty.

The man without a soul is a natural authoritarian and the contradiction of democratic patterns of behavior.

Those of us who believe in the ideals of democracy and the principles of the republic must stand watch against the soulless man and prevent him from undermining our centuries of governance.

When we do so by our votes, if nothing else, we prevent the destruction of our national government and principles of behavior.

But, of course, in America we would never elect a man without a soul to lead us.

Or have we?

 

4 Responses to “The Man Without a Soul”

  1. Stephen D. Pillow Says:

    Senator Hart,

    Again I salute you on an excellent commentary. You brought forward for me a couple of items the I had not considered as requisites for our souls. Articulate description of a current politician of whom I, and many more of us, can recall but shall remain nameless for good reason.

    With regard to someone with the soulless life that you describe above, I realized, being a somewhat slower responsive members of the study of languages especially the English language, it suddenly dawned on me, these individuals can rarely speak more than 3 consecutive sentences, if that many, with out using 1 or more these 4 words in his mantra: “I, My, Me, Mine!”

  2. Michael Says:

    Obviously we have ‘elected’ a soulless man. But while it is easy to focus exclusively on him we should look at others, too. No one can accuse McConnell of having a soul with his politics of power for the sake of power. Or how about Steve Scalise? He was nearly killed by a would-be assassin’s bullet, yet even after his long recovery still ensured the continuation of gun violence in America by working tirelessly in the service of a gun lobby whose leadership has now been shown to be utterly corrupt and self-serving. What of their souls?

    The entire Republican Party had a chance to redeem their souls in January. They chose not to.

    There is a good 40 percent of the population who support the soulless man unwaveringly, despite the incompetence that has led to 200,000 dead Americans, his unprecedented degeneracy, corruption, and perhaps even treason. What are we to say about their souls?

    And while we are at it, what about the system that allowed soulless man to assume our highest office in the first place, despite having accumulated fewer votes than his challenger? It was designed by our Founders, many of whom thought those not of their class, gender or race, unworthy of a voice in their new republic. Perhaps not soulless to the definition of our host’s eloquent essay; they were intelligent, some brilliant, and surely personable men versed in the arts and letters. Advocates of the Enlightenment. Yet, while they spoke of unalienable rights, many also held other human beings in bondage as their personal property and were eager to appease the political power of others who did. They and those who followed built the new nation on the backs of those slaves while engaging in a genocide against the indigenous peoples who stood in their way. Surely they were also soulless; their deeds more egregious and lasting than anything the soulless man in the White House has done.

    Maybe I’m just in a dark mood, but there is plenty of soullessness to go around. We will find out in a few weeks whether the nation has one at all.

  3. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    I can make no judgment regarding the absence of a soul.

    “If I lose to him (Joe Biden), I don’t know what I’m going to do, I will never speak to you again, you’ll never see me again.” Statement by Donald Trump

    This is the statement of a troubled person. It is akin to “If you don’t play by my rules, I’ll take my toys and go home!” Only children make those kind of declarations! His paranoia about fraudulent ballots, rigged elections, and fixed debates are all signs of delusional behavior! The world is out to get him. Losing will destroy his self-image. His need for rallies and adulation is an effort to validate his need for acceptance and likeability! How many times have we heard from his lips, ‘this person or group likes me. or this person or group doesn’t like me.’ We are dealing with an extremely sick person. He desperately needs medical attention, yet not even his family will step forward to provide help.

    His enablers egg him on to protect their self-interest. It is a sad, sad state of affairs! In some ways inside he appears to be a scared little boy with access to dangerous toys!

  4. Paul G Says:

    “I don’t care; I don’t take responsibility.” – Donald J. Trump
    “I really don’t care. Do you?” – Melania Trump
    “Blue states? Let them suffer.” – Jared Kushner, president’s COVID senior advisor.

    ————————————

    “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”

    – Irish patriot, Jonathan Swift, 1667 – 1745

    GOD AND CAESAR IN AMERICA
    by Gary Hart (Fulcrum Publishing, 2005)

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