As if I was driving through a continuous roundabout comes the never ending issue of our city's municipal golf course. Folks I've been giving it some deep thought of course ... about the course and as to where the root of the problem lies. If you're not up to snuff on this never ending battle of power and mind games don't be alarmed or fly over the cuckoo's nest. I think there's an answer as to why our local officials are having such a difficult time in coping with "the practice of government and managing of public affairs." By the way folks, what I just said is the definition of "politics."
But there is one other piece to the puzzle we must look at in order to understand political motives. It's a special little piece located in the part of our brain which causes us to think and behave the way we do. Please allow me to introduce to you a growing problem which is growing very stale with the public. It's called a "conflict in personalities" among our elected officials.
Thanks to my scientific research that I discovered why our city officials are not collectively working together in resolving problems. It's not a golf contract or budget causing gridlock. Instead I see it as a psychological problem which has been fostered by a multitude of personalities running the show. Ironically speaking one alderwoman said something which really follows my suit in questioning as to how our city government operates. When proposing an ordinance in stripping powers from the mayor to oversee the city's golf course Alderwoman Hatzenbuhler said, "This is so the council can see firsthand what's going on up there."
I guess it's sort of like when a doctor is performing a colonoscopy he or she wants to know if there's anything going on up there. Well folks aside from observing conflicting personalities we the people want to know if there's actually anything going on up there ... in that hidden part of the brain. If you think about it for a moment what controls our decision making process? Is it our personality that tells us what to do or something else? What we have up in city hall are seven people with seven different personalities consisting of seven different characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Excuse me while I backtrack for a moment and say there are six different personalities. We'll count the mayor and corporation counsel as being one personality.
What's even more troublesome is that we are stuck with six personalities (mayor and corporation counsel as one) until the next cycle of elections. Did I mention that according to psychologists an individual's personality remains fairly consistent throughout his or her life? Well, if this holds true then I guess at the present moment when it comes to resolving issues things "ain't gonna change" -- no way, no how. The only way I can describe what we are seeing is to phrase it as "you say it's blue, I say it's red and I don't like you." There you have it folks no rhyme, reason or logic it's just your plain old basic personality issues.
So are you ready to study and analyze our six subject matters? Hopefully we can come up with a diagnosis to the problem. Political psychology has identified six basic personality types that are typically found in the world of public affairs. Let's play a game here to see if you can identify our six patients; excuse me, I meant public officials.
The first is called a "narcissist." This type of politician has a rather inflated image of his or herself believing to have power over the lives of others. They are attention seeking exhibitionists with a tendency to scapegoat when things go wrong. Narcissists are extremely convincing and are ultimate users of demanding loyalty from others which they seldom give in return.
The second is called "obsessive compulsive." This type of politician has a hard working, conscientious and ethical personality which is driven by a need for accuracy. They are good at policymaking but terrible at leading particularly in a crisis when quick decisions have to be made. Obsessive compulsive politicians will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid rocking the boat with their actions.
The third is called "Machiavellian." This type of politician can walk into a room and immediately size people up and identify their weaknesses. It's through this process that they are able to receive both personal and political gains. These cool and calculating types are generally not burdened by ethical qualms. Instead, winning is everything and the rest is negotiable.
The fourth is called "authoritarian." This type of political personality is competitive and domineering toward others. They believe that might makes right and tend to project their own flaws and insecurities onto low-status groups.
The fifth is called the "paranoid" political personality which is described as being secretive and suspicious. They have a tendency to perceive hidden meanings in ordinary things and reject evidence. They harbor doubts about loyalty and hold grudges sometimes for decades.
The sixth and final personality type found in the world of public affairs is the "totalitarian." This particular personality is extremely rare in politics because they demand absolute obedience from inferiors and wield power through the gullibility of their supporters. This type of person will reject facts that contradict their goals.
There you have it folks your six basic personality types typically found in the political world. I must say the most dangerous of all political personalities is having a fear of independent ideas, thoughts and actions. So next time you hear of an issue going on at city hall where nothing is happening look to blame it on two things: political parties where the thought process doesn't change, and personalities.
Until next time -- hold that thought.
MIKE LAZAROU is an Amsterdam native
and a regular columnist. You may contact him