I’ll admit it. I had a blast watching the political circus that is Congressman George Santos (R-NY) and his never-ending stream of lies. I gleefully jumped on the bandwagon of folks creating viral memes and laughing like hyenas. But it quickly played out and became so last week to those of us who possess even a minimal sense of morality.
Played out, you say? Why, it’s almost as if George lacks the terrifying presence of an unchecked Donald Trump or the sore loser, camera-ready charm of a Kari Lake. Or even the pants-on-fire shell game of a Mitch McConnell. And since I’ve had some time to think about it, I might feel a twinge of sadness for George. Just a twinge. Sure, pathological lying might be a cheap source of endless guffaws, but it’s also a serious symptom of poor mental health.
My two cents
I’ve seen this type of behavior in real life and I stand firmly behind my anecdotal conclusions. Look, in today’s world of Googled research and confirmation bias, I don’t need the hard-won credentials of a fancy shrink, therapist, or mental health pro. I’m simply unqualified to make a professional diagnosis. This is my smug opinion, so here we go.
George Santos is as mentally stable as a rickety rollercoaster. His delusions are his own personal Disney World. He’s found himself a delightful little fantasy land where every word he utters is gold and he gets to be a Disney princess. He can easily surround himself with plenty of contemptible courtiers who tend to swipe right on the latest political hack. He’s a perfect match for Fox News commentators who goad guests into uttering more absurdities and fellow politicians who will do anything for power. Yep, we’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again and again.
How did this happen?
Glib George got elected because he was a Republican campaign strategist’s wet dream. He innately knew which bombastic lies to craft and feed to which audiences. And as long as he continues to lie to help the GOP achieve its despicable goals, he will be coddled, manipulated, encouraged, and rewarded. His sycophantic entourage will do everything in their power to keep the charade going.
That’s not all! A newly-elected congressional rep’s payoff is obscenely staggering. George now has access to oodles of money, resources, and support. If you’re a con artist, why the heck stop? I mean, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
As long as our political system rewards its liars, we’ll never be rid of folks like Donald, Kari, Mitch, and George. The field of powerful Pinocchios will continue to grow, destroying trust in government and fostering insurmountable failures in our country’s checks and balances. Ultimately, it means the death of democracy as we know it. And, unfortunately, this is one of too many case studies in how unstable people get to rule the world.