Editorial – Society of Jerks

I saw this editorial on http://www.flkeysnews.com this morning.

We have a problem in this world because, more than ever, we tolerate, coddle and even encourage jerks to the point where we’re becoming a society of jerks.

Yes, it’s true.

Some of our candidates for elected office are unabashed jerks, and they’re not afraid to show it. They’re loud, disrespectful, rude and ruthless. They’ve taken discourse to unreached lows, and we’re months away from the conventions. It can only get worse.

Also true.

The current crop on the campaign trail were born by Republican and Democrat parents so desperate for a bad-seed child that they made one in the lab. Now the jerks are having buyer’s remorse because they’ve lost control of their mutant creation.

Ha.  Well said.

There have been so many of these jerks inflicting so much horror and causing so much sadness that a line has been crossed. Their feelings, motivations and even mental states shouldn’t matter to the rest of us anymore. Factoring in the latter insults the many people suffering from varying degrees of mental illness who cringe at the idea of violence as a means or an end to any problem.

Agree.  I think when people speculate on these things they are trying to find an explanation that makes sense to them.  But there is no making sense of it.  Not for an ordinary, non-jerky person.

Today, the notion of free will has come into question, leading some quantum physicists, psychiatrists and psychologists to believe jerks simply don’t have a choice. It was written in their genetic cards to bother, hurt and kill the rest of us.

We disagree. You can decide not to be a jerk. It’s not that hard.

I think some people are born with jerky tendencies, but I also think they will avoid jerky behavior if they suffer negative consequences for it.  Unfortunately, as the editorial states, jerks are often coddled in our society.   Ugh.  Remember the “affluenza” teen?

There’s a really fascinating book called, “The Sociopath Next Door“, by Martha Stout.  The book argues that sociopaths aren’t necessarily violent serial killers.  They’re the chronic liars, cheaters and con artists.  They’re the bullies at school or at work.  They are an extreme form of a “jerk” and they are not that uncommon.

According to Stout, sociopaths constitute about 4% of the population.  That’s a lot of people.  One in twenty-five – about the size of an average classroom.  No wonder it feels like the world is overrun with jerks sometimes.


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