Everybody knows the guy who embellishes everything thing he does, often to the extent of fabricating resumes. We encounter these people mostly in the workplace where their toadyism keeps them employed.
Politics seems to attract these types in droves. Why? First, because the only real ability required in politics is getting elected and the self-absorbed, even delusional narcissist’s only real ability is to lay a successful con on people too lazy or indifferent to do a little research. Second, because once you get in to office the slate is often (but not always) wiped quite clean by the investiture of authority.
Which brings me first to George Santos, the serially prevaricating, baby-faced congressman from New York who was elected last fall based on a litany of lies so disturbing and so manifold that you really have to wonder if this loser has any connection to reality at all. His mother didn’t die on 9/11; he wasn’t a Wall Street wolf; he didn’t play volleyball at Baruch College that required knee surgeries. And on and on. But he had branded – gay Republican and that seemed to throw everybody off the aroma emanating from this sad, greasy individual.
These days it’d pretty hard to hide your past if someone goes digging into it. From a chequered past as a Brazilian check kiter and transgender beauty queen, a Jew”ish” person of Ukrainian descent; the lies were so stupid and so plentiful that even the media and the electorate took notice.
I have noticed similar manifestations of the Santos Syndrome here in Orange County.
Exhibit 1 for the Prosecution Fullerton’s D5 Councilmember Ahmad Zahra.
Zahra popped up out of nowhere in 2018 to get himself elected the council. He, like Santos had a brand: first gay Muslim to run for office, etc. But nobody really knew anything about him except what he told them: Syrian refugee, a physician, a film maker. A real noble and honorable story right? There is no local media, the voters were stupid and Zahra’s only competition was Paulette Marshall who was caught committing crimes and had to quit. His 2022 campaign was a compendium of crap that gave him credit for doing things he actually opposed. It even included a fake hetero family.
To the narcissist success means getting other people to believe your bullshit and to love you; to recognize your brilliance without actually having to do anything but throw words they want to her at them. And so Zahra has managed to bamboozle the bamboozlable who have no interest in honesty so long as the their liberal shamanic proprieties have been observed. When the sacrifice has been made, nobody asks what happened to the ritual offering.
For the average Zahra adherent it would be bad form indeed for anybody to inquire if, in fact, that man was ever a doctor or even a real film maker. Or, if, in fact he has ever held a job at all. He could easily provide proof of the professional title he wants people to apply him. He could also have provided proof of the claim that he was exonerated of battery against a woman by the DA. But he never did.
For now Zahra’s little fife and drum corps marches on around the block, supported by the dishonest and the stupid. But for how much longer, I wonder. Like Santos, Zahra paints himself as the perpetual victim, unfairly attacked by his enemies because of this and that. When that little bell starts ringing you can be sure somebody is closing in on a truth about Zahra.