Hubris Syndrome in the Context of Politics

Understanding Political Leaders Through Personality Profiling – Hubris Syndrome

Some leaders end up being highly intoxicated with power to an extent that it impairs their mental judgment and faculties. This situation was initially defined as hubris syndrome, which is characterized by what most people regard as “being drunk by power”. Hubris syndromes involve the behaviors identified in an individual who perceives the world as a place for self-glorification via power use, has a propensity to take action basically to improve personal image, and shows unsuitable concern for presentation and image (Asad & Sadler-Smith, 2020).

These people also exhibit messianic exaltation and zeal in speech, conflates themselves with organization or nation, utilizes the royal “we” in conversations, and demonstrate excessive self-confidence. People with hubris syndrome have contempt for others, demonstrates accountability just to a higher court; God or history, and show the unshakable belief that they will be justified in that court. They lose contact with reality, resorts to impulsive actions and restlessness, permits moral righteousness to avert outcome, cost, or practicality, and demonstrate incompetence with contempt of the bolts and nuts of policymaking (Jakovljevic, 2011).

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Hubris syndrome is related to power possession, particularly with power that has been connected with inflated success. Conventions, rules, morals, and laws are regarded to be irrelevant to those who believe they are above them. Different from most personality disorders that seem to occur by early adulthood, hubris syndrome seems to grow only after one is in power for a period, and thus it can manifest at any age. The syndrome is triggered by power and remits when power fades (Owen & Davidson, 2009).

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A good example of hubris syndrome manifestation among the world leaders is demonstrated in the given article “President Bo Hubris Syndrome under the Microscope.” The article shows how President Bo, a Gambian president is ready to use dirty politics to cling to power, despite not being able to deliver any substantial change in the country. Instead of engaging in meaningful policy debate, President Bo floods the public with mischievous thoughts and ideas to sway public opinion. He seems to embrace Donald Trump’s 2016 politicking style whose aim is to discredit the opponent rather than showing abilities and policy changes that are likely to better the country.

This is after President Bo has been in power for a whole term, with nothing to show other than promoting public corruption and crime. President Bo is an example of many African political leaders who demonstrate hubris syndrome. These individuals never perform anything tangible in their roles as presidents but want to cling to power and refuse to believe anybody else can replace them. They also justify their actions as leaders and feel that they are not questionable to anyone and even God or history will recognize their excellent performance, while in reality, everything is in a pathetic situation.

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