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The refusal to accept objective criticism is just one of many traits shared by Carter and Obama. Both Democrats share an unfounded faith in one’s own moral superiority based on intellectual vanity and narcissism as well.
My own theory about this centers on the affect of postmodernism which I believe underlies the narcissism Alter identifies. Below is information from Stephen Hicks of Rockford College, from his book titled Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. He has a web page dedicated to postmodernism which includes a PDF of his book’s first chapter.
Postmodernism rejects the Enlightenment project in the most fundamental way possible—by attacking its essential philosophical themes. Postmodernism rejects the reason and the individualism that the entire Enlightenment world depends upon. And so it ends up attacking all of the consequences of the Enlightenment philosophy, from capitalism and liberal forms of government to science and technology.
Postmodernism’s essentials are the opposite of modernism’s. Instead of natural reality—anti-realism. Instead of experience and reason—linguistic social subjectivism. Instead of individual identity and autonomy—various race, sex, and class group-isms. Instead of human interests as fundamentally harmonious and tending toward mutually-beneficial interaction—conflict and oppression. Instead of valuing individualism in values, markets, and politics—calls for communalism, solidarity, and egalitarian restraints. Instead of prizing the achievements of science and technology—suspicion tending toward outright hostility.
Combining Alter’s observation of the narcissism of Obama and Carter with Hicks’ discussion of the postmodern rejection of objectivity leaves us with a possible explanation. With ties to objective facts, to the external work, severed, postmoderns are free to turn inward and promote their feelings, their narcissism, as superior to facts.