Shaidle Unchained

Type Over Hype

August 09, 2016

Multiple Pages
Type Over Hype

Calling the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator one of my hobbies isn’t entirely accurate; it would be like someone whose knowledge of cinema doesn’t extend beyond 1990s Hong Kong actioners calling themselves a “movie buff.” And according to Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ—which means the only type I’m interested in is my own.

It’s the most popular personality test in the world, used by corporations for decades to screen applicants, and self-help buffs to analyze and understand themselves and others. But if you’re unfamiliar with this Jungian taxonomy of human temperament, start here—or, if you can stand spending a few minutes with Stephen Colbert, here.

Severus Snape is an archetypal INTJ. Ditto Hannibal Lecter and Dr. House. Real-life exemplars include Bill Gates and Ayn Rand.

And, apparently, Hillary Clinton.

That’s the impeccably authoritative verdict at Keirsey, weighing in on this week’s anti-Trump meme: “presidential temperament.”

Naturally, I’m appalled. Looking like Hillary Clinton is bad enough. Although (if I weren’t such an introvert, that is) I could run a half-decent side hustle as an impersonator for hire.

But INTJs account for an estimated 0.8 percent of the female population. We’re the rarest of the sixteen types, and having to share that distinction with Hillary takes some of the fun out of it.

Then again, taking the fun out of things is an INTJ specialty, our Bitchy Resting Face telegraphing our disapproval of your trivial, so-called “fun” preoccupations, even if that’s not our intention. “Ayn Rand, party animal” is not a phrase that has ever been typed before this actual moment.

“I assure you it pained Hillary greatly to have to pretend she thought ‘wiping a server’ had something to do with housework.”

Now, imagine me as president. Within 24 hours, roughly one-third of the planet would have been nuked, and U.N. headquarters evicted and imploded. (The rubble will be folded into the wall on the southern border.) The Department of Education would be shuttered, its former employees sent to work on new pipelines and oil rigs. The Social Security eligibility age would be boosted to 75. And no more “disability” checks unless you’re actually disabled.

Some of you might be thinking, “Woohoo!” That’s because you’re smart. But now imagine someone exactly like me in charge, but working for the other side.

Make that “a woman like me.” Because Calvin Coolidge was likely an INTJ, and who doesn’t want him back?

No, as Jim Goad pointed out last week without resorting to typology, there is something particularly unsettling about female INTJs. Some of them even care about that fact. (I suspect these women of being impostors.)

Goad’s indictment of Hillary addressed both her principles (such as they are) and her personality. I got my back up when he turned his attention to the latter. I would have made a helluva ruler-wielding nun. And he says “Nurse Ratched” like it’s a bad thing.

Nurse Ratched is, in fact, the hero of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest:

It’s 1963. You’re a smart, capable woman, but were told all your life that your only career options are teaching or nursing.

So you finish nursing school at the top of your class. Your fellow nurses plan on marrying a doctor and retiring from the daily grind of bedpans and ingrates. You don’t bother entertaining such daydreams. You can’t.

Instead, in exchange for lousy pay, you’re charged with the care of a bunch of men, some genuinely ill, but others mere malingerers hoping to evade life’s responsibilities.

The cocky one who seduced and abandoned a 15-year-old girl has been particularly difficult from the start…

Where was I? Right: Hillary. It pains me to admit it, but Keirsey’s diagnosis is convincing. Goad noted her “coldness” and “rancid, yeasty stench of inauthenticity,” and indeed, Clinton’s temperament is exactly what forces her to try to act like a normal person in public—and her increasingly frequent failures to do so explain her “malfunctioning robot” reactions.

INTJs believe they deserve to rule the world—but like James Bond villains. Outside the realm of fiction, power demands politicking, press conferences (note how she’s avoided these), campaigning, “caring.” Trying to look, well, human. (Recall Richard Nixon “casually” strolling along the shore—wearing wingtips...)

Some of Hillary’s most notorious utterances, including her “vast right-wing conspiracy” line, are also truest to our type:

I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.

You know, I’m not sitting here—some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette…. And you know, if that’s not enough for people, then heck, don’t vote for him.

We came, we saw, he died.

In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I’m keeping a chart.

And the realest thing she ever said, campaigning against Obama, running down her résumé then snarking, “And my opponent? Well, he gave a speech once in 2004.”

I assure you it pained Hillary greatly to have to pretend she thought “wiping a server” had something to do with housework. And that after the birth of Chelsea, she thought, “Well, that’s my one kid I’ve had so I can say I had one and people will shut up now.

No INTJ actually believes it “takes a village to raise a child.” Raising children is at the bottom of our dream job list, but we sure as hell aren’t going to leave it to some goddamn village (sotto voice: “Full of idiots…”). Clinton’s book was, obviously, more wingtips on the beach.

Obvious, that is, to me. To millions of others, too, of course, but learning that Hillary Clinton is basically my evil (in a different way) twin has been a revelation.

Albeit a limited one. My mother (whose nickname for me was Ming the Merciless) used to watch the U.S. presidential elections and shake her head. “Why would anyone want that awful job?”

I’d think, “Well, there’s the private plane,” but any rich person can get one, and Hillary probably owns a whole fleet.

As a female INTJ, she’d be so much happier living in a lighthouse than in the White House. Wouldn’t it be great for America’s future if only she admitted that, too?

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