Ryan Zinke is an illeist

Ryan ZinkeLast Friday, I read an article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle entitled, "GOP House candidate Zinke says bin Laden email misunderstood."
Asked how the death of bin Laden was relevant to his congressional campaign, Zinke said, “The connection is Ryan Zinke did two tours with our nation's finest.”
He didn't answer the question but I need to move on to the more important part of that sentence. Let's all just take a second to absorb the fact that Ryan Zinke, in a conversation with a reporter, spoke about himself in the third person.   But wait, you say. Alexis, don't be so hard on the guy, maybe it was an accident. Don't you find yourself occasionally slipping into the third person when you're talking about yourself? See how absurd that sounds? It wasn't a slip and regardless, I know for a fact that this was not a one time occurrence. Zinke is quite famous among the Helena political crowd for speaking in the third person.

What is an illeist?

An illeist is someone who frequently speaks about themselves in the third person. Like Jimmy on Seinfeld, or Bob Dole, who was mocked for it during the 1996 Presidential campaign. Here is a list of 11 famous illeists to give you some perspective. Although there are numerous reasons why someone would refer to themselves in the third person most psychologists tend to agree it is a characteristic most commonly exhibited by narcissists. Elsa Ronningstam, associate clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality believes that "referring to yourself in the third person creates distance between "I" and "he." So if you have an exaggerated view of how great you are, you could be using this distance to make yourself even bigger."  From my brief interactions with Zinke, his newspaper and TV interviews and from watching his YouTube video, "Montana's SEAL," I'm pretty positive Ryan Zinke would score pretty high on a narcissistic personality inventory.

Some campaign advice

Alexis Bonogofsky has some campaign advice for Ryan Zinke. Alexis Bonogofsky is saying this for Ryan Zinke's own good since Ryan Zinke seems to be in some sort of alternate universe echo chamber where he thinks he might be Captain America. Holy shit. Stop referring to yourself in the third person. It is weird. It is so weird that Alexis Bonogofsky has considered the possibility that he is just playing a big joke on the state of Montana but Alexis Bonogofsky doesn't think he could have pulled it off for this long. There is also one thing that Alexis Bonogofsky wants to know. How does being a member of an undefeated high school football team have any relevance to being an effective Congressman? Are there secret Congressional football games that decide important policy decisions that the public doesn't know about? If there are, Alexis Bonogofsky wants to know.          

5 Comments on “Ryan Zinke is an illeist

  1. Ginger Kindsfather thinks that’s a great article!!

  2. Someone like Zinke with little humility and such self esteem will fall prey, and frankly be an easy target, to lobbyists flashing swag his way.

  3. Pingback: Why did Ryan Zinke ban me from following him on Twitter? | east of billings

  4. Zinke will win the election and I hope Arch Coal mine gets approved soon and the Keystone as well!! Go Ryan!!