Tuesday, January 20, 2009

National Mental Health Alert-Our collective sanity challenged by the media

Watching the political events of the last two years I have become increasingly concerned about the lack of our collective mental health. As a nation we have become borderline(a personality disorder that sends chills down the backs of most therapists). We cannot handle stress of any kind, once disappointed we demonize the perceived source of our pain, we take no responsibility for our situations, our moods swing from one end of the spectrum to the other without sufficient cause, we look for quick fixes through drugs,mindless entertainment, we have no internal source of strength nor the ability to self regulate relying on external sources for solutions,and we are ultimately emotion driven abandoning any pretense at logic. Has anyone been concerned at the extreme hatred for President Bush that swung to the almost messianic worship of President Obama? Is there a logical foundation for either expression? Is any one person so powerful that they could warrant either of these responses?

The immense disdain for President Bush really symbolizes a primitive, immature need for a scapegoat for all the negatives of the last 8 years from natural disasters to economic meltdowns, to global warming (which may not exist anyway). Somehow he became the lightning rod for all the combined psychological pain from the left-the narcissistic wound they suffered back in 2000 when Al Gore barely lost the election. That psychological trauma was re-experienced in 2004 when the democrats lost yet again and it has been a borderline rampage ever since. The media is at the forefront of this extreme behavior fomenting both a crazed dislike for President Bush on the one hand while cultivating an equally illogical adoration for President Obama. The psychoanalysts should be having a hey day with this stuff. In true borderline fashion the hatred is then replaced by the need for an idealized figure-enter Barack Obama-a man who found himself, or maybe with some help made himself ,the perfect storm into which he could sail through cleanly to the Presidency. Is it not disturbing or upsetting on some level to think that the most important job in the land is so readily given away without proof of competency other than some one's ability to appear a certain way? I am reminded of the Emperor's New Clothes. Metaphorically speaking he may really be spiritually, emotionally and intellectually "naked". What person shops for a church ? Don't you belong to a church whose doctrines and teachings you think come from God-does this change from city to city? Or again further evidence of an empty suit. Just because everyone, i.e. the media, thinks President Obama is intelligent, caring, patient, kind, empathic and going to fix all of our social, economic and political ills does not mean this is true. It merely means we all have an extreme case of mis-attribution. I believe President Obama has the most intense case of this disorder arrogantly assuming that he is the answer to all our problems and comparing himself to Lincoln, Washington and the like-(does the name Rasputin mean anything to anyone?) These men were great because they were humble, because their character became evident through the trials they faced. If Barack Obama had great character he would not need or want to be self promoting; 1.by authoring two books about himself and 2)before he had really accomplished anything in life. His one book would more accurately be entitled "The Audacity". In addition, if he were truly a great man he would never have sought the office he presently holds realizing that a relatively young,inexperienced person such as himself would not be able to do as good a job as someone with more experience and character that can only come with living a certain amount of time. However, his life has not ever been about realism. It has been about getting bumped to the front of the line, about his pain, his ideas-ultimately about him. Really the man he most reminds me of in terms of historical figures are people such as Napoleon or Alexander Hamilton if you want an American example.

So beware President Obama because the people may act like they love you now but once you have let them down, which you most certainly will because you are just a man and a rather ordinary one at that, then you too will experience the vitriol and venom that results from unrealistic hopes and wants dashed and drowned in the realities of adult life. Borderlines only get better with very long term, intensive treatment and unfortunately our society has yet to clue into the degree of it's dysfunction. So our collective society left untreated will only continue to unravel and you too will experience the pathology unleashed on President Bush. The problem exists in the lack of emotional and spiritual stability in many of the people in our society and especially in the psyche of our media.

And President Bush I would like to apologize for the really bad behavior of many of my fellow citizens. While it is true you too may not have been the person best suited for the Presidency-actually name the person that was other than Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. At least you were honest and had no pretense. You were ironically a lot more humble than your detractors like to characterize you and you did what was best for the country. You kept us safe and gave us a long period of unprecedented prosperity. You are not to blame for Katrina, terrorism, the conflict in the Middle East or the only person responsible for the economic mess we are in. You and your wife handled yourselves with decorum and grace under very difficult circumstances and we thank you for your service.