Blog, Media + Politics, Politics

GOP: Nothing But a Bunch of Two-year Olds

Originally published 09/21/15 on the Huffington Post

Here’s my take on what’s going on with the Republican candidates. With very few exceptions (at times Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich act to the contrary), they are behaving like complete two-year olds.

Two-year olds just say whatever pops into their heads at the moment with no concern whatsoever for the consequences. They never apologize for anything they’ve said or done because in their minds they’ve never done anything wrong. Complete egotism!

They have virtually no awareness that what they’ve just said directly contradicts what they said a moment ago. But then, you have to be mature enough to appreciate the concept of contradiction.

All of the Republicans, save Rand Paul, and maybe John Kasich, engage in magical thinking. For example, they assert with great bluster that the US can use whatever military force it wants to solve political problems without any concern for what the rest of the world thinks and would do in response, if not in retaliation. Again, absolutely no thinking whatsoever about consequences!

In times of great stress, it’s well known that people revert to earlier, primitive stages of development. That is to be expected. Nonetheless, the extent to which the Republican candidates and voters have regressed to primitive stages is absolutely scary. It’s nothing less than mind-boggling.

Another prime characteristic of two-year olds is their feelings of omnipotence. Notice how much over and over again the Republican candidates harped on the need for America to regain its standing in the world. What they were really saying is that we need to be omnipotent once again. How scary is this with those who would have their fingers on the “button?” Start a war in order to shore up of one’s feeling of powerlessness?!

Without acknowledging in any way the mess that he inherited and giving him any credit for the recovery, in casting President Obama as completely responsible for all our problems, the Republicans are enacting another of the prime features of two-year olds. They are splitting the world sharply into Good Guys versus Bad Guys with President Obama as the Supreme Bad Guy!

My deepest fear is that we’re not just dealing with two-year olds, but with severely disturbed children. For instance, the fact that Donald Trump did not correct a man when he charged that President Obama was a Muslim is unforgivable.

I’m perilously close to doing something one should never do: casting all Republicans as Bad Guys!

Blog, Media + Politics

Quick! What’s My Disease?

Originally published on the Huffington Post on February 7, 2012

During his time in office, President George W. Bush gave a new meaning to the awful disease known as IBS. I called it Irritable Bush Syndrome, the gross inability to “digest and pass the truth.”

In the same spirit, let me “offer” the “list of diseases” that the current crop of Republican candidates suffers from.

First of all, there is IRS or Irritable Romney Syndrome. IRS is the chronic inability to “pass honest and sincere emotion, especially for long, sustained periods of time.” Typically, it is the result of severe cases of “unlikeability” brought on at a very early age.

Then of course, there is Gingrichritis, which is a very serious, life-threatening condition. The condition is so painful and contagious that it is just as harmful for those who have even the slightest contact with anyone who is affected by the disease. Its symptoms are well known: (1) chronic inability of the mouth to contain and/or exercise control over anything that literally explodes into the mind; (2) the ability to live in delusional, fantasy worlds for extended periods of time; (3) the uncanny ability to use words and ideas in clever ways that turn everything into an evil conspiracy of the “liberal media”; (4) to “go over the top” such that it not only blows the minds of listeners, but that it literally blows the top off of the head of the speaker; and, (4), the gift of constantly using “coded words” that are perfectly non-coded for intended audiences, for example, the ability to be a “racist, non-racist, racist!”

A particularly serious disease is Sanctorumonious. An especially odious and virulent form of Sanctorumonious is the ability to say with complete conviction and directly to the mother of a cancer-ridden child that the drug companies have the right to charge anything they want for life-saving drugs even if means that poor children will die.

And, finally there is The Perils of Pauline, or just the Perils as it is commonly known. While those who have the Perils want to rightly end foreign entanglements that make no sense, unfortunately they show little, if any, ability to understand a complex world. As a result, they retreat at every possible moment into an equally simplistic, delusional world as those who suffer from Gingrichritis, although the delusions are of course very different.

I shall not bother to discuss the diseases of the other candidates who have dropped out. I leave this to the imaginations of readers.

The thing to ponder is, “If candidates are merely some of the prime representatives of the ‘body politic,’ then what is the larger disease from which we all suffer?” And, “What’s the cure?”

Perhaps the general disease from which we all suffer is not “Class Warfare,” but “Crass War-Fear.”

Originally published on the Huffington Post on February 7, 2012