A confluence of topics dealing with mental health, substance abuse, health, public health, Social Work, education, politics, the humanities, and spirituality at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. In short, this blog is devoted to the improvement of the quality of life of human beings in the universe.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Is the current impeachment process a culmination of centuries of American genocide and racism?
On 11/14/19 I sent this letter to my colleagues regarding the impeachment process we are currently witnessing. Dear Collegues
I have been thinking about the current morality play being performed in Washington for the entertainment of the masses from many perspectives.
The spectacle and drama is great for the media outlets who get to monetize, the public fascination with the gladitorial combat taking place in the Capitol similar to the spectacle depicted in Hunger Games.
The prime character of Donald Trump who is depicted both as a bully and as a victim triangles would be rescuers and allies into the conflicted drama with people cast as perpetrators of violence who are victimizers. We are seeing domestic violence depicted on a macro scale in our national family.
If we were to call the police in, to provide structure and constraint on the parties engaged to prevent further violence and destruction and insure safety, from where would they come?
In a democracy, based on the idea of self governance, this structure and constraint supposedly comes from the people so governed to regulate themselves because there is no "deus ex machina" who will come from external places to save us. We must save ourselves or perish.
Are Americans up to the task?
What role, if any, do we as psychotherapists have to play, in ameliorating these dysfunctional dynamics in our national family?
First, according to Bowen theory of emotional systems, the therapist must have a highly developed sense of a differentiated self. The therapist must be a nonanxiouis presence in the face of emtional arousal. We can't help anyone else if we are not okay ourselves.
Second, according to Bowen Theory we attempt to detriangle the triangles. How do we help the Triumpian enablers quell their anxiety? Anxious people often attack to defend themselves. This is an emotional process not a rational one. You cannot convince, rationally, hurting people that they are not hurting. The Repbulican defenders/enablers of Trumpism are hurting and fighting to protect their egos. Will further attack help them or only make them more desperate and venemous? As therapists we, more than anyone, know the answer to this.
Third, working to change the form of the current government does not get to the root of the problem which lays in deep seated anxiety over social change which gave rise to Trumpism to begin with. Knowing that the current problems are the result of a multi-generational transmission process which began with the American Indian genocide and the enslavement of Africans, we, in the current generation, must come to acknowledge and make amends for the racism, mysogeney upon which our nation was founded and which still fuels at an unconscious level so much of our current politics.
Americans are hurting right now because of the reflection of ourselves we are seeing in our elected officials whom we put into office. Rather than blame them, we need to examine and understand what it is that we have done to ourselves.
In the end, I have faith that we will be okay. All it takes is a few good people to light the way. There are many good people among us we can count on.
Fred Rogers said that his mother told him that if he found himself in a crisis look for the helpers. Who are the helpers you ask? Find a mirror, look into it, and enjoy the image.