Frank’s Views

Jun 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Opinion, Politics

 I agree with Shakespeare and Freud that everyone possesses a tragic flaw that gets exacerbated the higher a person goes in the power structure—whether it be politics, wealth, or fame. I call it “The Script” which uses a playwright metaphor to indicate the engraved trauma (great or small) that became an established pattern during the daze of childhood—particularly the first six years. It “outs” later on, particularly in marriage  and in power situations.
When I studied Barack Obama’s Dreams of My Father, I saw Obama’s Script as plain as day. (First, though, I’ll provide a reflection from my half century of being an analytic psychotherapist. With men who had no father around during their childhood, two things emerged: first, they became the father in their personality, and, second, they added features of their missing father in a visceral incorporation mode.)  In Barack Obama’s case, he developed a powerful father figure  style while incorporating stories that his father was highly intelligent (won a Phi Beta Kappa key), was confident in all situations, and was a super personal negotiator.

The final characteristic is the rub, the tragic flaw.  He channeled his father’s negotiating gift which was good during his development years before he got great power, but became a major problem once he became President of the United States.  He actually believed in the good faith of the Republicans in the House and Senate and thought they would be reasonable.  His opportunistic opponents seized on that flaw and manipulated the President so much that they concluded he was a “weak” man.  They won out on issue after issue in cases of taxes, drops in entitlement spending, single payer health insurance etc..  In 2012 the delusional flaw continues and President Obama is held hostage to blackmail on the budget, the raising of the debt ceiling, and each Republican item rolling forth from Congress. I also believe his flaw emerged in negotiations with the military in regard to Afghanistan and the use of drone warfare.

Therefore, lest any reader think I have blind loyalty to Obama, I acknowledge that he has a major flaw that hinders him from being a great President. His leadership style seeks to reconcile opposite positions causing him to surrender prematurely.  Still, I look at the option of Romney and see an even greater flaw. Mitt thinks that success has to do with the accruing of money. Really?  Biblically speaking, that is both immoral and wrong. Further, he has the uncanny sense of pleasing everyone on the Right which will lead this country to be socially backward. His economic theory will punish the poor and will aid the wealthy thereby widening the gap. (Trickle Down is partially OK if the wealthy are investing in America; they’re not.)

I’m a pragmatist. I think “Who will help this country and do the least amount of harm?” I have little doubt that Obama will get few major things done with another four years. I also have no doubt that he ‘d do less harm than Romney.  Republicans are more likely to start foreign wars in order to stimulate the economy, a losing option in every way. Therefore, I will vote for Obama.

***Report: My first “Frank’s View” got around 20 responses from around the country. Two vociferously disagreed with my view on Republican racism. I’m going to rant on that now:

 I retreat not a single micron on that issue. Since my childhood in Memphis, Tennessee in the thirties, forties and early fifties, I witnessed the horror and hated of blatant white racism. No one ever admits to racism. Rationalization abounds. “”I’m kind to Old Mose and speak to him. I just don’t want him to marry my daughter.” Snicker, snicker. If I pursued it further, I’d be looked down upon and told that he gave “Old Mose” a small turkey at Thanksgiving. If I said that Moses won the Bronze Medal in W.W. II, I’d hear “Well, I’ll just give him a three pound canned ham at Christmas.”

Meanwhile, black Americans did the heavy grunt work in fields and factories. They had run-down schools, could not use public restrooms,  eat at restaurants, drink from public water fountains, look at a white person in the eyes, ride in the front of a bus, walk freely in white areas, enter a white church…PLUS…if they asked questions they were called “uppity.”

I hated it. I hate racism. My life is against those who perpetrate it.

I think my two racism critics lack psychological observation powers. Do they not know what the ‘Southern Strategy’ of the Republican Party is based upon? Can they not hear the racist code words in Hannity, Doucey, and Limbaugh? Are they unaware of non-verbals in tone and shrugs heard and seen on the Fox Channel? Don’t they realize that the fight against the Affordable Care Act (sneeringly called ‘Obamacare’ )has racist overtones? Are they oblivious to the constituency of the Tea Party and the crowd at  Republican rallies? Have they missed the meaning of the ‘Exceptionalism’delusion?  Is there no awareness of the white superiority self-righteousness on hate radio?

So, yes, I despise institutional racism and will speak up on this subject until I die. To continue the hatefulness I saw as a child into the future with grand giveaways to the white wealthy while punishing the have-nots is beyond my compassion quotient. Some will say: “Frank,Frank! Be Nice.” Niceness on this subject is automatic complicity. Nope. I am as committed on this subject as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and the man of the New Testament. To be silent is to surrender and allow the great error of this country to continue unabated.

So, if you want to criticize me, move away from this subject. I know what I’m writing about and I won’t budge one micron.

 #### I consider the best comments being those saying I was too despairing and offered little hope.  Interesting. Yes, I am cynical about any forward push in the next four years. The President will be thwarted no matter what party he is. His only power will be from Cabinet expenditures. The Attorney General, Commander of the Armed Forces and through Executive Orders.  Our country will continue to be stalemated because of the gulf between parties. That’s my prediction.

Still, the question is: Do I have hope for the long term future? A wild wish is that Obama will replace Biden with Hillary as vice president in two years so she will have impetus in 2016—given that Obama wins the election. She is tough and has vision. If the Mittster wins, I think the slide of the middle and lower classes will accelerate and may awaken the sleeping public.  I repeat: the next four years will not be pretty.

A different hope is that the reality of a democracy working for both private and public institutions may well switch to other countries where they become models of how government and capitalism can work together.   Maybe Brazil, India, and Germany will lead the way. I don’t like to say this, but it may be what happens. Read Power, Inc.  by David Rothkopf.

My wildest wish would be that Obama would awaken from his childlike father trance, get tough, and develop a new vision for this country, one that goes beyond racism, exploitative capitalism, raw militarism, and infantile exceptionalism.  This wish would give the world a vision of what might be, a country really transforming the human spirit. I’d give this a .05 chance of actually happening.

Finally, I am certain and definite (deep hope) that the light of freedom and good for both the rich and poor will not be extinguished.  I’d bet my life on that. I may not see it. I’m convinced that tiny advances will continue in science and human understanding. The young are not as fooled as the elders. They will have power eventually and can make a new dawn for humankind. That’s my full hope.

And now…. for your responses…


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