Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Predatory Abuse Dynamics And A Nation Of Political and Corporate Victims

Here's just one way the notion of health insurance abuses us. I have paid over 100,000 in insurance premiums in my lifetime, and not one dime of that is now available since I no longer have private insurance. Had this gone into medicare, I would still have access to it.

Republican Gomorrah
By Max Blumenthal - December 14, 2009, 1:50PM TPMcafe

While covering the radical right over the last six years, I began to notice a shared sensibility among the movement's followers that went far deeper than politics or religion. Many of the movement's most fervent activists had suffered existential personal crises ranging from struggles with homosexual urges to alcoholism to mental illness that propelled them into far-right politics. For these trauma-wracked personalities, who ranged from reclusive movement financiers like Howard F. Ahmanson Jr, a resident for two years in a mental institution before he became the self-proclaimed sugar daddy of the Christian right, to key Republican Party leaders like Tom DeLay, a philandering drunk known as "Hot Tub Tommy" before his rebirth as an evangelical Christian, authoritarian politics served as a balm for their psychological anxieties.

In my book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, I show how a culture of personal crisis has animated the right's politics of resentment, and how those who control the radical right have projected their crises onto the Republican Party that they substantially control, throwing it into conflict with itself. (This is an apt description for the current state of Roman Catholicism whose current leadership was wracked by the trauma of WWII and Communist oppression.)

At the center of my narrative is James Dobson, the leading figure of the Christian right for the past two decades. Despite having commanded a supposedly religious movement, Dobson has no religious training or theological credentials; he is a child psychologist who has exploited the private sufferings of his followers to mold them into unflinchingly loyal, uniquely fervent political shock troops. By setting his flock against Republican moderates like Bob Dole and Colin Powell, Dobson and his allies set the stage for the transforming of the Republican Party from a big tent into a one-ring circus. (This is an important point to make about Dobson. Child psychologists spend a great deal of time understanding the dynamics of abuse. The idea is to educate child psychologist to help people out of abuse dynamics, but the fact is, that knowledge can be used to other purposes.)

When Sen. John McCain, a figure detested by all factions of the conservative movement, won the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, the influence of the Christian right made Sarah Palin the only logical choice as McCain's running mate. As unqualified as she was, Palin embodied the right's culture of personal crisis. She did so by openly discussing her decision not to abort her Down's Syndrome-afflicted infant son, and by campaigning beside her teenage daughter, whose out-of-wedlock pregnancy seemed to undermine Palin's advocacy of abstinence-only education but actually endeared her to right-wing parents whose daughters faced similar predicaments.

By broadcasting her private family struggles to the right-wing masses, Palin became their heroine, a God-fearing glamour girl who naturally embodied their sensibilities. When Palin struggled to answer softball questions from Katie Couric, movement members viewed her not as a liability to their cause, but as the victim of liberal elite persecution, another Christian thrown to the secular lions. Indeed, Palin's ignorance proved to be one of her greatest assets.
(Once a victim, always a victim, because one is completely blind to the fact one too frequently takes action to insure they remain a victim. Dobson has taken great advantage of this fact and Palin is a classic example of a perpetual victim finding self fulfillment in her own victimhood by preying on other victims. It gives her the illusion of power.)


And now we have a senate health care bill where most of the programs which would have helped those 45 million Americans without health insurance have been stripped from the bill. We are left with a bill which essentially 'helps' the uninsured by legally mandating they buy health insurance which they can't afford from the very corporate entities whose excesses the bill was supposed to curb. This is called abuse dynamics. It is no wonder that most of the rest of the world sees Americans as the consummate victims of global corporate capitalism. We delude ourselves into thinking we're not because our 'lifestyle' is higher than those others who our corporations exploit to keep us dumb and pacified. We are allowed to be dumb and pacified but not allowed access to affordable health care, much less a real democracy.
Right now I am so angry with Joe Lieberman, Barack Obama, and the Democratic party that I want to spit nails. Dobson has made his inroads manipulating abused people, but don't for one moment think that manipulating abused people is solely the tactics of the Republican party. Look in the mirror Democrats because predatory abuse is a-political and a-religious. It knows no party and no god. It knows only prey. Especially in it's American sanitized corporate form draped in the Stars and Stripes and foisted on the American people by our elected 'representatives'. Abuse is not just a Catholic phenomenon.


  1. We are a nation filled with victims of political, corporate and religious victims. We're all victims of abuse of one sort or another. Whether one is on the right or the left or in-between, doesn't matter, because we're all victims.

    This is what we all have in common: victimhood.

    There is no longer any sense of "brotherhood" among peoples. There are groups of people on the hunt it seems to make even more victims.

    The country needs a shrink to run the country out of its victimhood from its own self-abuse.

  2. You made a really excellent point Butterfly. It's like everything is conspiring so the one thing we all share is victimhood. The question is can real Christian brotherhood come from victimhood?

    It's possible, but only if everyone is willing to look at how they've been victimized and allow themselves to be victimized.

    For instance I think the real question that needs to be pondered over in the health care debate is if it's in the best interests of the common good to even have a for profit health care system. That has never been then historical traditional definition of a health care system.

    If the answer is no, then the whole idea of a health insurance industry is a non starter.

  3. The old song "My country tis of Thee" should be rewritten to My country tis of corporations. Sour land of victimhood....

    In my opinion, the health insurance industry needs to be shut down from being a profit making entity. The insurance industry sees themselves as victims and not as the victimizers. They tell their workers if there is a government run health care program that they will be out of work. Not necessarily. The government would need to hire them. The workers at insurance companies would get better health care coverage that way too if it was run by the government. Anyone I've ever met who has worked for an insurance company hates their job and the managers who run it like slave drivers.

    We should all write letters to our Senators. I've just sent a letter to my Senator. I am sure he is thrilled to get my letter of two pages. But they need to hear what we are thinking.

    The Congress can get the money from the obscene military budget to fund health care for the uninsured.

    If there is no reform to health care, people will allow themselves to be victimized by high private insurance premiums that have strings & clauses in fine print attached for them to deny coverage at any time. We would become victimized and allow it if we do nothing to change the system that turns people into victims having to pay for hospital care that we can't afford. It puts people into positions in which they have to buy something, a product called health care, and in order to receive it in some cases they have to mortgage their homes, sell their homes, or lose their homes altogether. Now who wants to buy a product they can not afford and will lose their shirt over if they need to utilize the services for health care run by private insurance companies?

    Why are people in this country allowing insurance industry corporate bosses to reap obscene profits from the sick?

    Perhaps they have not been a victim yet of that system. Perhaps they don't want to hear about it. Perhaps they are in terrible denial.

    I think that the Senators better really not make the mistake of selling out to the insurance industry. If they do, we need to vote them all out of office.

    If there is a viable Third Party candidate that will not sell us all out to victimhood, they should start campaigning now.