Category Archives: Tea Party Republicans

Trump, Romney, and Courage

I am resurrecting this blog after a long hiatus.  I should explain that my past as a mental health professional will be reflected in my human emphasis to the political scene.  And the current campaign for the presidency of my country, the United States, provides so much fodder for this emphasis.  Yes, we are all individuals but we “individuals” always coalesce into groups which are very revealing about our individual…and often hidden…predilictions.

Today I’d like to focus on Mitt Romney and the courage he demonstrated yesterday.  He dared to attack current GOP front runner, Donald Trump, by suggesting that Trump has tax issue that could prove to be very problematic.  I do not think that Romney is stupid and he knew that Trump would fire back with venom and would point out the obvious that Romney himself appeared to have tax issues four years ago when he was the GOP nominee.  Well, of course Trump responded immediately with his “Tweet” obsession and castigated Romney as being “a dope,” as “awkward and goofy,” and “looked the fool” on his own tax issues in 2012.  Well, of course, Trump is right on target.  BUT, most politicians would confront Romney on these issues without being to rudely personal and personally insulting.  But Trump has consistently been completely without consideration of commonplace civilities in this campaign, revealing a nascent…well, maybe not so “nascent”… sociopathic disregard that most of us have to not undress someone that we oppose and even dislike.  This is because of a social contract, “I will not ‘undress’ you, if you will not undress me.”

I have come face to face with bullies before, back on the playground on my youth and the “playground” of my adulthood.  They scared me.  I knew they saw my foibles and could readily strip me naked and would readily do so if I confronted them, for they had no limits.  “Civility” is a contrivance, yes a “falsity” that we agree upon, but occasionally a sociopath comes along who reveals just how specious that contrivance is.  It is scary to have witnessed just how readily this current slate of GOP candidates have cowered before this sociopath.

We are such scared little critters.  I confess, I am.  But I’m gaining courage in my old age and thus I am speaking out here in this cyber black hole which is the only format I really have.  This powerlessness is because of the powerlessness and cowardice that has charactized my life.  But, perhaps I am now “growing a pair.”

The Courage of Admitting We are Wrong

It is so hard to admit that we are wrong. In this venue I’ve shared several times of a life-long effort to “be right,” an effort that still rears its head even in this venue! And the obsessive effort to “be right” always reflects a deep-seated conviction that one is inherently “wrong” and can only be “right” by investing in some external value or belief system or individual. And the more that alienated belief is challenged, the more fierce, vehement and even violent will be the defense of that belief.

I have recently held forth how the right-wing extremists in our country epitomize this arrogant insistence on being “right” and have been delighted to see some of them equivocate at times recently. It is hard to equivocate when the “club” that you are a member of does not permit equivocation.

Just yesterday the chairman of a Young Republican college group in the state of Mississippi, Evan Alvarez, had the courage to not only resign from his chairmanship of that club but to denounce the Tea Party and chide the Republican Party for the stance they were taking on critical issues in our country, particularly in the “culture wars.” Furthermore, he announced he was becoming a Democrat. (See http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/02/1311119/-College-GOP-Chairman-Slams-Republicans-Resigns-And-Joins-Democrats?fb_action_ids=10203306166847689&fb_action_types=og.likes)

Now the childish side of me said, “Oh boy! One of ‘them’ defected!” But that voice was a faint impulse as the thing I most appreciated was his articulate description of the ills of the Republican Party, ills of which most of them are deliberately oblivious. The essence of these “ills” is the pitfall of subscribing to ideology to the point that one becomes an ideologue and worships the idea rather than the “thing” to which the idea refers. And this is a passionate concern of mine because as I also shared recently I am an ideologue in recovery myself and just as with an alcoholic in recovery, I must admit that I realize I am not completely past being intoxicated with my present set of ideas! But to paraphrase the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle on this issue, “To name the beast is to begin to process of avoiding and/or escaping it.” But it takes a lot of courage to “name” this beast as one has to recognize that he/she has been short-sighted and ego-ridden and therefore “wrong.”