The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Mr. Bush and the Daddy Complex

I wish I were writing this tongue-in-cheek; but I’m afraid not. The thought occurred to me that our country may be facing the peril of imminent decline as the direct result of Mr. Bush’s unresolved (and extreme) oedipal conflicts. Let’s just call it his Daddy Complex.
There has been very little noted about the question by the media. But consider the facts: Bush I wisely stopped short of an Iraq invasion. But is has become clear that Bush II was planning an invasion from the moment he took office. Bush I planned to enrich the coffers of the corporate plutocracy through his tax policies; but backed off at least to some extent when he perceived that he couldn’t get away with it. Not so Bush II: He has pushed through his permanent tax cuts for the rich while the nation as a whole languishes under unprecedented debt and Bush continues to sell off our treasures to corporate profiteers and foreign business interests. Again he outdoes his father. Bush I was a traditional Episcopalian; Bush II is- or claims to be- a fundamentalist. It goes on and on in the same pattern: “ Whatever Daddy was, I’ll do him one better.”
From what I can gather, Bush II was basically the black sheep of the family. The favored sibling was Jeb, who was designated to don the family mantle and to succeed Bush I.
Bush II was relegated to the station of the “at risk” child, with the family doing its best to keep him out of trouble and to use its influence to help him “ make something out of himself.” But it didn’t quite work. Then appeared Carl Rove ( apparently without Bush I’s consent or approval); and the transformation- or “re-creation”- took place. Out of Rove’s flickering laboratory there emerged The New Bush, programmed with one driving memory--- Daddy! --- more particularly, Daddy who misunderstood me; who disrespected me; who rejected me. Now I’ll show him!
My understanding is that most people resolve conflicts like this when they’re about five years old. There is some replay during adolescence; but usually there’s a healthy resolution and the person moves on in life. In any event, not much harm is done; and the conflicts are played out in a confined social context, with only the family or the close social circle being much affected.
Pardon me for stating the obvious; but “resolution” would hardly be the case here if the foregoing psychological snapshot has validity. Bush is driven. And the “social context” in which his conflicts are being played out is not just the Bush family or its circle. It’s the nation and the world.
The sobering thought- and reality- is that Mr. Bush has two and a half more years to play out his personal problems. Even with declining polls and diminished power there is still untold damage that he can do to this democracy. If we weren’t committed activists before we better be now.