Getting Through to Anybody: Candidates Sound like Ex-Spouses

Getting Through to Anybody: Candidates Sound like Ex-Spouses

Deja Pu: Obama/McCain Act like Ex-Spouses; What’s a Dependent to Believe?

I don’t know about you, but as I hear Obama and McCain questioning, putting down, ridiculing each other I am reminded of what most children experience when their parents are going through a divorce.Because children are dependent on both their parents, not believing what they are saying cuts at the very core of their developing personalities on the ground floor of Basic Trust that Erik Erikson said forms the foundation of our personality.

If each parent is lying to you about the other, what other things is each capable of -lying to you about just to make their case and appear to be right? Just as you can’t be a little pregnant, you can’t really be a little dishonest. As a result, children shut down knowing they are dependent on the “adults” in their life but not knowing who or what to believe.

They stay transfixed like deer in the headlight of a polygraph that’s about to explode.And then after the divorce is settled each parent who was lambasting the other tells you to cooperate with them when you’re staying with them.That’s crazy making.

Isn’t that exactly what’s happening as we listen to Obama and McCain? When they each make such convincing cases about the other’s poor judgment, lack of experience, or just being plain dangerousness; when on November 5 one offers a concession speech and then tells us to give our full support to the next President, who 24 ago hours was incompetent; and when without flinching they expect us to do so.

Isn’t that just as crazy? In essence, prior to November 4th, if you believe one candidate the other one thinks you are wrong and misguided, but if a day later you don’t give full support to the one who is elected you’re being uncooperative and anti-American. That’s crazy.And being a psychiatrist I don’t use that term lightly.

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