The political arena characterizes the recapitulation of the earliest developmental state in an individuals psychological growth. It demands clear-cut differentiations between candidates and their parties. Emphasis is not upon similarities but differences, which can be artificially judged as all good us and all bad them. This infantile need for such a dichotomy makes the bad, meaning the other, a threat engendering fear. Of course, the reality is that reasonable positions are far closer together than the rhetoric of extremists of either side would care, or dare, to acknowledge.
Fear as a base political emotion and motivation has always been identified in expressions of concern for the nations security and welfare. We have witnessed this especially since 9/11. Politicians share, and often exploit, this fear within society, which not coincidently is amplified when the economy is in turmoil. The rampant inflation and economic terror of 1930s Germany preceded Hitlers ascendancy to power. A fear of the other translates into an underlying preference for a non-egalitarian society in order to avoid the moral adjustment necessitated by true investment in the fundamental tenets of liberty and equality. Psychologically, this is the fear of true intimacy translated into the defense of alienation, implemented by violence if perceived necessary to fend off those forces threatening equality. Jargon, myths, and metaphors play a role in giving lip service to healthy change, all the while maintaining the status quo.
The leader who searches for real solutions to problems communicates in a language of great emotional impact. His leadership ignites a desire for true involvement while simultaneously provoking fears of change overtly among his opposition, but also covertly among his followers. If the oppositions appeal strongly rests with maintaining the known and avoiding change, great support can arise that fosters resistance.
Regardless of ones theological inclinations, there surely would be general agreement that the philosophy espoused by Jesus Christ was one of involvement, brotherly love, and helping those who were most in need. Note that it is he and not Pontius Pilate who ended up on the cross. A movie some while ago depicted a scene where a bishop confronts a returned Jesus and tells him that he must die, for otherwise he will ruin everything. Judas may metaphorically symbolize the personification of resistance, even of supporters, to the message of peace on Earth and good will to all men, as did the movie scene bishop in voicing the danger Jesus return represents. Real change might occur.
Abraham Lincoln was not assassinated during the conduct of the Civil War, the ultimate expression of violence in defense of alienation and in opposition to intimacy. Rather, he was shot five days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox. History records that his plans for peace were flexible and generous, inviting the South to share as equals in the rebuilding of the Union. This was even met with resistance and sharp criticism within his own party.
Both John F. and Robert F. Kennedy espoused similar views urging greater involvement of all citizens in relieving the plight of disadvantaged members of the society. They conveyed their poignant message with believable emotional conviction. Belief that they could implement this ideal and were not just talking about it is the essence of what made them such a threat, particularly in the deranged minds of their assassins.
Sheldon H. Kardener, MD, has written, lectured and taught extensively while practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy for over 40 years. Always on the cutting-edge, he is often called father of Focused Dynamic Therapy. His book, Breaking Free: How Chains From Childhood Keep Us From What
We Want, is a breakthrough book, the biggest breakthrough in psychotherapy since the 60s. Learn more at http://www.shkardenermd.com
or call 310.399.8727