20080604

10 Things I hate about you



Like many young Americans who are trying to enjoy History today, I am finding there is something stuck in my craw. And it is making odd scratching noises as I get all choked up and teary eyed, singing Wind Beneath My Wings while thinking about Barack Obama.

Ah, yes... it must be the fact that Hillary Clinton has already begun the 2012 campaign.

Now, there are times when it is important to leave well enough alone. But that time is not now. As an avid reader of advice columns, I recognize that now, more than ever, it is time to stage an intervention. In fact, the bunker relationship of Clinton and her supporters, bears all the signs of emotional abuse. Indeed, her supporters are clearly victims of narcissism.

In the advice columns, one finds the evidence of this particularly poisonous relationship in the Best Friend Conundrum or the In-Law Standoff. It generally goes something like:
I've been friends with Chuck and Blair since we all met in college a few years ago. Since that time, Chuck and Blair began going out together, but things recently deteriorated and they went through a messy breakup. I value my friendships with both of them, but in my recent meetings with Blair, she has told me some awful things about how Chuck treated her and specifically requested that, if I want to keep my friendship with her, I will cut off contact with Chuck. I want to be supportive of Blair, but I have also heard different versions of the break-up from some of Blair's other friends. What should I do?
Or:
I am very close to my family and live a few hours away. As a result, I usually devote about one weekend per month to visiting them. I have recently become engaged to a guy who is all that. The initial meet-and-greet with my parents went over well, however, following the previous two monthly visits at my parents house, my fiance spent the entire drive back talking about how disrespectful my parents behaved toward him. To be honest, this takes me by surprise, since I didn't notice anything off about how they treated him, but he insists that I am too close to them to notice the slights he has picked up on and then proceeds to review with me in detail. It is now a few days before our next planned visit, and he has become increasingly irritable as the date approaches and has asked if we can call the trip off. I have offered to make excuses for him and go by myself, but he protests that this would send the wrong message to my parents and has said that if I really loved him, I would stand up to them about the way they treat him. I'd like to defend him, but I really have no idea how to when I honestly cannot see what they have done wrong. What do I do?
For a while, I have wondered why the Clinton supporters were so angry and how they managed to maintain their furor despite the lack of empirical support for Clinton's claims of wrongdoing on the part of the Obama campaign and the media. Only last night's speech and its specific location -- sealed off from cell-phone, Internet, and televisual communication -- revealed to me the truth: Clinton is manipulating and abusing her supporters in order to keep them from leaving her for Barack Obama.

As most advice columnists will point out, whether the abuse or manipulation is conscious or not is irrelevant. A narcissist genuinely believes that he or she is constantly being persecuted either by a real or constructed rival for the constant attention and validation he or she seeks, or due to his or her grandiose status, of which the rest of humanity is intolerant or envious.

A narcissistic abuser, as advice columnists will point out, will try to cut off his or her victim from information, construct false narratives of victimization (e.g. "Your father told me that I wouldn't make enough money as a professional blogger to support your lifestyle"; "The media has kept me down because I'm a woman.") and apply rules arbitrarily such that they are to their advantage (e.g. "Blair made Chuck systematically go through his photo albums and e-mail account to delete any photo, message or reference involving his exes, but she still regularly meets with several of her ex-boyfriends"; or "You owe it to me to give me all the delegates from the primary we agreed not to contest in Michigan, but you shouldn't have any, because they didn't vote for you.").

As with any abusive relationship, the victims cannot leave, because the combination of control of narrative, arbitrary application of rules, and the control of information create a vicious cycle of misperception and anger, where anyone who seeks to criticize the relationship or the abuser only further justifies the abuser's false narrative of persecution: "See, the media and Obama supporters say that I cannot win the nomination because by all empirical measures I cannot: They must really hate me and love Obama!" This feeds the bunker mentality of an abusive relationship, where the victim cannot leave, because the abuser has convinced him or her that he or she cannot trust anybody external to the relationship as they are only motivated by hatred for the specialness of what they have together, and further, that the victim would have no life worth living without the abuser.

It is this detachment from reality, the spectacle of seeing a small fraction of those 17 million voters (since it is only a small fraction who have been emotionally fragilized by the process) continue to be ensnared in Clinton's abusive manipulations, that has angered Obama supporters and generated the inflammatory rhetoric and counter-accusations that comes across online. Wat can we do to solve this?

First, as any advice columnist will tell you, validating Clinton in any way shape or form would be the worst possible reaction. That will only further perpetuate the adherence of her troubled victims to the "Clinton-BocaRaton Co-dependency syndrome" by legitimizing her delusions of grandeur and providing another false narrative to her supporters. But, then, so will our continued anger and incomprehension of how someone can survive by fueling so much hatred.

No, as most advice columnists will suggest and as clinicians will agree, we need to engage Clinton's victims in a slow, methodic phase of questioning the different principles upon which their relationship is founded. Ask pertinent questions. Provide them small snippets of information when you think they are ready. Allow them to hope for positive outcomes that might not be dependent on their relationship with Clinton. More than anything else, though, you must give them time. Time to cope. Time to heal.

But, be patient. Even if we start today, it may take up to five months.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a Party treat their fellow Democrat with such disrespect as I have witnessed how Senator Clinton has been treated. The DNC, party elders, and elites had this in the works since 2004 to nominate Obama, and did everything they could to get him the nomination. Yes, that’s right. The Party chose the nominee, not the people. The people chose Senator Clinton by 18 million votes, but their votes and voices were not considered. The last straw for me was the decision on May 31. I attended the Rally in D.C. It was unfathomable what the Rules Committee did to the states of Michigan and Florida and to Senator Clinton. You literally gave him a gift of delegates in Michigan, and only counted half the votes in Florida. It is beyond comprehension. I could not believe the secret meeting that was held before the meeting started and the “straw vote” secret meeting late in the afternoon. The whole process was rigged from the beginning.

I can no longer support a Party that does not respect human rights. This Party stood back while Senator Clinton was being hounded by the Press for months with disgusting sexist remarks. This Party stood back while Obama race baited the Clintons before the South Carolina primary, and said nothing. This Party stood back while Obama and his supporters gamed the caucuses, and said nothing. This Party stood back while Obama flicked the middle finger up at her, said she was “likeable enough”, and brushed her off of his shoulders like she was dirt. This Party stood back while Obama’s wife, Michelle, made several negative comments against Senator Clinton to the media including that she would have to think about voting for her if she were the nominee. This Party stood back while his supporters blogged and wrote the most horrific comments about Senator Clinton calling her every name under the sun. This Party stood back while he had lawyers hold up the primary in certain counties so he could garner more votes. This Party stood back while he gained thousands upon thousands more votes in Gary, Indiana because of Chicago-style politics by the Mayor. This is the Democratic Party that believes in the People and in their votes? I don’t think so.

It appears that this Party wanted the Clintons out and to nominate an AA candidate. It doesn’t matter that he has not been vetted, that he has a shady past, that he is dishonest, that he uses dirty Chicago-style politics, that he lacks experience and integrity, and that he is not electable. That was not the mission of the Party. I never in my lifetime would think that the Democratic Party has followed the lead of the far-right Republicans and has become corrupt and unethical. However, that’s exactly what has happened. This Party no longer represents my morals and values. It has decided to take on a far-left agenda regardless of the cost to the Party.

I spoke with many people at the D.C. Rally on May 31. I can tell you that there were many that felt the same way as I do. Many have pledged that if Senator Clinton is not the nominee, we will be voting for McCain. I guess the Party doesn’t care though, because Obama is bringing in all of these “new” people to the Party. Do not think that we, women and men, will “get over it” and fall in line and vote for Obama. Some may, but in my estimation, three out of four will not. We tried to tell you over and over again what you were doing to the Party. You have divided the Party because you didn’t listen to our voices and to our votes. You chose your nominee. I hope you are happy with him. As for me, I will be supporting Senator McCain from now on. So will my husband, his siblings and spouses, my daughter, her friends, my sister, brother-in-law, and my cousins and their spouses.

Anonymous said...

i have to come clean. i did the post as "anonymous" tongue in cheek. i was confident it would be obvious to anyone that read it would instantly recognize that the author would have to be certifiably unbalanced and that nobody that unbalanced would be able to focus long enough to write such a lengthy response to your blog. you hit the nail on the head. great job. and my apologies to anyone who wasted their time reading my initial "response". i'm really not nuts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how seriously to take the second anonymous -- is it the same anonymous?

The first anonymous, if a parody, is so brilliantly dead-on it's genuinely scary. If serious, it's the most perfect illustration of the post imaginable.

Marty said...

Whether 1st and 3rd anonymous are serious or not, I think you should be aware of the dangers of perpetuating the self-indulgent sleazy Billary discourse. Let me teach you something about the power of words. It's time to be serious, so we mustn't weigh our words lightly. Bill and Hillary are animals, prone to violence and will continue the destruction of the Democratic party that they began when they opened the doors to Brownshirt George Soros and let Arafat foment his bloodthirsty hatred at Wye. So, please, anonymous, hold your tongue, let it not be in cheek, and let us repeat to the November elections or until which point I endorse McCain because he will choose Joe Lieberman as his running mate. And I know Joe; he has never been tricked by the promises of peace!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 and 2:
Your post was eerily accurate for a parody. It sent a fearful chill up my spine and froze my blood.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Loopy Jew,
Like most men, you wouldn't understand abuse against women if you had smashed a grapefruit into a woman's face.