Friday, December 27, 2013

Why vote aganst your own interests?

Fear is ruling the hearts - and minds - of too many workers.  Fear of falling into the underclass.

I submit that the way some people handle this fear is via repression - via some type of unconscious coping mechanism.  Now the thing about the Unconscious is, of course, that we're unaware of what we're doing.  Or why we're doing it.  And since we're unaware, since it's too terrifying, perhaps, to be aware - we have no conscious control over managing those fears.

Banishing thoughts from one's mind does not really get rid of them.  Instead, they go underground, so to speak.  They burrow deep into our unconscious, from whence they can spring up and take control, leading us to do and say and believe and cling to thoughts, activities, etc. which are, by definition (due to their source) irrational.

I think that's what happens when people vote against their own interests:  I think that people misplace their fears.  Or are induced to do so.  Instead, for example, of fearing job loss and descent into the underclass, they simply hate and fear the underclass itself.  They believe the poor or the unemployed to be engaged in selfish basking in the largesse (as they view it) of unemployment, food stamps, soup kitchens,  and so on.

So, to repeat, it seems to me that many of the working poor, whose lives are balanced so precariously on the threat of job loss, health loss, and so on - are in the grip of powerful unconscious forces - being manipulated by powerful think tanks and political wordsmiths (What a misnomer!).

Fear, terror, is probably the most powerful motivator there is.  It's what torturers make use of.  And as we know, torture need not harm the body.  It's enough to just destroy the soul.

Soul murder.  I fear that's what's happening in our economy.  I fear that's what has a grip on the minds of many whose votes are cast against their own interests.  People who voice a hatred of universal health care.  A hatred of a social safety net.  A hatred of bleeding-heart libruls.

Now, you may be thinking I have a solution for this.  I wish I did.  If I had a solution for this, I would have the solution to most mental health problems.  Many physical problems.  Social ills - such as global warming, inequality.  The list goes on.

I'm a retired clinical psychologist.  I've tried to help many.  Mostly help consists of diagnosing problems, ferreting out unconscious assumptions, which lie beneath paradoxical behaviors.  Trying to help people face their buried fears and inconsistent behaviors.  So they can survive the emotions, learn to tolerate and live with them, and thus make better decisions - based on reality (rather than propaganda or mistaken conclusions arrived at as children).

It's social therapy that's needed, I suppose.  But how to do that?  How to fix the broken mental health system - upon which if you think about it the house of cards they believe in (and vote for) has been erected.  Yes, I hate to say it.  The market forces, the dehumanization of work and society, the enslaving of the working poor - and even those above them - all these are running on maintaining economic and political and social insanity.  And making certain that treatment remains unavailable or worse, looked down upon.  (So that the poor, the crazy, the unemployed, the minorities, the imprisoned, the "aliens" - what a word, as if they were martians.)

Yeah, let's all look down on them and comfort ourselves that we are not among them.  As if we were superior.   (This is sarcasm, of course.)

Let's not let ourselves know the true anguish, the true suffering, of so many fellow citizens of this world.  (I'd say fellow Americans - but of course we all know that so many fellow residents of this land aren't allowed to be Americans - they don't deserve it - or so we're supposed to believe. And vote).

Thank God for Pope Francis!  And people like Edward Snowdon.  The nuns!  And so many unsung people who let themselves suffer - in solidarity with the ignorant and the underclasses.  Wars.  Torture.  Hunger.  Homelessness.  The sick.  The aliens among us.  The mentally ill.  The imprisoned.  We - under surveillance - supposedly for our own good.

Please, dear God, at this Season:  Enlighten the World!

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