American Democracy is Currently a Victim of Family Dysfunction

The Republican Party in its current form has become the identified patient that has emerged from our family crucible (Napier and Whitaker). Our family includes Republicans, Democrats, Independents and everyone in between.

Dysfunction is part of all families. What is concerning is the degree of dysfunction. In the beginning, I didn’t understand the rage and anger coming from the right. I realize that some people are unsettled by the cultural and economic changes we’ve been experiencing, but am baffled by the extreme reaction. Combativeness rather than cooperation and compromise.

When I look back at the beginnings and continuation of this grievance mentality, I find Newt Gingrich, Roger Aisles, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump. After reading accounts of their childhoods, I found a common thread of family dysfunction of a relatively high degree. Collectively, they experienced physical and/or emotional abandonment, and emotional abuse.

These types of childhood experiences can lead to adults with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) with the following potential characteristics:

  • Lack of empathy
  • Struggles with relationships
  • Promiscuity
  • Self-serving and un-remorseful
  • Power grabbing
  • Complete disregard for others
  • Complete disregard for right and wrong
  • Complete disregard for truth, fairness, the law
  • Complete disregard for consequences of their actions
  • Blame others for their shortcomings
  • Arrogance, feeling their above everyone else
  • Verbally abusive and overly critical
  • Not properly socialized, have not internalized societal norms
  • Don’t know how to be a member of community
  • Manipulative
  • Impulsive
  • Fear being vulnerable
  • See life as a zero-sum game
  • Refusing to back down even when it’s self-defeating
  • Ruthless, uncaring
  • Can’t effectively communicate emotions
  • Fragile egos
  • Materialistic and focused on the pursuit of wealth
  • And don’t know they have it

Newt Gingrich brought these characteristics to congress, Roger Aisles to cable news through the creation of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh to right wing AM radio and Donald Trump to the White House collectively spreading this dysfunction throughout our country.

It’s not just a Republican thing, it’s an American thing as we’ve become more accepting of this kind of behavior. A pronounced focus on money seems to be the culprit. Since “…there is no paid family leave after the birth of a child. …family attention tends to be on making money, which is known to make people self-centered. Today, even wealthy families don’t understand what young children need and are not providing the evolved nest that babies need for developing their full human capacities.” Why Are (Some) Males’ Egos So Fragile? by Daricia F. Narvaez Ph.D.

Even though the Trump Republicans are the identified patient of American dysfunction right now, we all need to work to return to normalcy. When the therapist finds the identified patient, the entire family comes in for counseling.

We have to stop accepting this dysfunctional behavior, especially in our leaders. Many see this behavior as strong and decisive. It is not. It is destructive. Being mean and uncaring is not manly, it’s selfish like a spoiled child. We need to insist on leaders with an evolved emotional intelligence. Selfishness and greed has become our national character leaving little room for compassion and true servant leadership. This dysfunctional behavior is dominating the airwaves and politics. We need to focus on becoming fully human. We need to do unto others as we would have them do unto us and to love our neighbor as ourself.

Being strong is not crushing something even though you can…

Published by


Concerned Citizen

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