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Abuse Is Always in the Name of Love
10-24-2012, 12:04 PM
Post: #1
Abuse Is Always in the Name of Love
Read the full article on the blog.

Mitt Romney's latest ploy is to pretend he is Barack Obama. For the past month, he has tried to walk in the President's footsteps, in a brazen attempt to broaden his appeal. That ploy is a word-thin disguise to attract undecided voters and disgruntled Democrats to his radical-right positions on health, taxes, and women's rights that these groups would normally reject.

If America accepts such a naked, transparent deceit, it has become an abuse victim, a country willing to ignore reality, past history and bad decisions, to willingly put itself at-risk by embracing all the wrong done in the name of a love for America.  What kind of people try to stop the abuse by reuniting with its perpetrators? Especially when the threats to safety and security never stopped, but in the classic fashion of abusers, have increased, becoming more distorted, domineering and shrill?

In fact, Romney wants to deny the abuse and put it on Obama, the blame-shifting that is the hallmark of dysfunction. Fault is always on somebody else. The interior narrative goes, “My errors, of which there are none, were made in good faith. Can't you see my desire and devotion? And I have to be this way because of what happened.” Abusers rearrange the details of history to fit a narrative of good and evil that distorts and conceals truth and freedom. So the slaps and screams, the seething anger, the spontaneous rage, the stripping away of dignity, the shredding of self-worth, the putdowns and retorts, the demeaning language breaks the victim's will.

Some in America have brought into the blame-shift. Victims beget victims. Their experience of abuse becomes a template. It recreates itself and perpetuates itself when it hits a tipping point. I have seen this with inner city crack epidemics in eastern cities; an out of control dysfunctionalism that altered the social fabric and changed the arc of success put in place by previous generations. I can tell you that healthy common sense is hard to recover for people conditioned to thinking abuse is a way of life.

When the blue collar worker only feels trapped by his or her insufficiency, alienated from their dreams, stuck in dead ends without progress, and income inequity soars, entire generations become victims. They stay because their suffering takes on an institutional character, a familiar certainty that is the underpinning of their lives, making it hard to admit that all the effort and energy used to withstand the abuse, was, in fact, misplaced.

And that's the subtext of Romney's message; not that the economy or health care or the environment will be better, not that more jobs will be restored, but that the old familiar abuse with all of its familiar empty promises will return. It's abuse seduction. You will feel better with that first slap. He wants to bring back that misaligned comfort zone that abusers and victims crave. The appeal of a toxic stew where everything is somebody else's fault and hopelessness is a base instinct because it's just too hard to do better.

So his campaign is a textbook case of the politics of abuse. It has a myriad of dynamics: race, wealth, cliches, myths, and simple disproved lies that it retells, especially when they have been called out. Tuesday morning after the debate, Romney's campaign recycled ads repeating the campaign's biggest “whopper,” the dead wrong assertion that Obama apologized for America during a foreign tour. Its bravura is a fake substitute for courage and vision.

But despite his pretense, the kind of seductive manipulations in which abusers excel, the mirror-smooth reflections used to transfigure truth and closet evil, Mitt Romney claims the peace of the sheep.

Abuse is a cycle. In 2008, America broke away from its pain. In two weeks we will see if America has learned to let go of its false hope: one thing about abusers, they surely promise better but always bring worse.
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10-24-2012, 12:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: Abuse Is Always in the Name of Love
Well said Walter. It's like the woman who gets hit and goes back because he promises he'll never hit her again. Abusers can't be trusted.....ever.

My President is Barack Obama.
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10-24-2012, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 10-24-2012 05:56 PM by SeattleGirl.)
Post: #3
RE: Abuse Is Always in the Name of Love
Good piece, Walter, and I saw that as I am watching a documentary on women who were in prison because they killed their abusers (these women ended up in prison in California before "battered women's syndrome" was accepted into law there in the 90's allowing evidence of abuse to be brought into her trial).

One thing though, that I didn't really see in your piece -- because of the fear that abusers (be they psychological abusers or physical abusers or both) instill in their victims, they often don't see a way out. They also blame themselves for what is happening to them. That self-blame is one of the strongest weapons an abuser has. I will say, though, that there is a flip-flop (pun intended) in the case of Romney and what he and other Republicans have been doing to the American people for the past 30 years -- many of the people who are sheeple don't blame themselves for the abuse, they blame others. The uneducated and undereducated blame the educated "elites;" the poor whites blame blacks, etc. And while this is going on, the Republicans keep stirring the pot, and the abused keep drowning in this fear and anger.

I also hope that America has broken from this cycle. I know that when I was in a psychologically abusive relationship (one which in the first year was wonderful), he left me for someone else after the second (and definitely NOT wonderful) year, even though there was a part of me that knew it was good he was gone, he would still call me from time to time, and I would find myself answering his calls and hoping once again that he would come back, that things would be good again. It took me over a year to finally tell him to not call me anymore, and a number of years after that for me to finally break free in my heart and my mind and my soul. And that was after a relatively short period of time being actively in that relationship. After 30 years, it still may be extremely difficult for America to break it off with the Republican abusers.

As I said though, good piece!

Silence is consent.
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