Shut in like everyone else, watching the world go through it’s paces, I’m going to break out of my usual role. Instead of my more traditional offering of what psychology can teach and heal in you and in the world, I’m letting myself have a rant. The Washington Post has it under submission but I think I missed the deadline – they published my last one – so here it is. Have fun.
Diane Roberts (“In Florida, we love our beaches…”, 4/22/2020, you may need a Washington Post subscription to read this) strikes something of an admirable balance as she describes Florida’s failure to address or even accept the COVID crisis. She blames the leadership and the populace; she accurately paints the former as self-serving liars entirely unconcerned with their responsibilities or anyone’s life, the latter as irresponsible, impulse-driven children. But you can’t blame the monster, you have to blame Dr. Frankenstein. Floridians elected their current leadership, just as we elected our national nut in chief. And we’ve been doing it at least for the past 50 years. Ronald Reagan was a HUAC supporting, dangerously uninformed, mediocre actor. The media warned us at the time that he knew little of the world and was teetering on senility. But he was fatherly – soothing – so we voted him into the presidency. Twice. While he put on a show of bombing Gaddafi’s Libya that same country had special forgiveness from the U.S. government wherein their investments here were not subject to the same oversight and reporting requirements as were other countries; the rhetoric and the bombing was on page one of the New York Times, the special deal was buried in the inner pages few people get around to reading. Bush the First announced with great and comforting machismo “Read my lips, no new taxes”. We elected him. He raised taxes. Public office holders like these and far worse now have power all over the world, but make no mistake: We put them there. Like the Kardashians, the kids on “Jersey Shore”, Bush Jr., the appalling Bill Clinton, they are our high fructose corn syrup, our soothing hit of crystal meth, and one is left wondering what kind of bottom the world has to hit before we grow up.
Bennett Pologe, PhD 4/26/2020