Healing the Left-Right Divide

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Part 1: Fixing Dysfunction in Washington?

The United States Senate and Congress are not divided because of Democrats, Republicans and / or Independents.

Washington – and the nation – is divided because there is a greater incentive to highlight differences than to find common ground solutions.

Let’s examine this a little bit.

It takes money to be elected, and money is raised from political parties and wealthy entities (including wealthy individuals).

Those contributing to campaigns in large amounts tend to have — we all know this very strongly already – entrenched ideological interests.

But here’s the thing: No system, dysfunctional or otherwise, can survive UNLESS there is sufficient by-in from the citizens to support it.

Our elected officials can be partisan only if they have political cover and political will to be so from a wide enough swath of citizens who are also partisan and/or tolerate it.

OK, JUST WHEN YOU FEEL THE LEFT-RIGHT DIVIDE CAN NEVER NEVER NEVER BE HEALED, PLEASE CONSIDER THIS:

While we are fighting with each other in Maine and the US, other states and other countries are cleaning our proverbial clocks.

Which leaves us in our partisan fighting with only moral victories.

I don’t want moral victories, I want actual victories which are tangible and real.

Settling for moral victories which may console us in the moment, is not seeing the big picture nor being wise.

It is said that “we get the government we deserve” but it seems to me more apt to say that we get the government which we allow.

Part 2: YOU ARE ANGRY BECAUSE YOU ARE SCARED

1.One has to be disciplined in life to be successful, because there are so many talented and hard working people in the world.
Being self-disciplined and showing up every day and doing what you have to do, and doing it well is the price of admission for even thinking about success.

2.You have to be more courageous. People who are more successful than you are bolder than you are. They take more intelligent risks because they have more confidence.

3.Cynicism as a default position is a reflection of a weaker mind. Yes, the world is scary competitive. And yes at times it seems that no good deed, as they say, goes unpunished. But the successful people in life are resilient. And thick skinned. If you let the world and other people throw you off balance then you will not succeed at a high level.

4.You are angry because you are scared. Left-right bickering is meant to distract us by making sure that we are not unified as an electorate. If we are unified as an electorate then special interests, corruption and crony capitalism can never win. How can they keep up distracted? By playing up the left-right differences until citizens buy into them and perpetuate them. If you are an R hating a D, or a D hating an R, you are being such distracted and intentionally so. I believe that we can be stronger than that, but it is very difficult.

No one wants to feel scared. We live in an age where it is difficult to survive and thrive, even in the richest country on Earth. So, rather than admitting we feel scared we look for scapegoats or easier answers.

It’s somebody else’s fault.

Anger is a covering for being scared. If you weren’t scared then you wouldn’t need to feel angry. Anger means that something has been taken from you that should have been yours.

And that leaves us scared.

5.Which brings us full circle to self-discipline. We must be self-disciplined not only in our actions, but in our emotions as well. When we give in to anger and cynicism we are distracted from the real problems, the real issues, and we cannot solve anything which we do not confront and are aware of head on.

In Maine and this nation there are a lot of hard truths which we have to face in order to prosper. I’ve written a lot about prosperity, and this is what it takes.

I certainly don’t have all the solutions but I know what doesn’t work.

What doesn’t work is running away from hard truths. We must raise our standards of what we expect from both ourselves and others if we want to have more.

There is no other way.

Part 3: Stockholm Syndrome

Wikipedia currently describes Stockholm Syndrome as follows:”Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon …in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.[1][2]….[3] Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens,abuses, or intimidates the other.”[4] One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.[5];

That is kind of a long explanation, I know.

I believe that in Maine and the nation (and perhaps throughout the world, frankly) that we are addicted to berating each other across the left-right divide.

I do mean addicted. As in pathologically so. We’re so beaten down in our everyday lives by the powers that be, (corporate or special interests, government, the 1% – however you personally choose to define it) that we feel emotionally defeated or beaten.

Like emotional hostages.

The Stockholm Syndrome (or just general defense mechanism, if you prefer) that we allow ourselves to take on to protect ourselves emotionally involves a left-right animosity that is fostered by these powerful interests to dilute our power through both distraction and lack of unification of focus.

The left-right divide is neither healthy nor natural.

But it can feel extremely comfortable because it has become so well known.

Sometimes people can believe irrational things in order to psychologically cope and survive.

But we’re moving beyond survival now.

We’re moving into thrive.

It’s worth repeating:
We’re moving beyond survival mode now into prosperity and thrive.

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