Part One in a Series of Small Steps for Sanely Dealing With Big Changes
I recently read an op-ed piece that said one US political party was “the Mommy party,” and the other “the Daddy party.” While it’s a cute way to characterize the political leanings of some folks, I have to say I disagree about one thing.
The national “mommy/daddy” fairy tale lies much deeper in our consciousness than mere party politics.
We’ve been carefully programmed, all our lives, to believe that Mommy is the US government, and Daddy is the multinational/corporatist business system.
Daddy is the Great Provider. He makes the money for the family. He is important, wears a suit and knows his business. He is no-nonsense and bottom-line, stern but fair. Mommy is virtuous and runs the home. She keeps us safe from Bad People, makes sure we do our homework and chores, eat right, stay healthy, and grow up to be fine patriotic young men and women. That’s the Leave it to Beaver version of things, at least.
The problem is that in reality, “Daddy” Big Business is a Sociopath (watch “The Corporation”), a philanderer whose many affairs and huge gambling debts -NAFTA, MFN trading status, wage-slave labor on a global scale via procurers International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, overseas trading, and above all Big Oil, and largesse towards his cronies -no-bid contracts, privatization- have not only rendered the family at home insolvent, but emotionally and physically scarred.
His verbal and physical abuse of the elder children -unions, civil/human rights groups, environmentalists, progressives, inventors, alternative energy groups, and/or anybody who happens to be in the way of his money- is quietly tolerated- as abuse often is in dysfunctional families- because the family still sees him as the head of the household.
He has continually lied [propaganda] about his various foibles and failings -corporate welfare-, reassuring Mommy Government and us kids that everything’s under control because he’s in charge -special interests’ bought politicians- that Mommy doesn’t need to worry her pretty little head –deregulation- and that the lipstick on his collar -Military Industrial cabal- is the result of a freak collision with a female executive at a board meeting he had to stay late for -revolving doors between government and special interests/ bankers/ Council on Foreign Relations/ arms manufacturers/ Monsanto.
He’s told us kids- via mainstream media, propaganda, and continual selling that as long as we are good little offspring, obedient and dependable consumers of his largesse, he’ll give us a small allowance- just enough to get by. Maybe someday we’ll be all grown up like him, a big shot with lots of money and power- but we’d better shut up and put up “or else” while we’re under his roof. The fact that we originally built “his” roof seems to be forgotten by all concerned.
“Mommy” Government, meanwhile, is a self-indulgent enabler- deregulation- and a rather lousy parent- taxation without effective representation. She likes to appear upscale, smart and chic without devoting too much actual tedious time- Congressional days in session: 2004: 107 days, 2008: 111 days- to the children- citizens, housework- governance, or much of anything else. Her social standing is paramount.
Trusting Daddy Big Business to keep the books, she doesn’t give heed to his philandering ways- despite knowing all about it- just as long as she has her allowance. Every two or four years she cooks- holds an election- telling the children they can choose their meal, but in actuality it’s always the same stew, using the same ingredients, over and over again. For a while there she used the Karl Rove pizza delivery service for the family- one topping for everybody, and don’t ever argue with your mother or ask how it’s made, because that’s disrespectful- not to mention inconvenient to the pizza man.
She’s spent recent years shopping- pork barrel-, going to salons- lobbyists-, being on talk shows- campaigning- and having luncheons- fundraisers- with the credit cards- deficit- whilst farming the kids out to “privatized” babysitters- name a social institution- and mollifying them with iPods and plasma televisions- bread and circus.
But here we are, suddenly. Daddy and Mommy have hit a meltdown point in their dysfunctional relationship.
And, as with most divorces, both parents are acting a mite psycho during the process.
Daddy has cleaned out the bank accounts and scampered off to the Cayman Islands to party on the beach with some no-bid hooker- Carlyle, Exxon, Halliburton, et al- he met on his latest adventures overseas, leaving Mommy the gambling debts- bailout-, the overhead for their crumbling house –infrastructure-, and the kids -millions of jobless, foreclosures, financial-despair suicides, hunger, etc.
Mommy has no idea what it means to raise kids on her own with no money. She has never worked a day in her life, she’s always relied on the Public Trust Fund that her no-good husband just stole. She thinks knuckling down on the budget means fewer trips to the salon. She doesn’t even know what to do without a credit card, which is about to be cut off.