Speaking the truth and the rigorous pursuit of unbiased facts in the service of reasoned decision making are central to the functioning of a true democracy. They are also essential for any relationship of substance. The relationship between the Bush administration and the American people is in big trouble. In many ways this relationship is reflective of an addictive family system where communication is manipulative, strategic, dishonest, distorted, and sometimes downright crazy-making. Secrets, omission of important information, lying, spying, violations of privacy, and dishonest communication patterns in general, are normalized and legitimized under the ever widening umbrella called national security.
When is the last time that you heard the administration speak of Osama Bin laden? This is an interesting and strange omission given that we were going get him "dead or alive. " He was presented as evil incarnate to the American people by this administration, and also did indeed take responsibility for 9/11. When did he become a non-issue? Truly, the shift in obsessive focus from Osama Bin laden to Iraq is one of the most elaborate shell games ever perpetrated on the American people. The reality is that we have a President who is obsessed with Iraq --and in that obsessive thinking has lost track of what matters most. Even the United Nations became "irrelevant " when it was perceived as standing in the way of going to war against Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction
It is crazy-making to talk about rebuilding Iraq when we are the ones who blew it up in the first place. Why are we not rebuilding New Orleans, Louisiana and other cities along the Gulf of Mexico that were literally leveled by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? Why are we not rebuilding schools and businesses and homes in our own country when we are building them in Iraq? Why are we leaving tens of thousands of families in our own country homeless while we rebuild a country we ourselves blew up? Help me here: Does this not sound just a little off and convoluted?
I have noted with some chagrin that President Bush refers to us, the average American citizen, alternately as the workers, the consumers, and the voters, depending on the service we are perceived as performing for him. Those left behind in the Louisiana shelters for days without food, water, medical supplies or help of any sort were referred to as the refugees, (as if they came from another country), while he refers to the extreme white, right wing, fundamentalist Christians as "my base ". There is something about all of this that is very disturbing because the orientation to others is so narcissistic --(extremely self centered and self absorbed for those readers unfamiliar with psychological jargon). To be so self referenced is part of the problem with addictive thinking and with addictive patterns in general.
These manipulative communication patterns are confusing, cunning, stunning and disturbing, especially when they are the modus operandi of the President of the free world. I appreciate a person who can look me in the eye when he is talking to me and who is speaking with both his head and heart engaged.
George W. Bush reads his speeches to us --not just referring to notes but actually reading the speech to us. He looks up occasionally to emphasize a point or to monitor the effect he is having. Sometimes his style reminds me of an evangelical preacher who stirs his flock to a frenzy of agreement and then stands back and basks in the glow of having the power to sway people so. If you watch the nonverbal language of a speaker who both believes in and knows thoroughly his topic, he rarely refers to notes, let alone reads a whole text to his target audience. Whose words and ideas is George W. reading to us? His own --unlikely. His public relations staff 's --likely. His war room cabinet 's --most likely.
So given all of the above expressed concerns, how does one believe the words of this President? The George W. Bush administration has earned the skepticism and even mistrust of the American public --and appears so arrogant and righteous as to either ignore or be unconcerned about the crisis of confidence that the American people have rightly developed in relationship to this administration. This crisis of confidence is growing and is indeed Bush administration 's most serious problem.
Megan Bronson is a mother, grandmother, nurse, psychotherapist and author who has grave concerns regarding the impact of the current administration 's decisions on future generations of children of not only this country but of the world.