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.
Language provides a glimpse into the mind and psyche of the user. To observe with awareness the language of George W. Bush is to not only gain a glimpse into his mind but also is to enter the eye of the storm of chaos, confusion, and disaster that has formed around him and his administration. Just as the destructive force of a hurricane can be traced back to the eye of the storm, so too the war against terror with all of its death of innocents and destruction of civil liberties and property, all of the lies and deception that led up to that war, is creating more terror and more terrorism. The reality is that George Bush and those who are closest to him are brokering in terror, keeping people terrified, and are preying on and feeding the fear that drives the mistrust of others and the development of paranoia.
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 Iraqand 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
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.
The language of good and evil, black and white, either or, reflect the dualistic thinking of the addictive mind. There is no gray, there is no room for negotiation or shared problem solving.
George W. Bush reads his speeches to usnot 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 ownunlikely. His public relations staffslikely. His war room cabinetsmost 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 publicand 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 administrations most serious problem.
Megan Bronson is a mother, grandmother, nurse, psychotherapist and author who has grave concerns regarding the impact of the current administrations decisions on future generations of children of not only this country but of the world.