In the old days, when someone was a substance abuser, the entire onus for the abuse lay with that person. At a certain point, however, someone figured out that, in many relationships, the abuser’s partner was part of the dance of drug or alcohol dependency. A new term entered the pop culture vocabulary: “codependent.”
The theory behind codependency is that the codependent person, for his or her own psychological reasons, needs the abuser to continue abuse. That’s why you see the abuser’s partner buying booze for the alcoholic, or making excuses to the employer for the drug abuser’s bad behavior.
Sometimes, of course, the codependent is simply trying to ensure the abuser’s continued functioning for economic reasons. If your husband is the sole breadwinner, and if he benefits from the hair of the dog that bit him so that he can go to work, it’s in your interest, at least in the short term, to make sure he gets that drink. Likewise, if Mom has a happy drunk, but a mean hangover, keep her drunk, right?
Practicalities aside, there are definitely relationships in which the codependent gets a sort of sick, martyred pleasure out of keeping the abuser tied to the abuse. For someone with low self-esteem, or a pathological desire to be needed, there’s really something satisfying in the bizarre dance of keeping an alcoholic simultaneously tied to his bottle and functioning. You are both better than he is and entirely necessary to his survival. You are the hero; he (or she) the perpetual damsel in distress. Until things get intolerable, your needs are satisfied catering to his illness.
Of course, when things finally do get intolerable, you often find that it’s too late to do anything to change the situation. You’ve gone too far down the slope of abuse and degradation for either of you to recover.
This whole line of thinking flows from the workout I had this morning at the dojo. Everyone there is fairly successful (I know, ’cause I talk to people), most people there are Obama-ites (I know, because I read the bumper stickers and listen to the talk), and anyone who was at today’s workout is a driven person. You don’t work out as maniacally as we did, pushing through the pain and fatigue, unless there’s a very deep level of commitment to succeed.
As the workout wrapped up, and we all oozed our sweaty bodies out of the doors, it occurred to me that my friends at the dojo are both a microcosm of the driven personalities in Marin and a microcosm of the liberal mentality. Liberals actually expect quite a lot from themselves. And so many of them need to feel that they are better than others. They can pull an 80 hour work week, carpool their kids all over the place, and engage in a high intensity workout because they are superior — or, at least, they need others to see them that way.
To maintain that illusion of superiority, however, liberals don’t expect the Hispanic gardener, or the black bus driver, or the southern talking Mom in the trailer to prove that he (or she) is capable of precisely the same efforts and outcome. And in order for liberals to maintain that satisfying distance from that gardener or bus driver or mom, they need to create a dependency system whereby they keep those people in their place. The substance liberals offer these people isn’t alcohol, or meth, or cocaine — it’s government money.
Once the flow of government money begins, the subliminal liberal thought process locks into place: “Sure I suffer a lot working so hard to keep the flow of government money, and sure I pay lip service to how pathetic your life is, but as long as you’re hooked on that largesse, I can look at myself as a superior, beneficent being. I’m better than you are. I work harder than you do. I’m more productive and I expect more from myself. And as long as I keep your supply of government cash flowing, I never have to see a situation in which you, pathetic you, prove that you too can work long, hard and successfully.”
Of course, as with the chemical substance abuser, being hooked on a free money is a stable situation for only so long. The abuser gradually needs more and more of the substance to keep functioning (whether alcohol, drugs or welfare). Then, at some indeterminate point, but a point that always seems to come as a big surprise, nothing helps anymore. The substance abuser becomes dysfunctional and the whole abuser/codependent dance grinds to a halt.
That’s what’s going to happen to America. Right now, we’re creating a two class system, led by Obama, our Codependent in Chief, who is aided by his other obsessive, arrogant and martyred Ivy League educated codependents. They see themselves as superior beings, who can work harder, be more productive, and be more moral than the “average” American. But the only way they can maintain this fantasy (and it is a fantasy) is to ensure that the average American is prevented from being hard working, productive and moral. So Obama and his allies are busy creating a political system that provides disincentives for the precisely the type of virtuous behavior that manifestly characterizes the Progressive leadership. Eventually, though, those same Americans that we hook on government money will become so dysfunctional that nothing can save them. And then it all grinds to a halt.
By the way, if you think I’m fantasizing about what happens when you hook a community on government money, just look at what the liberals did to the blacks starting with the 1960s’ Great Society. Rather than giving the blacks equal opportunities alongside whites, which would have enabled black Americans to engage in the same obsessive, hard-working, compulsive, driven, high achieving behavior that characterized whites, the Great Society gave them free money — and almost destroyed them. And throughout those years of codependent destruction, even as whites bemoaned the burdens of crimes and drugs and illiteracy that blacks placed on America, those same whites could view themselves as beneficent and superior beings, and that almost made it all worth while.
Perhaps it’s time for us to begin a Twelve Step Program for Democrats. We need to help them so that they’ll stop “helping” others.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News