I'm bumping this up from Sunday night, in case it got lost in Media Monday. I think it's interesting and worth discussion.--DB
Thanks to Doug for sending me the link to this fascinating essay on the post-election relationship between liberals and conservatives, comparing it to classic domestic abuse (guess which side of the violence we're on?). Like Doug wrote to me, I'm not sure exactly how far the analogy works, but it does present an interesting vision for how to proceed, and especially how not to proceed. Here's an excerpt. Read the whole thing, a guest post by Mel Gilles on Mathew Gross' blog (Mathew is the former head blogger of the Howard Dean campaign).
They beat us because they are abusers. We can call it hate. We can call it fear. We can say it is unfair. But we are looped into the cycle of violence, and we need to start calling the dominating side what they are: abusive. And we need to recognize that we are the victims of verbal, mental, and even, in the case of Iraq, physical violence.Even as I thought it was interesting, I wasn't so convinced it was accurate until I realized I was actually worried about how bad Rush Limbaugh would ream us if he heard about that idea... Maybe there's something to it.
As victims we can’t stop asking ourselves what we did wrong. We can’t seem to grasp that they will keep hitting us and beating us as long as we keep sticking around and asking ourselves what we are doing to deserve the beating.
Listen to George Bush say that the will of God excuses his behavior. Listen, as he refuses to take responsibility, or express remorse, or even once, admit a mistake. Watch him strut, and tell us that he will only work with those who agree with him, and that each of us is only allowed one question (soon, it will be none at all; abusers hit hard when questioned; the press corps can tell you that). See him surround himself with only those who pledge oaths of allegiance. Hear him tell us that if we will only listen and do as he says and agree with his every utterance, all will go well for us (it won’t; we will never be worthy).
And watch the Democratic Party leadership walk on eggshells, try to meet him, please him, wash the windows better, get out that spot, distance themselves from gays and civil rights. See them cry for the attention and affection and approval of the President and his followers. Watch us squirm. Watch us descend into a world of crazy-making, where logic does not work and the other side tells us we are nuts when we rely on facts. A world where, worst of all, we begin to believe we are crazy.
[UPDATE] Ok, so here's my question. How does this model translate into future action? Giving up on the political process is not an option--it will only get worse. How else to walk away from the abuse?