Archive for the ‘Madness in politics’ Category

In an interview on Meet The Press a couple weeks ago, former President Clinton was generous in positive remarks about Senator McCain, but said nothing about Senator Obama. When asked about his relationship with Senator Obama, former President Clinton said that he didn’t “really know Senator Obama” having “only met with him on two occasions. Well, come on now, something is amiss here. At first glimpse, one might think it’s that former President Clinton is miffed that Senator Obama has not reached out more to him. That could be. Perhaps former President Clinton is that testy about lack of recognition. But more important, I suspect, is Bill’s following of the biological imperative that a man must protect his woman. Perhaps, being a devoted husband (cynics, hush) he hadn’t yet gotten his hackles down over Hillary’s defeat in the run for the Democratic nomination. Perhaps he is acting out the disgruntlement for both of them, while Hillary carries on in full support of Mr. Obama. That sort of dynamic is typical between couples everywhere. One partner is more easily upset and more likely to stay upset, the other is more unflappable and quickly adaptable. Mr. Clinton appears to be the more self-expressive partner, and hence the one likely to show his upset-ness, even if only in the relatively passive form of simply failing to make much mention of Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton appears to be the more self-controlled partner, and hence the one more able to suck it up and carry on with sports-womanly good conduct. Bill’s upset-ness, therefore, is lovely to behold, and a testament to his partnership with Hillary … despite, and even in part because of, the thick and thin they’ve gone through.



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People love to say how dishonest and unreliable politics is. Many avow that they would NEVER go into politics. But the truth is, politics is simply a reflection of daily life on earth today. The zest audiences have for “red meat” between competitors, and the willingness competitors have for stooping to throw “dirt” in order to win both have their underpinnings in daily life. Can you remember saying something distorted, untrue, accusatory, and behind-the-back of another? Do you notice either your own tendencies to get into attacking verbiage, or the tendencies of others in your personal sphere to get into attacking modes? If you don’t, you should, because everyone has these politics in them. The opportunity for improving personal—and then national—politics is for people to recognize the tricky emotions—especially pain and hostility—underlying such behavior, and to find better ways of handling them. Emotional pain (and physical pain too) drives everything. The function of pain is simply to let you know that a lack of something is significant for you. Pain, in turn automatically generates anger, so that you have the strength and purposefulness to take action to correct the painful situation. But often social pain has no easy solution. Then, whatever is causing the emotional pain keeps on causing more anger, and fear: well-justified fear of no solution, no exit from the pain. The result: hostility. Hostility is then most often “displaced” from the real problem onto some other, more distant issue. Although organizational politics can seem close to home, they are actually further from your personal truth than, say, your relationships with your family. If we are ever to reduce the madness of “red meat” and “dirt” in governmental politics, workplace politics, and personal politics, we must handle our hostilities better, and dig down to discover and take care of the real pains, and fears, underlying our hostilities. See previous post: “Upcoming book excerpt: Madness”.

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