When The GOP Became An Addict
In 1987, Ann Wilson Schaef wrote ‘When Society Becomes An Addict’, describing how the dysfunctional way of processing we call the addictive process, can rule not just individuals and families, but organizations and communities, and indeed is prevailing in how we are operating as a world.
In 2008, the GOP adopted the strategy to vote as a block against anything the new president, Obama, proposed. Once the GOP adopted that strategy, it, and they, became an addict, i.e. operating from, and spreading the addictive process.
The healthy way of processing is through the heart. Our thoughts and decisions are filtered through an awareness of the effect on ourselves and others, for us to make decisions that can work to support thriving for all involved. The addictive process bypasses the heart, and operates from a concept of what life ‘should’ be, rather than a lived experience of how life works. When decisions made create problems, the addict doesn’t go back to the heart to figure out what he/she didn’t account for, as the heart was never involved in the processing. Instead of learning, the addict simply blames the negative result on another, and continues rigidly in the decision that is not working.
Ms. Schaef gives as an example that we are on the eve of unsustainability as a people (1987), killing our elephants and destroying our rain forests, operating from the ‘concept’ that what matters is profits, and setting ourselves and our children up to not have breathable air, or habitable climate.
We elect our representatives, to do just that: represent the needs of his/her constituents. To do so the member of congress would have to consider each item in relationship to the good it would bring to the constituency. Instead you had Republicans who had formerly, or even still, represented the needs of veterans, who would vote against measures that would be helpful to veterans, simply because the measures were introduced by the Obama administration.
Because the decisions made in an addictive process do not work, the strategy relied on is one of ‘power over’ where adherence is forced on the people one has power over. Decisions made in the healthy process are made to work for those involved, so when things don’t work, the strategy used is ‘in relationship with’, i.e more discussion, more listening, trying to find what might work better. Learning, evolving, is the result.
The addictive process is ultimately fatal if not stopped. Ms. Schaef asks how many more bottoms do we have to hit to wake up, and will we wake up in time to save ourselves from annihilation.
I ask, will the GOP wake up, or continue as the cult it is operating as, until it destroys our democracy. That we just witnessed an armed insurrection provoked by the cult GOP, is demonstration of how close it is to willfully destroying our democracy. A sitting president inflamed and ultimately ordered the insurrection; that any member of congress would debate that this is an impeachable crime, is testimony to the cult mentality that has stripped those members of congress of any rational thought, and certainly identifies those members as a threat to democracy, who themselves should be removed from office for their complicity in such a traitorous act.
What we are seeing since the insurrection is corporate donors stepping in, removing their sponsorship of moc’s who instigated the insurrection. We have Dominion Voting Systems suing Giuliani for 1.3 billion for spreading the lie the election was rigged and their voting machines part of it. So far it has had
limited effect on healing the mindthink of the GOP, as reflected in any Republican member debating whether an attempted hostile coup by a sitting President is an impeachable offense.
But where is the Voice of whatever constituent Republicans are left who have not been brainwashed into complicity with the insurrection? The loudest such Voice is the mass exit of lifelong Republicans from the Republican party. But we need Voice from the constituents still in the Republican party who are horrified by the successful invasion of our Capital, by White Nationalists flashing their Nazi pride. Help your Senator have this be his/her ‘bottom’. Help him/her wake up to his integrity and start on a path of recovering from the Addictive process, from the hold cult mind has had, and operate from his/her own unique genius, heart, and mission, as a Senator and defender of our democracy. Contact your senator and demand that he/she see the ordering of an invasion of our Capital by domestic terrorists who planned to assassinate some and kidnap others of our leaders, and who brutally beat our police, beating one to death, as an impeachable and criminal act. Are you aware that the 10 Republican representatives that voted for the impeachment did so under having to fear for their lives?? That they received death threats for doing so?? Your Senator needs your support to act his conscience.
As for Democrats, no one puts more pressure on Democrats than other Democrats to reach across the aisle for bipartisan partnership in policy making. Democrats have a strong value on inclusion of voices. However, when one party is discussing and listening to try to find a workable solution, and the other party is not authentically involved in that effort, because they are pushing power for the sake of power or profit, to be delaying policy to try to work with the Addict GOP, is enabling their agenda not yours, the enabling of giving money to the conman.
Biden is all about bipartisanship. I am glad he is, indeed this is what makes for a healthy society: inclusion. But I do not want Biden to be enabling the conman. It is imperative we get out from the grip of Covid, and also imperative that we mitigate the peril of climate change that has already taken so many lives and destroyed so much through fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, overwhelming blizzards, tornados etc. This is not debatable in science or in human lived experience: that the GOP continues to find it debatable is a reflection of how deteriorated their thinking is from their addiction. AA calls this “stinkin’ thinkin’ “.
If you are a registered Republican, horrified by the attempted coup, demand right action from your senator in the impeachment trial.
Our democracy needs you to.
If you are a registered Democrat, understand there can be no inclusion of those looking to prolong Covid or exacerbate climate change,(for whatever their secret agendas might be), in policy seeking to remedy those crises. And support Biden in discernment, that he bring his aspiration of bipartisanship to those serving free from the Addict GOP mindthink.
Sandra Eagle professionally is a psychotherapist and leadership consultant, practicing in Greenwich CT. Ms. Eagle is also an activist on mission for us to generate a more just, compassionate, and thriving world.