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[personal profile] gaudior
So, I was talking to [personal profile] rushthatspeaks the other day about how everything the Republicans are doing makes much more sense if you assume their fathers beat them as children.

In my experience, people abused as children take one of two paths. Either:

a) they grow up, realize how terrible what their parents did was, and grow more distant from their parents—set boundaries, possibly cut off contact altogether. They resolve not to do the same thing to their kids, or maybe not to have kids at all.

or, b) they grow up and decide that what their parents did was right, and justified. They repress all the anger and fear and hurt they felt as kids, and redirect it towards their kids—or towards anyone else over whom they have power.

Any abused kid can take either of those paths. But b is much more appealing if you’re someone who has the option to take on the role of the abuser in many aspects of your life—if you have multiple axes of privilege.

Because the thing about believing the abuse mindset is that if something bad happens to you, if someone hurts you, it’s your fault. It means that you are bad. The person hurting you is only doing what they have to to make you stop being bad, and behave yourself.

So if poor people can’t afford healthcare, it’s because they did something wrong. If people have disabilities or illness, it’s their fault. If women or people of color complain about being put down, they’re the ones being disobedient, who need to be shown the error of their ways. If gay men (and other queer people, by extension) are upset about being beaten, then it's their own damn fault for being such weak little pussies, instead of manning up.

And you can’t question the rule of rich Christian straight white men. If what their fathers did to them is right, then everything is fine—sure, they may have suffered, but it’s worth it! It made them the men they are today! But if what their fathers did was wrong, then they need to face all that pain. All the shame and helplessness they felt, all the hurt feelings and terror and futile rage—there’s no excuse for it. No justification. It happened to them, and it was terrible, and there was no good reason for it. A huge well of grief opens up—for the innocent children they were, for the good fathers they didn’t have, for the happy security they never got to feel, and on a deep level, still don’t. It’s a lot to face. It’s too much to face, if you have the option of ignoring it.

So, no questioning. No resistance. If we admit that poor people can be poor because of bad luck; if we admit that jailing millions of people of color is counterproductive to prevent crime; if we admit that rape happens even to “good” women, then the brittle cage that holds back their childhood pain will crumble. And unconsciously, they fear that they will crumble with it.

I don’t know for sure that the Republican leaders were beaten as children. Or even that they were emotionally abused. But I know that 45 is not a happy man. And I know that in his acceptance speech for the nomination as presidential candidate, one of the only things he said about anyone besides himself was “My Dad, Fred Drumpf, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he’d say if he were here to see this tonight.”

I think he hoped his father might say something positive, that he was proud of him. But I don’t think he’s sure.

It’s just a shame that that uncertainty on his part leads to death for so many of the rest of us.
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