P.S. I Love You
A friend of mine forwarded over a very disturbing letter. It’s written up as a letter to “Mom” from a daughter leaving an “abusive” household. What it really is, at least as I reread it for the fifth time, is a stark reminder of how very disturbed some people in the various state secession movements really are.
The first thing that jumped out at me was how hard it was to pin down who “Mom” was. Eventually, on the second read, I was able to tell; the “Mom”, the person the letter writer really loves, is… the old, historically slaveholding, historically Jim Crow and yes, still racist South.
The passage that clued me in, that also really disturbed me to read and re-read trying to figure out the meaning:
Remember when you tried to divorce Dad? I stood with you, Mom. I was still very small, but I and my sisters fought him and our brothers with everything we had. They were too strong. They beat us, and they raped us, and forced us back into their house. Scarred and beaten, still we forgave them, didn’t we?
That’s a very odd, and disingenuous way, to read the American Civil War… unless you’re one of the old “The South Shall Rise Again” types. Except that those types – well, they didn’t “forgive.” They’re the types who advocate a “troops on the border, shoot anything that moves” strategy with respect to Mexico. The ones who claim that Obama is president “only for ‘those’ people.” The 46 percent of
the GOP Mississippi Republicans [edited by Mark Thompson] who think interracial marriage should be illegal. They’re the ones who rant on about “welfare queens”, ignoring 3 decades of entitlement and social program reforms that have already happened since Ronald Reagan first trotted out that racist line of attack; they’re the ones who deliberately and maliciously lie about ‘fighting voter fraud’ while passing laws whose only goal is to suppress the votes of ethnic minorities.
The underlying premise of the whole letter feels off to me. This isn’t a rational letter; it’s something else. In therapy circles, there’s an acronym – DARVO. It stands for “Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.” The more I see the hysterical behavior of the GOP, especially the fringe hyper-conservative GOP, the more I see this going on. The GOP, the conservatives, are the offenders. They’re the abusers. But that’s not how they want to paint it. They want to play the victim.
In their mind:
- It’s not that the GOP’s policies are odious to Americans, it’s that the GOP didn’t ‘get their message out’ because of a ‘left wing media.’
- It’s not that the GOP’s spokespeople like Rush Limbaugh are themselves odious, it’s because of “smear campaigns.” Likewise for Chick-Fil-A and the rest of the orwellian-named “Values Voters Coalition.”
- It’s not that the GOP’s policies towards gays aren’t bigoted, it’s that gays merely by existing are “infringing on the religious liberties” of the bible humpers. Similar logic from the GOP regarding women who think that their health insurance ought to cover contraception and hormonal medicines just as much as it covers viagra.
- It’s not that the GOP’s policies towards women are borderline abusive, it’s that – well, I still haven’t figured out how it is that the GOP’s policies don’t look abusive to anyone outside of the Quiverfull or “Promise Keepers” movement. I can’t even follow their logic on this one, though they certainly like to scream about “feminazis” and a “war on men.“
I’ve been in an abusive (emotionally, not physically) relationship before. I’ve friends who’ve been through relationships that were both physically and emotionally abusive.
From where I stand, the GOP’s rhetoric is abusive. Most of their argumentation is classic DARVO. And when I see letters like this, that play the DARVO card to its ultimate level, trying to cast the worst of the worst as the victim? It tells me that the USA is in desperate need of a reality check for a large number of citizens.