The future of the US and the world will depend on our choices: Part 1
There will be a lot of comments about 2020, the elections and the aftermath. I want to offer my perspective. For more than 50 years, I have helped men live fully, love deeply, and make a positive difference in the world. On my website MenAlive.com, I discuss my ideas, write articles regularly and share the books I have written. Last week, I wrote “Authoritarian Men Storm the Capitol” with initial responses to events on January 6, 2021. Here I want to broaden my perspective to address the underlying causes and solutions.
While everyone knows the name Donald Trump, not everyone may understand the words Trumpism, Partnerism, Strong Men and Good Men, or the choices we will face in the future. I believe that strong men are the most immediate and present danger to men, women, children and society. We need more good men who are ready to defy the mentality of the strong that is so prevalent in the world today.
Trumpism: More than a Political Ideology
According to Wikipedia, Trumpism is a style of government, political movement, and political ideology associated with the President of the United States, Donald Trump. It is an American version of the right-wing conservative and national-populist sentiment seen in several nations around the world.
For a more nuanced understanding, however, see an article by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic, “The Deep Story of Trumpism.” Thompson says, “For some, Trumpism marks the beginning of a new Republican party.” From that perspective, the Republican Party will elect new leaders and its ties to Donald Trump will disappear. Thompson further cites UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild, who offers a different vision. Hochschild said to Thomson:
“If there’s one thing I think the mainstream press is still doing wrong, it’s that they like to talk about business and personality but don’t prioritize feelings. To understand the future of the Republican Party, we need to act like political psychiatrists. ”
In her 2016 book Strangers in Their Own Land, Hochschild went to the deep south to study an emerging conservative identity and brought out something like a Rosetta Stone for the rise of Donald Trump. She offered a psychological allegory for the right worldview that she called the “deep story”.
The deep story went like this: You are an elderly white man with no college degree standing in the middle of a line with hundreds of millions of Americans. The snake leads up a hill to a harbor just above the ridge which is the American dream. Behind you in line you can see a train of sad souls – many poor, mostly non-white, American and foreign-born, young and old. “It’s scary to look back,” writes Hochschild. “There are so many behind you, and in principle you wish them all the best. Still you waited a long time. ”
Now you’re in line because the economy isn’t working. And worse than being stuck, you’re stigmatized; Liberals in the media say that whatever they think is traditional is racist and sexist. And what is that? People are standing in line in front of you! Something is wrong. The old line wasn’t perfect, but at least it was a promise. There is order in the fact of a line. And if that order falls apart, so will America.
While we can rightly condemn the attacks on our land on January 6, 2021, we cannot heal the underlying causes without understanding the feelings and fears of the deeper story that are affecting the lives of men and their families. Trumpism, like McCarthyism in the 1950s, is based on fear and the desire of privileged white men to hold onto their power. It is based on separation and the belief that there are only a limited number of “good things in life” and that those at the top of the hierarchy must protect what is theirs from those who would take it away from them .
Partnerism: A New Understanding of an Old Way of Life
Partnerism is the latest focus of Riane Eisler, author of a number of groundbreaking books including The Chalice & The Blade, The Children of Tomorrow, The Real Wealth of Nations and her most recent book with Douglas P. Fry, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership shape our brain, our life and our future. She is President of the Center for Partnership Studies.
Eisler realizes that our people and our planet are in crisis. On her website, Partnerism.com, she says, “We cannot safely build a 21st century world on an 18th century operating system. The world’s economic and social systems are failing humanity and our planet. We have serious breakdowns:
- Environmental crises
- Health and wellness crises
- Immense wealth gap
- Systemic racial, gender and religious prejudices
- Child abuse and mental health crises
- Political systems that cannot solve these problems. “
She says we need to move from domination to partnerism:
“The argument of capitalism versus socialism fails to recognize that both are rooted in domination. This system has caused suffering and injustice for more than 6,000 years. There is another way – a socio-economic system that supports mutual respect, non-violence, equality, empowerment and caring. ”
Partnership is included. It’s a system that can work for everyone – rich and poor, men and women, left and right. It’s not a perfect system, but it is based on our 2 million year old legacy of partnership before we went off track 6,000 years ago (see my article “Living the Frontier World: How to Navigate the Transition Between Dominion and Partnership”). ”)
Strong men are not strong. They are wounded men
Who gains power and causes great damage
As a psychotherapist specializing in men’s health issues, I have worked with and advised thousands of men who appear strong on the outside but have suffered significant trauma and wounds as children. Your outer facade of strength hides a lot of insecurity and anger. In May 2016, six months before the presidential election, I wrote an article entitled “The Real Reason Donald Trump Will Be the Next President” warning of the consequences if he were to be elected.
In part of the article I said, “Donald Trump appears to have suffered abuse, neglect and abandonment as a child. Many in the country, especially white men, resonate with his anger. “My perceptions have been corroborated by Mary L. Trump, PhD, Donald Trump’s niece, and a trained psychologist. In her book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Made the Most Dangerous Man in the World, she says, “Donald’s father, Fred Trump Sr., destroyed Donald by interfering with his ability to capture the full spectrum of human emotions develop and experience. “She continues,” By restricting Donald’s access to his own emotions and making many of them unacceptable, Fred distorted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it. “
Donald Trump isn’t the only abused boy who grew up to become an abusive man and come to power. In her recent book Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, internationally recognized historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat describes other world leaders, including earlier ones such as Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler, and those living today, including Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian President Victor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and Donald Trump.
In Strongmen, she describes the blueprint these leaders have followed for the past 100 years, and calls on us to recognize, resist, and prevent their disastrous rule in the future. Ben-Ghiat says:
“For us, the age is authoritarian rulers: self-appointed saviors of the nation who evade accountability and rob their people of the truth, the treasure and protection of democracy. They promise law and order and then legitimize violations of the law by financial, sexual and other predators. “
As the strong are not really strong and resistance to their rule increases, all strong will eventually be overthrown. In the last chapter of her book, Ben-Ghiat says:
“The authoritarian playbook does not contain a chapter about failure. It does not provide for the Führer’s own people to turn against him. There are no pages on how to deal with it when it becomes a national disgrace. ”
Now let’s turn to goodmen.
Good men who are really strong, if not at all
Perfect, faced and healed many wounds
from their past and offer blessings to the world.
There are good men at every level of society. First, let’s think about our presidents. For the most recent survey of presidential historians conducted by C-SPAN in 2017, nearly 100 historians and biographers rated 43 US presidents. The poll will be released after a sitting president has elected, so C-SPAN will likely add current President Donald Trump to the next round of the rankings after he resigns.
The 2017 C-SPAN survey measured ten qualities of presidential leadership: public persuasion, crisis management, economic management, moral authority, international relations, administrative skills, relations with Congress, vision, striving for equal justice for all and achievement in the context of its times.
Before I reveal the top five presidents, you might pause and ask yourself: What qualities would you include as Goodman? Which five presidents would you put on the top of your own list?
According to historians, these are the five top-rated presidents.
5. Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President) valued his moral authority.
4. Theodore Roosevelt (26th President) had a high value for his public conviction.
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President) had a high value for his public conviction and the handling of international relations.
2. George Washington (1st President) in the context of his time has a high value for his economic management, his moral authority and his performance.
1. Abraham Lincoln (16th President) was ranked best for his crisis management, administrative skills and vision and sought equal justice for all.
Part 2 will highlight the 12 rules for good men, some of the leading men’s health organizations in the world, as well as the causes of our global collapse and how we can heal the divide in our country and in the world. Stay tuned. Please visit me at www.MenAlive.com.
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