Republicans and Democrats Know Everything!

    Doubt is not a pleasant state of mind, but certainty is absurd. ~Voltaire, 1767


 So, after almost four years of Obama (he’s been campaigning since last year though), and watching Romney “trying” to campaign, I’ve reached the conclusion that this week I’m leaning towards Obama. I will not vote for Romney, because of Ryan, but I’m just not sure whether I’m going to feel the same next week.

Truthfully, Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention was far more convincing than Obama’s. And if we want to be compelled by an orator, we should demand that Bill Clinton run for president.

 Obama, however, simply repeated what he said four years ago, with slight variations. And – as I was joking with a friend about his repeated statements, I said Obama probably had to save money on speech writers in order to subsidize this campaign.

However, I was never completely convinced about Obama. You see, I stopped admiring big-time leaders a long time ago. But, when I find I’ve fallen under their spell, I remind myself of their larger-than-average egos. (It’s not for naught that I remember psychology 101). I remind myself that if they want to be the president then certainly they must suffer from delusions of grandeur…

… speaking of delusional

I have Democrat friends and Republicans, and I receive my share of emails, FB posts and phone calls from both; and what they have in common – and, if god or one of my friends will not strike me dead for saying the following – is their certainty!

They send those emails and posts to reiterate their beliefs, or to try and convert someone, but they never change their minds!

I always wonder as to how come they know everything so well, and the other party doesn’t?

How come they are sooooo sure and, I so doubtful?

How come my Democrat friends can always come up with the hidden reasons for Obama’s actions, even if his decisions don’t make sense; and my Republican friends keep on sending me the lists of all the successful companies that made money because of Bain Capital- and by extension the ‘certainty’ that Romney will create the same thriving success for this country.

How come you all know all that, and I’m just not that sure?

What’s going on here?!?

Well, I know the answer. I get it. After all, I do the same.

We FEEL … and then we think.

 That’s where the certainty comes from. Feelings become truth; and truth becomes fact. The thinking part is really truth in search of facts to justify the feelings!

The bottom line is that these guys either make you feel good, or they don’t. Either way, we look for reasons to justify our feeling, and we delude ourselves with “the facts”. The facts that none of us has in their entirety – because even people in the government don’t.

But that doesn’t matter because a fact that feels like the truth is a fact; whereas a fact that doesn’t feel like the truth undermines our feelings and therefore can’t possibly be a fact! (Or, something like that!)

And I’m sure that each one of the candidates has many good and admirable qualities and they are both quite bright. And I’m even positive that we shouldn’t let ourselves get so upset, or even take so seriously their political agenda before the election, since they always change it anyway. After all Clinton ran as a Democrat and became a moderate Republican in his presidency, and daddy Bush raised taxes,  despite the fact that I did read his lips… So please don’t get too upset, they do talk from both sides of their mouths.

Read My Lips! (no more taxes:))

But we are emotional beings, we crave a leader, and we want to be led. We want to have a wise father. We want to regain the magical feeling we had when we were five years old and we said to our friends, “My father is the strongest man in the world.” It was comforting. It made us feel contained, safe and secure.

And hence today, when we struggle with so much fear and doubt; failing economy and lack of money; the threat of terrorism; global warming; and children who we raised to be self-indulgent – we innately reach out for a simple solution: We want our daddy back – the daddy, who had the answer to every question; could lift us up to the sky, with muscles that were stronger than all the other daddys’ muscles. And, don’t argue with me about it, because I measured my dad’s muscles. It’s a fact!

And so I now know that I don’t know, sadly.

And now I’m full of doubts, regrettably.

And now I wish for the best, hopefully


Thinking is what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~William James




About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in Democrats, politics, Republicans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Republicans and Democrats Know Everything!

  1. susan says:

    Bravo! Well said. (In spite of the FACT that my position is right 😉

  2. Barbara Cooper says:

    Rachel, we each have our approach to making decisions. A lot of times when I am confused, I follow my ‘gut instinct”, my inner voice, if you will, that guides me. Yes, emotions are a part of it, because when the decision feels wrong, I’m uncomfortable with it. So, I think some more before taking action, till I do feel comfortable. You call it “justifying”, I disagree.
    As for elections, I lived long enough to know that sometimes there is no ‘right’ answer. Sometimes I vote on the lesser of two evils, and that doesn’t make me happy, but the political parties give us THEIR choice to choose from, and so I must choose based on who will affect my life in the least negative way. The truth is we are never told all of any situation from our president, and I say “Thank God” for that. I am not equipped to solve all of the world or the country’s problems, so I say let our president have the sleepless nights over them, it’s his job, and he wanted it. What I can do is look at what they ARE saying, (and how they are saying it) and what they WANT to do, knowing some of it will happen and some of it won’t. Then make my decision accordingly.
    What I see in Obama is a man who thinks- he thinks before he speaks, he thinks before he takes action. I like that and feel comfortable that he won’t start an unnecessary war and send our young men and women into battle just because he can. He’s a likable man who I feel, takes his position very seriously. Does he have a big ego? Of course he does. I don’t think you can desire the position without it. Millions believed he would get into office and wave a magic wand and fix everything. I was not one of them. There is no magic wand, and if it takes a long time to get into a mess, it will take a long time to get out of it. Do I feel he is on the right track? Yes, resoundingly, yes.
    What I see in Romney is a man who wants to add “President Of The United States” on his resume. I hate his choice of running mate, and I fear the current Republican rhetoric that will take women back two centuries. This more than anything, scares me. This is a party is full of men who need to have a sex education class because they are clueless as to the definition of rape. They want to own women’s bodies and make us slaves to their belief systems. They don’t want equal pay for women. They want to be in our gynecologist’s offices with us. They want to abolish abortion. Do they really think making abortion illegal will stop abortions? It never has before. Women who don’t want a child will not have the child, and if it is Republicans in power they will go back to the back alleys to have them, risking their lives to do it. Republicans abhor helping the poor, yet their pro life stance will lead the poor into an unending cycle of poverty with no hope of ever getting out.
    I’m voting for Obama, again. Am I certain of my choice? Hell, yes! And, I’m sorry to correct you, but my Daddy was the strongest man in the world!

  3. Jim Palmer says:

    This video is more relevant today than it was in 2010

  4. Stephanie Kirschner says:

    For me, and I think for most people, we know almost instantaneously when we meet someone whether we are in the same “tribe” or not. I think it’s partially intuitive, partially chemical… we know so fast whether we want to know someone, whether we’re interested in what they have to say… All I can say is that Romney really scares me. He is so disingenuous. I hear it in his tone of voice. There isn’t an authentic bone in his body. I tell prospective clients when they call that it’s important to feel comfortable and safe in a therapeutic relationship and that they will know pretty fast whether they are in the right place for them or not. This is like that for me. You said “these guys either make you feel good, or they don’t” – Romney make me feel very bad.

  5. Amy says:

    In the section of your blog about how your friends seem so convinced their belief system is the only truly right one, I see some parallels between that and the various belief systems in God (aka… the major religions of today). Many followers have convinced themselves their god and their particular branch of religion is the true one…and/or their political belief system and leader is the right one…AND that it is their duty to get out there and proselytize. This seems (to me) to be such an instinctive, tribal human characteristic. I wonder if those of us who are rebellious, critical thinkers become particularly uncomfortable during major election times since this is when we feel compelled to take civic action and vote (choose a leader/belief system) when we really don’t like to adhere to one in particular at all…because that would mean we are in a way adhering to a particular system & leader…and saying that is the “right one.” ;D

  6. rachel bar says:

    This is such a brilliant statement Amy, and so perceptive! You must have a good supervisor…

  7. katzideas says:

    I find myself on the leftward side in politics BUT which ever side you are in touch with,they expect you to take on all their beliefs.So it is like a religion.I’ve been shouted at by men when I referred to a doctor as HE…and had doors slammed in my face since I must be a feminist as a mathematician and hence I won’t want courtesy…
    Living in between,,,taking my own position…it’s hard.I have to think.But I am quite sure our
    government now is on the wrong track economically and in attacking the poor and unemployed.
    It’s painful.

    • rachel bar says:

      Agree. If one is not a zealot, there’s always the chance that you will be admonished by someone. We’re expected to be True Believers without leaving room for error, mistakes and imperfection.

  8. godschool says:

    I think that your last 3 sentences sum up how a lot of British people feel about our politics, too!

    • rachel bar says:

      I wonder whether most Democratic countries are tired of election campaigns, and all the lies, flip flops, exagerrations and the enormous amounts of money spent on them, just to feed the egos of politicians.

      • godschool says:

        I lived in Romania for 5 years, who of course had experienced 50 years of communist oppression, and had only been liberated in 1989. I was working at a university and one of the young lecturers told me that she would no longer vote, because it didn’t count, everything fell prey to rampant corruption. That is a very new democracy, and already people have lost heart, which is sad, because whatever its faults in practice, the principle of democracy is a good one, and probably better than many alternatives. The trouble is, that if people of ethical standards jack it all in, who will be left to try and make a difference?

      • godschool says:

        I lived in Romania for 5 years, which of course had experienced 50 years of communist oppression, and had only been liberated in 1989. I was working at a university and one of the young lecturers told me that she would no longer vote, because it didn’t count, everything fell prey to rampant corruption. That is a very new democracy, and already people have lost heart, which is sad, because whatever its faults in practice, the principle of democracy is a good one, and probably better than many alternatives. The trouble is, that if people of ethical standards jack it all in, who will be left to try and make a difference?

      • rachel bar says:

        I have no doubt that I would rather have democracy than any other system. However, one has to create a revolution, even in a democracy in order to change a corrupt system. I think that human nature is such that it’s led by our egos, and as long as we don’t become enlightened beings, the likelihood for change is slim.

  9. I love that you wrote about this. I am so confused politically. I hate how they tear each other apart. I voted for Obama last round and probably will again but it’s not as if I’m so happy with things. But as they said in a West Wing episode, we can vote for who’s better than who cares. In other words, there’s not much incentive.

    I love the Bill Clinton cover. I’d vote for him again. His twitchy zipper didn’t make him any less of a good president. Obama who looks very elegant all the time, rocked on Letterman, is so hated that I wonder if he ever really will be allowed to lead.

    Romney looks great in a blazer. That’s about all I can say about him that rings true.

    In any event, I’m glad you wrote about it. 🙂

    • rachel bar says:

      Susannah, even when you comment about politics, you manage to reflect on fashion and clothes! I think that the situation is so dire that maybe we should decide which candidate looks better in an Armani suit, and cast our votes accordingly?

      • I can’t help it. For me everything’s a visual. I’m not very political by nature. Ask me anything about Lincoln or the Roosevelts but I’m afraid what goes on presently scares me too much. I always vote though for the women who got us the privilege. And I dress up…lol

  10. katzideas says:

    I just feel Romney is not very intelligent………but that’s never been a bar to success in politics.
    What worries me is the future of the world…. and your President is crucial.

    • rachel bar says:

      Romney is obviously very intelligent in the area of finance, as is clear by his personal fortune. In a time that the US is hurting financially, this type of intelligenc is highly appreciated. Many feel that if he was so capable of creating such financial abundance for himself, he might be able to duplicate it for the country.

      • katzideas says:

        I have been shown some evidence that he/his company bought companies and stripped their pension funds then sold them on.
        I suppose it’s intelligence of a certain type of mind but not one I value for a leader.Many people have become wealthy by all sorts of means…. but to imply that makes them suitable for the presidency in itself seems crazy to me.But hey,I’m just a mathematician!

      • rachel bar says:

        I was actually trying to present why some people would follow Romney. The points you’re making are the points presented by Democrats here. My point was that when we affiliate with a party, we make everything “suitable”.

      • katzideas says:

        I see what you mean..! Thanks.Yes, we join a flock!!

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