By Dr. David Laing Dawson
Author of Two Years of Trump on the Psychiatrist’s Couch
We humans need rules, ritual, order. We also need to be constantly examining and modifying these rules because some may be unnecessary, ineffective, stupid, or based on old prejudices and beliefs. Still we need them. For without them we fall into anarchy, and anarchy ultimately begets tyranny. Without the rules and boundaries we have chaos, and this breeds anxiety, and anxiety looks for relief. Ideally our rules and boundaries reflect reality, biological, social, cultural and scientific reality, tempered with some idealism.
Adolescence is a time to test those boundaries and rules, to push on them a bit; but to live in a functioning, fair and equitable society, we need those rules and boundaries.
A teen boy once made an impassioned statement in my office to the effect that, should he take a job, he should have to work when and only when he wanted to work, and on those days, come in when he wanted, leave when he wanted, eat when he wanted. It should be his right. He was especially incensed that he might have to eat lunch at a specified time.
This adolescent instinct is real, ultimately useful for our social evolution, but unbridled, or still in charge past our mid twenties, it can lead to the collapse of the social contract, and then a backlash.
Confronted by so much chaos and uncertainty we begin to look to men and movements that promise order.
The U S of A today. Berlin, Germany in the 1920’s.
The Proud Boys today. The Brown Shirts in the 1930’s.
Astoundingly Biden and Trump are tied in the polls. Each indictment appears to bolster Trump’s popularity. It is going to be a wild ride through 2024.
But Trump promises order, a Fascist kind of order, but order none the less.
And that is appealing for many against the scenes of homelessness in the big cities, inflation, drug addiction, abandoned business centers, crime waves, shootings, wildfires, floods, waves of refugees, children choosing to switch genders, even species……….
Pull it together, Democrats and Independents. You are at risk of losing your Democracy.