Sunday, June 24, 2012

Depression sets in...

Depression--as an actual mental disorder--is nothing to joke about. People afflicted with it face severe challenges in their day to day lives. Yet, the term is often tossed about freely, suggesting the actual and severe disorder, while being nothing of the sort. Remember the aftermath of the 2004 Election, when it became clear that Kerry had lost, that Bush had won a second term? Quite a few stories about "post-election depression" appeared in the media. And to be fair, the theme was repeated in 2008, though I can't recall specific complaints about it then, unlike in 2004.

In fact, the idea was kind of a running joke in some circles in 2004, that Kerry's loss had created profound psychological problems among some of his supporters, so severe that they were forced to seek treatment. And this was due--in a large part--to the selling of the election by pundits on the left as a critical moment in U.S. history. Bush had to be defeated, it was paramount, the nation could not survive another four years under his leadership. Remember?

Of course, this was on the heels of the 2000 Election, during which a number of celebrities and the like promised to leave the country if Bush became President. In 2004, many reiterated the promise, if Bush was somehow reelected. Near as I can tell, they're all still here.

Now, with the 2012 Election looming, there's growing angst in punditry land, as the possibility of an Obama defeat--which seemed so unlikely just six months ago--must be faced. Judith Warner begins prepping for a potential cycle of post-election depression at the end of the year:
When the fantasy that the election of Barack Obama would recreate America ran aground, the rush to blame the president for having somehow bungled the job was immediate and fierce. He wasn’t hopeful enough, passionate enough, true enough to the superhuman capacity to create a desirable, indeed, likeable “us” that had been so readily projected onto him. In the campaign, he held up a mirror to our better selves; in office, he showed us who we really were. He gave us notice. “Gathering clouds and raging storms,” were in store for the near future, he warned, right in his inauguration speech, and though it was easy to point overseas or to Wall Street for the causes of that sense of impending doom, the fact was, and no one was better positioned than Obama to know it, the most corrosive problems of his presidency would come from the people’s representatives who worked in the huge white cake of a building right behind him.
Get it? The promise that was Barack Obama, the hope that his Presidency brought to us all, was dashed on the rocks, not by anything the President did or didn't do, not even by events beyond his control, but by those bastards in Congress (Republican bastards, to be clear). 

Nevermind the first portion of Obama's Presidency, when he enjoyed full control of Congress and was able to pass whatever legislation he desired. Nevermind Obamacare, which was heralded as a great triumph. Nevermind the actual consequences of his polices, which have seen no relief in employment and economic growth. None of that matters. All that matters is the people who got in the way of a cult of personality-inspired fantasy championed still by the mainstream media: Obama as Savior.

And if Obama loses in 2012, the loss will mourned by people like Warner as somehow reflective of a missed opportunity of sorts, as if the need for a figurehead to worship was more important than fixing the nation's economy and returning us to some level of prosperity.

Because that's the truth of it, right there. Liberals and progressives like Warner are all too happy to have a weak economy, to have high unemployment, as long as they can feel good about the guy in the White House, can still pat themselves on the back for their support of such a "visionary" leader. Their politics feed their egos, are a product of a deep-seated narcissism wherein others only exist as a canvas on which to paint and compose their dreams and self-congratulatory programs for social justice.

When such a world-view comes face to face with disappointment, depression is a forgone conclusion. Will 2012 be the Year of the Shrink?

Cheers, all.

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