Sunday, October 28, 2007

Polemic by Edwin L. Young

Speculations about the Bush Personality and the Structure of His Presidency
By Edwin L. Young, PhD

A Vital Distinction Regarding the Way Bush Executes His Role as President

Yesterday I got a funny feeling that seeming stupidity and elitism are not accurate characterizations of Bush’s personality nor explanations of his pugnacious behavior.

I suspect that Bush has deep hatred and fear toward people who are not close to him nor loyal and devoted to him. He has a winning way (the cheerleader factor) and projects sincerity and innocence to those outsiders. Those are the main features of his public persona. He has a fear of and aversions toward the stranger, his opposition, and even the poor and disadvantaged, yet these groups evoke his sincere, well-wishing public persona. His fear includes hatred but the hatred is secretly expressed by finding ways to seemingly, ‘legitimately’ sabotage those he hates.

At the same time he overplays winning over those who are perceived as like him and whom he thinks will support and protect him. For them, no concession he can get away with is too big, especially if they are powerful and/or wealthy. He loves to make his loyal followers have to lie for him. If they are powerful and/or wealthy, he will find ways to bait and provoke them so he can get those who are loyal to him to ruthlessly attack those he disrespects, hates, and fears.

He loves provoking and taunting in general. He loves thinking he can hoodwink his opposition so much that he does not even mind if he stumbles and looks dumb while doing so. Knowing he can do so with impunity is a delight.

Being on TV and seeming to be befuddled does not bother him. He may even look forward to those occasions. Consequently, he welcomes constant exposure on the media. He loves manufacturing fake audiences and has them prostitute themselves for him.

I am engaging in considerable speculation about his private personhood here.

Oddly, making big, outlandish claims before his public almost erotically arouses him. He is like a child snickering inside when he successfully misleads his peers or parents.

In his private person, he loves inflicting severe pain and damage on the vulnerable and making it seem like it he did it for reasonable and the best of intentions. His whole life is a game. Putting on, pretending, and making his act seem sincere, and at the same time getting away with it delights him. He loves pushing the opposition to their limit and making it seem like they are the ones who are the bully. He loves having them seem to be impotent and unable to get any real revenge. Having his loyal followers clean up his mess for him is also one of his big delights.

He prostitutes himself to the powerful and rich but does so only to have them eventually feel like they prostituted themselves to him.

He has such hate and such profound duplicity that even pushing the British Prime Minister, and even the world, to the brink to disaster and knowing he can get away with it is the biggest high of all for him.

Holding the office of the US presidency, a position which is the ultimate authority in the world, he treats it as though it has, in one sense, a very minimal structure, not with standing facts to the contrary. In this fantasy presidency, he can play out the drama of his early relations with his parents, especially his father. I would suspect that, for Bush, living ‘the big lie’ before the whole world is his biggest thrill of all. I suspect this is also a hidden element in his relationship with his wife. I also suspect that seeing the despair and agony that his father is going through because of him is almost an erotic pleasure for him.

Historians, when they finally figure him out and see his personality in relation to the record of his presidency, will record him as being one of the most devious and twisted leaders ever.

He is like a ‘closet’ Kim Jong-Il, leader of North Korea.

Author bio:

Edwin Young is working on a book tentatively called, "Can There Be a Paradigm Shift in Psychotherapy?" Links to some of his essays can be found at The Natural Systems Institute.

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