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How to heal the nation – without revolution

Posted By Barry Farber On 10/29/2013 @ 7:41 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments

A successful therapist can, after a talk, make you feel happier about everything, even though nothing has changed. Why don’t we have “political therapists” who, if successful, could make a lot of us feel better these days?

I can imagine myself on the obligatory couch, unloading my many angers at President Barack Obama for his many attacks on the America I grew up loving, and for his transmogrification of that America into a country of takers. A European joke told how a family instilled the values of their country into their young: “When someone gives, take. When someone takes, scream!” That country was Romania, not America.

We had welfare when I was a boy in North Carolina – we called it “home relief” – but we did not have police keeping an eye out for welfare cheats, because there was little or no abuse of that home relief. The notion of self-reliance, and the rejection of accepting public assistance except as an absolute last resort, was cork-screwed so tightly into our psyches that you could be sure any proclaimed or admitted need for assistance was genuine.

I’ve never heard of a “political therapist,” but I’ve done such a thorough job imagining the treatment that I feel better already. I imagine such a therapist asking me, “Do you feel a need to actually have President Obama ejected from the Oval Office, or would you settle for his being rendered powerless to pursue his agenda?” At that point I perk up and say, “Oh, Plan B would be just fine.”

“Well then,” he smiles, “you should be a happy American. Your dreams are getting closer with every newscast!” Now I’m beginning to look at it his way. We are, indeed, a fortunate people living in a fortunate country. We thought we were doing something historic and great electing Obama. And we were half right. We were doing something historic!

Other countries need and have needed regime change. And there are few bloodier chapters in history. Now it’s our turn. But, thank God, we don’t have a Nazi Germany or a warlord Japan to dislodge. We’re not facing a Syria-Egypt-Iran-Stalin Communist-Tito Communist or, worst of all, an Enver Hoxha Albanian Communist overlord. We don’t need a French Revolution or an American Revolution. Actually it’s relatively pleasant being an American unhappy with our government and hoping for change. We can read, write, talk, communicate, argue – activities that would get us shot without a trial in the real dictatorships of the world. If you’re an unhappy American, you don’t need a revolution, a Kronstadt Rebellion or even a Sofia Intrigue. All we need is an election like the ones coming in 2014 and 2016. To speak with certainty about the dates of our next elections is part of the political and emotional luxury of which I speak.

Millions of people have walked out of doctors’ offices depressed with diagnoses that it’s already too late. They ate too much, they smoked too long, they never exercised enough. Americans are different. We did so many things right!

All America needs for a “cure” is a victory at the polls in our regularly scheduled election of 2014. If our anti-Obama forces hold the House of Representatives (looks easy) and we win enough seats to take over the Senate (at this point, reasonable if not probable!), then America and I will be cured.

We are so close to fulfillment of our bloodless dream, the will of the people. I can hardly believe it! All we need is an honest vote-count after the breathtaking failure of the Obamacare rollout. We won’t get an honest vote. We don’t need one, only one as “honest” as the count in 2010 that handed the House over to the Republicans.

Do you realize how hysterically happy we should be that we can “vote” our way out of this? America is like the man suffering unbearable migraine headaches whose doctor, having tried everything, tells him his only hope is to undergo complete castration. Frantically, he darts around looking for other opinions. Alas, all agree, only castration has been known to bring relief in such cases.

At last he surrenders, has that unspeakably awful operation and, later, feeling he’s starting a new, headache-free phase of his life, goes shopping for a new wardrobe. The clerk in the men’s store greets him with a chipper hello and our gentleman says, “I’d like a suit, please. My size is …” “Your size is 42-Long,” says the clerk. “That’s right,” says our recovering patient. “And I’ll need a few shirts. My size is…” “That would obviously be 15 collar, 35 sleeve.” “Hey,” says our man. “You’re pretty good. And my shoes are …” “I know my business,” says the clerk. “Your shoes are 12D.” “Hey, Man, you’re truly great at this! And I’ll also need some briefs, and my size is …” “You wear size 38 briefs,” says the clerk.

“Aha, I got you there!” says our hero. “I wear size 34 briefs. I’ve worn that size for years. I ought to know what size briefs I wear!”

“Don’t you dare,” warned the clerk. “If you wear size 34 you’ll get migraine headaches!”


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