Wednesday :: Jun 30, 2010

America in PTSD? No.

by paradox

With consumer confidence numbers ruthlessly yanking the stock markets yesterday fresh in the public consciousness an extremely good column published Monday by James Carroll (Boston Globe) deserves serious scrutiny (h/t cab drollery). No American feels like buying a car or views the future through a sunny prism, but has the nation been so whiplashed by wars and great recession that its populace actually displays identifiable characteristics of post traumatic stress syndrome?

A very good and interesting question, one certainly worth avoiding for three days, for those willing to look at the results—if not traumatic—will certainly end up depressed to one degree or another, perhaps violating Party duty in the process, is it really worth it? Furthermore, although I may possess the skills to discuss basic psychology cogently it’s laughable to presume I’m good or skilled at it or with any personal history worth emulating. So obvious to anyone who has read or knows me but a little, so regrettably necessary to publicly state again, shit.

At any rate, is Mr. Carroll correct? No. In clumsy layman’s term PTSD is the phenomena of being unable to stop re-living traumatic events, or an event, in searing memory burns of varying intensity. The traumatic era is always in the back of your mind, and out of nowhere slamming memory cascades re-live horrible events that can break a sweat and make your heart thump in seconds. In the realm of human psychology issues this is basely not that bad, but if a PTSD patient can’t sleep really serious problems immediately crowd in without help.

Is America in that place? Obviously not, it would be as if the networks replayed 9/11 footage for three days every 11th day of the month. Mr. Carroll’s psychiatrist quotes of “a hostile or mistrustful attitude toward the world; social withdrawal; feelings of emptiness…” are manifestations of the base PTSD issue, not PTSD itself.

But still, the premise of the question is so good it must be restated again: if a country gets put through a stolen election, 9/11, two ongoing wars and a great recession who in their right mind would ever expect productive outputs or a sunny outlook from its people? One expects the middle class to be the great happy splurging economic engine of the United States with no jobs, no healthcare and no trains? Have you been sniffing glue?

Of course this is the utmost importance to us, Democrats, besides the imperative moral and duty obligations to get out of wars so Americans be happy with jobs if that in fact doesn’t happen relatively soon our leadership will get their asses thrown out of office and those lunatic Republican will soon ruin us all. By Darwin’s blood we have to do better.

If I may be so bold—truly—one irrevocable economic and political fact circa summer 2010 crushing consumer confidence is that when unholy panic crunch time came the big Wall Street boys got bailed out while the little people got crumbs with a 10% unemployment rate. Not only that, it was done behind our back with the Fed, to this day that horrible knifing joke of TARP is brought up for funds that were never spent.

We have to fix that. Average Americans have a very good sense of how powerful interests have screwed the little people through our history, but after such a blatant rescue to arrogant sneering fuckups with 10% unemployment the little people have to see they’re important too. Now, this summer, it’s plain fact that if Congress does not come through with unemployment extensions and Medicaid help to the States Democrats should expect horrific results this Fall, a Party simply cannot possess base politics like that and expect anything else.

Perhaps we have until the end of July. The President can’t put a full court 100% press on Congress every day? Of course not. Just as irrevocably, passing unemployment extensions and Medicaid is one of those times, we’re in such deep shit if the White House doesn’t get in acceptance mode about this here.

The little people also need fierce public pushback by elected Democratic officials—not just bloggers and good citizens—on these lunatic Teabagger Republicans fouling our public political discourse every day with politically psychotic babblings that would make us brothers with Ethiopia if they somehow got in power again. The Republicans and Fox News have gone full freaking throttle over the cliff, the country is lucky not to be in PTSD just from listening to them!

No, the little people aren’t that ill, but we are down. If the States and the unemployed don’t get help in July American psychology can get a lot worse than this, oh yes, to the immense economic and political detriment to us all.

paradox :: 7:56 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!