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Wed Feb 22, 2012, 04:28 PM

Republicans: A Profile Of The Classic Abuser

As a former victim of domestic violence, in another lifetime, I learned a lot about the abusive personality. When it was over, and I was out, I became a domestic violence hotline counselor. The classes I took to train me for this job taught me two things. One, that abusers aren’t psychotic but instead have character disorders. And two, the abusive behavior isn’t uncontrollable; it is a learned social behavior.

Enter stage left, the Republicans and their fringe faction that is really no longer fringe, the Teabaggers.

The behavior of the Republicans most recently around the debt ceiling debate, and just in general, reminds me vividly of the abusive personality that I engaged with daily, for years, until my divorce. No compromise was ever allowed, it was his way or his other way. He never talked about the many ways in which he was wrong, it was “look what you made me do.” In his mind, the only one whose behavior needed changing was mine. Any abusive behavior of his was justified because, in his warped thinking, I provoked him. He used bullying, fear tactics, threats and intimidation to get his way. In the end, although never abusive to them directly, he used my kids as pawns in his abusive game. He refused to share responsibility in any part of our relationship breakdown. I owned it, lock, stock and barrel.


My idea for political ads: depict Republicans as wife beaters and/or schoolyard bullies.

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Reply Republicans: A Profile Of The Classic Abuser (Original post)
meow2u3 Feb 2012 OP
niyad Feb 2012 #1
chervilant Feb 2012 #2
katty Feb 2012 #3
chervilant Feb 2012 #5
me b zola Feb 2012 #4

Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 12:04 PM

2. Spot on!

I have posted on DU and other blogs my contention that the Republicans (and their corporate overlords) are like classic batterers and the Democrats (not the ones who are sock puppets for the corporatists) are like classic conciliatory survivors of abuse, always trying to compromise.

And, here is another relevant post:

Patriarchy is the pervasive social construct defining gender relationships in virtually every culture on this planet. The measurable negative effects of patriarchy vary in degree only. We can ill afford to ignore the damaging effects of patriarchy, nor should we 'rank' cultures on the basis of how blatantly their 'version' of patriarchy oppresses their citizenry, especially their women and children.

After more than thirty years of advocacy for survivors of relationship violence (predominantly women and children), I have gained a deep appreciation for the pain and distress commensurate with 'power over' (eg, patriarchy). Patriarchy unflinchingly assigns the vast majority of 'power over' to men. This is a deep wound to our species, for both those who are powerless AND for those who must expend significant energy securing and maintaining their 'power over.'

Patriarchy--indeed, all hierarchy--is a wound of a thousand cuts. Most of us are so accustomed to this social construct, we cannot see how much it damages our species--unless the 'traditions' shaped by a given culture's patriarchy are abhorrent enough to elicit condemnation (as seems to be the case here). Furthermore, we are so accustomed to patriarchy as our social framework, few of us can imagine that there might be a better way. Indeed, most historic efforts to address patriarchy (Feminism, Humanism, Egalitarianism) have been met with derision, or marginalized. AND, those who believe that they benefit the MOST from patriarchy--those who have garnered the most POWER OVER--are working the HARDEST to protect it.

Actually, too many members of this website routinely indulge in misogyny and sexism (both patriarchal paradigms). I feel personally violated every time I see a man post such disgusting observations as, "I'd do her!" or "She's hot, until she opens her mouth..." (that one was in reference to Michelle Malkin). Recently, someone here posted an OP featuring unflattering pictures of Republican women--fair game, I guess, since they're 'Republicans.' I have to remind myself that these poor unfortunates are simply manifesting the damages THEY have sustained in our patriarchal culture.

Perhaps our species is finally recognizing that 'power over' is NOT the same as personal power. Power over is destructive; personal power is constructive. Power over is stultifying; personal power is liberating. Perhaps, if we can acknowledge that patriarchy is destructive and stultifying, we can work toward eliminating patriarchy totally and completely.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:14 PM

3. K&R - they are the 'classic' abusers...Dems too often accept 'the abused' role

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Response to katty (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:37 PM

5. hmm...

An essential element of the relentless success of abusers is our willingness to blame the abused, especially by suggesting that they "accept" the abused role. It is past time to change that. Abusers and bullies are solely responsible for their heinous behavior, and we should be clear about our collective intent to shine the light of truth on them.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:25 PM

4. So much of this article was spot on

...but I disagree with the author's conclusion on how to fight back.

The author states that to fight back we must vote for any democrat to get rid of the abusive republicans, but we have seen that time after time that many of the democrats are enablers.

As a survivor of dv I say it is better to vote out all of those involved in the power/control wheel, both the perpetrators and the enabllers. For instance, when we have fought against the abusive policies and behavior of the republicans, there have been far too many democrats willing to minimize and/or deny what the republicans are doing.

The first step in escaping an abusive relationship is to realize that your life has meaning and worth, and that you deserve to be treated respectfully. Same goes for my vote.

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