Father Like Son
By Jack Francis
Generally, it is a father's duty to give time to his son,
if he has it to give. Most fathers hope the investment in
time pays off; for the son, that is. Father hopes that Son
grows into a capable, understanding father himself someday.
He allows his son a separate identity, christening his namesake
appropriately. He hopes to be proud of his son's accomplishments.
He acts for the son out of love, requiring no guarantee of
future payoffs for himself. He allows his son to become his
own man, free of any obligations or guilt-driven indebtedness
to his father.
In contrast, a son burdened with the responsibility of ensuring
his father's needs grows up obsessed with seeking father's
approval. The father dominates by strict rule; he impregnates
the son with irrational fear, then "rescues" him and keeps
him safe. The Son subjugates his own desires to the will of
his father. He harbors silent resentments, acting out his
frustration in unexplainable bursts of anger and fits of self-destructiveness.
He views the world and its inhabitants in black and white
vision, right and wrong action, good and evil incarnate.
Unable to make sense of his powerlessness, he resigns himself
to satisfying his father's life goals as if they were his
own. He stashes his own truth of himself in a dark, safe place
and assumes the worst traits of father. The pain of not being
allowed to be himself manifests in extreme thoughts and actions.
Like a post-traumatic victim, the son has been psychologically
abused and is helplessly fearful. He is intolerant of others'
individual rights because his father violated his own individuality.
Father refused to acknowledge Son as a distinct individual
separate from himself. And he has created a monster.
In revenge, Son unconsciously channels his father's traits
in public to expose him for what he has done-which is deny
him his own identity. Son wishes to be saved from himself,
but he frightens people who may be able to intervene. They
are afraid of him and try to stay on his "good side". They
are warned never to "cross" Son by doing something he doesn't
like. Because he never forgets. And he lives for the payback.
The slightest expression of individual will that might differ
from his own is not acceptable. And he punishes mercilessly.
Having been suppressed for so many years without an outlet
has only intensified the hatred seething inside of Son. Son
commits vile acts upon himself and others in a passive-aggressive
manner to avenge the nature of his abuse. He tries in vain
to exorcise his father-demon. But its presence is overpowering.
And it controls him. The Son not only lives under his fathers'
shadow; the shadow unilaterally sets up permanent occupation
within the Son.
Intolerant of criticism, Son surrounds himself with "Yes"
men. He wants people to tell him what he wants to hear. He
appears confident when he makes up his mind. But he never
really has to decide anything for himself. His father, or
one of many hired cronies, does the actual deciding.
. . . . .
When George W. Bush was overseeing the campaign staff of
Bush Sr.'s run for president, he was referred to as "the hatchet
He ruled by fear. Any sign of disloyalty resulted in Jr. taking
unpleasant action upon the perp. It was an assignment Sr.
foisted on his son with just a little resistance from Jr.,
a newly married young man trying to run Harkin Oil in Houston.
But Jr relished the ruthless control over others. The headiness
of raw power intoxicated him.
Bush Sr. was straddled with the "wimp" factor. So he
elicited Jr.'s aid. And Bush Jr. tapped into his reserve of
anger and took it out with low blows to the opposition.
Earlier, Bush Jr. fell in love with a co-ed whose step-father
was Jewish (2).
He wanted to marry her, but it was not allowed by a politically
astute Bush Sr. So he went on a drinking binge at Yale. And
became a secret member of the Skull and Bones society (as
was Bush Sr. before him) where he found comfort in bizarre
Bush Sr. made numerous attempts to form an oil venture with
Saddam Hussein in Iraq through his powerful friends. He gave
weapons and large sums of money to Saddam to fight Iran. But
hope was dashed when Saddam finally ended up dismissing the
lucrative (for Bush) arrangement.
Then the opportunity of a lifetime appeared for Bush Sr
when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. He could use the nation's
military resources to wage war on Saddam. Then there would
be oil, the stuff that made Sr. wealthy in Texas. But Saddam
again refused to make a deal. So sanctions were implemented
against Iraq, resulting in half a million civilian deaths
over ten years. Too bad.
Bush Jr. harbored resentment for his father's detractors.
Someday, I'll exact revenge, thought Jr. to himself. And his
father enlisted his aid again, along with the entire Bush
family and all their powerful, rich acquaintances, and made
Jr. run for political office. They made it easy for him, and
soon he bought and stole the Presidency. Now it was payback
Time to wreak ruin on everyone who ever uttered a discordant
sentence on the Bush dynasty. Saddam would get his and Jr.
would get the gushers that eluded him in Texas. He would be
able to repay all his debts to cronies who baled him out of
financial trouble during his "irresponsible" years. He would
ensure evil was rid of and any competition for world supremacy
was eliminated. He would incite fear in a populace, and then
offer to protect them if they only did everything he wanted.
He would destroy a free democratic nation; but in doing so
he would meet his father's goals. Some things are expendable.
Unavoidable destruction and loss of others lives are merely
Jr. can live with all this because it is not really "him"
doing it. It is his father. So in his mind, he is absolved.
After all, the Bushes are above the law of mere mortal citizens.
The masses exist for the sole purpose of providing them and
their select club with massive wealth. The two are symbiotic
as are the Father and Son.
And so Jr. has vindicated himself. And he feels like a free
1,2 Fortunate Son, J.H. HATFIELD, Soft Skull Press, Jan 2000