Mental Health and Elected Officials* in Washington, DC: A Nation in Behavioral CRISIS (*mostly Senator Lindsey Graham)
I. PAST BECOMES...
The United States of America has unfortunately, been on an emotional rollercoaster/ merry-go-round since then- POTUS- CANDIDATE Donald John Trump descended on his shiny gold-veneer(?) escalator to throw our Southern Cousins in Mexico "under the bus" back in 2015. The Legislature at the US CAPITOL has been chronically dysfunctional since Trump's inaugural.
Sadly, in my opinion, COVID19 denial which began in November 2019 exacerbated undiagnosed mental health issues dating back to Harry S. Truman ordering the nuclear vaporization and long-term radiation poisoning of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan to end WWII. This was a significant milestone as it was the first time human beings demonstrated they could potentially destroy all human life on planet Earth.
Well, to be brutally honest, human settlers' needs for mental health/ behavioral supports was consistently documented throughout the Shakespeare plays: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Henry VIII, Richard III, etc. Henry VII was a sociopathic serial killer. Prince Andrew is actually an improvement to the gene pool. Crazy, right? Yet true.
21st Century philosophers from the BIPOC community have begun to wonder out loud what horrors/ persecutions, etc. the immigrants who went aground/ landed on Plymouth Rock were fleeing. Why were the US colony of Georgia and the Island nation of Australia two of the first planned-penal colonies? What are the implications of generational wealth accumulated BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY in these colonies?
Everything in the New World was ALWAYS TRANSACTIONAL. Compassion, consensus building, and collaboration may all have been fairly nascent concepts to the 1776 US CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. Conversely, given the through and efficient slaughter and forced migration of the Indigenous Tribes of North America, agrarian communal first nations cultures had collaboration, consensus building and compassion at their centers.
III. OUR NEW NORMAL WAS NEVER REALLY NORMAL
Senator Graham continues to decompensate on Day 3 of SCOTUS Nominee Confirmation Hearings
Note well, this meltdown is seven minutes and thirty seconds.
It immediately becomes all about the Senator from Seneca, South Carolina and his resentment(?), anger(?), frustration(?) apparently over not being able to accuse Judge Katanji Brown of being a sex offender when she was in high school. ( I wish I was making this up!) Then, the Committee Chair, Richard Durbin, tries to spin his colleague's meltdown as a question he wants the nominee to "answer finally, once and for all!" Finally, Nominee Judge Brown valiantly answers a question-- but Graham really just wants 100% of the attention and...in a cruel and macabre twist, sympathy from the captive hearing room audience!
Coaching pro tips:
1.)Stop the hearing when emotions among Senators begin to battle for control/ attention.
2.) Clear the hearing room to allow for Oxygen/ vanilla bean / lavender infusion.
3.) Assign each Senator and Congressperson and "witness" a Behavioral Interventionist - no exceptions.
4.) Make calm and civil discourse the behavioral norm.
5.) Define undesireable behaviors and instruct all what will happen EVERY TIME THEY OCCUR , along with
6.) immediate salary docking one week's pay for every outburst
7.) Define acceptable behaviors
Well, "THEY!" have, years ago, lost their minds. Is this what happens to South Carolinian white heterodox males who stuffed down all their animus toward LBJ, The Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, and Public Education in racially integrated settings. Methinks Hawley, Graham, and Kennedy amongst others protest too much against a Judge whose record shows a jurist who did the best she could, specifically with sentencing guidelines the whining Senators needed to have tightened up years ago. What has our nation lost because potentially 71 million people were never diagnosed and treated? The psychiatry, LMFT, and LCSW communities surely knew what would happen when all that pent up hurt, anger, resentment, etc. was released during a deadly global pandemic??? It's really past time to somehow get them the help they so desperately are crying out for.
Yes, USA, Sen. Graham really wanted ( needed?) an ABA Behavioral Interventionist to follow him as he stormed out of the hearing. Staff need training to immediately clear a path and call the US Capitol police to meet Senators, US Congresspersons and any adults having meltdowns-- for the safety of others mostly- and serve as a buffer/ shield for Graham in this case to keep him from getting into conflict before he had a chance to calm down.
ON the plus side, guilt, shame and embarrassment do not seem on display. In the long run, extinguishing unwanted behaviors may be easier without these feelings. Perhaps Build Back Better may yet get funded at the 10 trillion orginally proposed. It's too early really to imagine what a drama- controlled Legislative Branch may ACHIEVE before July 4 celebrations..
As usual, TIME ALONE WILL TELL!
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