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Christian Counseling - The State of the Union

Tonight is the State of the Union. We can likely expect the same generalities and largely empty promises. However, I am hoping to hear some evidence of self and other awareness. Many politicians have at the least narcissistic tendencies if not a diagnosable personality disorder. Narcissism among politicians is almost a pre-requisite, but it is certainly an occupational hazard. Jimmy Carter, whether you liked his policies or not, is seemingly a very devout Christian. When asked if he had a large ego, he responded that anyone who seeks to become the leader of the free world by definition has an enormous ego.

So, in our society, a servant leader is difficult to come by. Even if a politician is not a servant leader, we can expect that, while they are going to act in their self-interest, they do not only act in their self-interest. We would hope that they would consider the needs and desires of the people. Recently, President Obama stated that the same anger that brought him to office is the same anger that brought Scott Brown to office in Massachusetts. Let me get this straight… the anger with George Bush (a Republican) that brought the election of President Obama is the same anger that brought Scott Brown to office (also a Republican). Does this make sense to anyone? Others in the Obama administration have stated the same theory which essentially is saying that the Brown election acts as some sort of mandate for President Obama and his policies.

President Obama’s theory left me with one of two possible conclusions. The first is that President Obama is delusional and actually believes what he said. If this is the case, he lacks the self awareness and reflection necessary to make necessary personal and policy changes. The second is that he knows why Scott Brown was elected, and he is lying to us as a people. This reflects a lack of awareness of the other, in this case the other being the American people. To believe that people lack the necessary intelligence to see through this theory crosses the border of insulting. Which one is worse?

Even Bill Clinton, in the face of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994, changed his tone and worked with the new Republican Congress to pass significant legislation. I’m not saying that Bill Clinton did not have narcissistic tendencies. However, he was at least a pragmatist, and saw that it was in his self-interest to moderate his views in order to get re-elected.

So, while others may be listening for policy statements, I will be listening for personal statements. If President Obama can exhibit self and other awareness, I would have hope for his administration and the change that he promised. If not, I will be waiting for 2012 (as long as the movie of the same title is not correct). Right now, however, I have the same feeling about the Obama administration that I had about the movie Avatar. I feel like I have seen both before. I liked the less sleek version of Avatar better when it was called Dances with Wolves. To me, the Obama administration is just a sleeker version of the Carter administration. If he does not change, those of you who are not happy with the direction the country is going can hopefully take some solace in what my brother is fond of saying. “The country has survived many terrible presidents. We can survive President Obama.”

Next time, I will step down from my political soap box to discuss how you can do a yearly state of YOUR union (your marriage).

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Anonymous wrote:
Outstanding! Well thought out and very intuitive, especially when seeing the president do exactly as Dr. Matt predicted.

01/28/2010 @ 9:28 PM

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