Monday, April 25 2005
THERAPY IS THE BEST WAY - PART I:
Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel are co-authors of a new book titled One Nation Under Therapy which explores how the burgeoning trauma and therapy industry is eroding the ethic of self-reliance in America. I'm sure being the subject of George Will's column last Sunday was nice, but Sommers and Satel couldn't have asked for a better piece of publicity than this comical profile of a new support group for burnt-out left-wing activists in Los Angeles:

Championing a particular cause or course of action often can be a lonely crusade, but these are particularly tough times for liberal activists.

Red-state dominance in the last election, the war in Iraq, changes in environmental policy and the possibility of a more conservative Supreme Court have left many local activists feeling as blue as the state they live in.

What they need, one longtime activist recently decided, is some therapy — a good old-fashioned support group tailored for the liberal activist in need of emotional rejuvenation.

Jerry Rubin, the "L.A. peacenik" who founded the group, said it was needed to help liberals "develop healthy coping skills."

This is eerily reminiscent of stories of Democrats who were "emotionally paralyzed, shocked and devastated” by George W. Bush's win in November. The condition was dubbed post-election selection trauma (PEST) by "trauma specialist" Douglas Schooler and treated with - if you can believe this - "intense hypnotherapy."

Days later, after Rush Limbaugh had mockingly offered to provide despondent Democrats with free therapy on his radio show, Schooler responded by displaying the exact mentality Sommers and Satel indict in their book:

“He [Rush Limbaugh] is not only minimizing PEST, but he’s bastardizing the entire psychological field and our clinical expertise.

Many people have serious emotional pain over this election and it’s unhealthy to stuff it down inside of you. Therapy is the best way.”

Needless to say, many people disagree with the notion that "therapy is the best way." Many people also don't believe we should be creating new subcategories of trauma to deal with emotions created by something as banal as an election. Neal Boortz explained this view with characteristic bluntness:

These people are weak. They're emotional cripples. They can't cope with life without the help and support of their grand caretaker government. They can't even cope with an election loss. They sit there with blank expressions, mouths hanging open like a brook trout, staring off into the distance. These are not the people that you could depend on when the chips are down. They're a pathetic indication of things to come, of the "grief counseling" culture that permeates our society today. There's a fight at the local government school? Rush in the grief counselors. Someone accidentally sets off a fire alarm? Grief counselors. Too many red lights on the way to your canasta game? Grief Counselors.

Talk to other libertarians and conservatives and you'll find the same visceral reaction to the ever-expanding, touchy-feely world of therapy: they will have none of it. There are plenty of explanations for why this is, but I'm only interested in the subject as it relates to politics.

I'm out of time for today, so further discussion will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, however, if you have observations on the subject you can send them to through to me here. - T. Bevan 9:45 am Link | Email | Send to a Friend

© 2000-2005 RealClearPolitics.com   All Rights Reserved

RCP Blogroll
Larry Kudlow
Matthew Yglesias
Mickey Kaus
Belgravia Dispatch
Mudville Gazette
Blackfive MyDD
Brad DeLong Mystery Pollster
Charles Johnson
Patrick Ruffini
David Limbaugh
Donkey Rising
Ed Morrissey Radioblogger
Froggy Ruminations Red State
Galley Slaves Right Wing News
GOP Bloggers
Indc Journal TKS
Jim Miller
Josh Marshall
Juan Cole Wizbang
Kevin Drum
 

Archives - 2005
3/14-21 | 3/7-13 | 2/28-3/6 | 2/21-27 | 2/14-20 | 2/7-13 | 1/31-2/6 | 1/24-30 | 1/17-23 | 1/10-16 | 1/3-1/9

Archives - 2004
12/27-1/2 | 12/20-26 | 12/13-12/19 | 12/6-12/12 | 11/29-12/5 | 11/22-28 | 11/15-21 | 11/8-14 | 11/1-7 | 10/25-31 | 10/18-24 | 10/11-17 | 10/4-10 | 9/27-10/3 | 9/20-26 | 9/13-19 | 9/6-12 | 8/30-9/5 | 8/23-27 | 8/16-22 | 8/9-15 | 8/2-8 | 7/26-8/1 | 7/19-7/25 | 7/12-18 | 7/5-11 | 6/28-7/4 | 6/21-6/27 | 6/14-20 | 6/7-13 | 5/31-6/6 | 5/24-30 | 5/17-23 | 5/10-16 | 5/3-5/9 | 4/26-5/2 | 4/19-25 | 4/12-18 | 4/5-11 | 3/29-4/4 | 3/22-28 | 3/15-21 | 3/8-14 | 3/1-7 | 2/23-27 | 2/16-22 | 2/9-15 | 2/2-2/8 | 1/26-2/1 | 1/19-25 | 1/12-18 | 1/5-11 | 12/29/03-1/4/04

Archives - 2003
12/22-28 | 12/15-21 | 12/8-14 | 12/1-7 | 11/24-11/30 | 11/17-11/23 | 11/10-11/16 | 11/3-11/9 | 10/27-11/2 | 10/20-26 | 10/13-19 | 10/6-10/12 | 9/29-10/5 | 9/22-28 | 9/15-9/21 | 9/8-9/14 | 9/1-9/7 | 8/25-8/31 | 8/17-8/24 | 8/11-8/16 | 8/4-8/10 | 7/28-8/3 | 7/21-7/27 | 7/14-7/20 | 7/7-7/13 | 6/30-7/6 | 6/23-6/29 | 6/16-6/22 | 6/9-6/15 | 6/2-6/8 | 5/26-6/1 | 5/19-5/25 | 5/12-5/18 | 5/5-5/11 | 4/28-5/4 | 4/21-4/27 | 4/14-4/20 | 4/7-4/13 | 3/31-4/6 | 3/24 - 3/30 | 3/10 - 3/17 | 3/3-3/9 | 2/24-3/2 | 2/17-2/23 |
2/10-2/16 | 2/3- 2/9 | 1/27 - 2/2 | 1/20 -1/26 | 1/13-1/19 | 1/6-1/12 | 12/31/02-1/5/03

Archives - 2002
12/23-12/29 | 12/16-12/22 | 12/9-12/15 | 12/2-12/8 | 11/25-12/1 | 11/18-11/24 | 11/11-11/17 | 11/4-11/10 | 10/28-11/3 | 10/21-10/27 | 10/14 -10/20 | 10/7-10/13 | 9/30-10/6 | 9/23 -9/29 | 9/16-9/22