The left and the US: blaming the parent
There are certain themes I keep coming back to, and one has to do with the mindset of liberals and those on the left (different, but at times related). It may seem to be an obsession of sorts, but I don't think so--it's just something that I encounter a lot, both in my "real" life and in the comments section here.
Many aspects of this mindset continue to puzzle me--like the old Beatles lyric, I could say about the left and liberals, "I thought I knew you; what did I know."
So, in the constant and ever-evolving attempt to Understand Them (old habits die hard), I wanted to quote a note I received from Marc Danziger, Armed Liberal of Winds of Change, on the topic of why the left seems to act as though the US is the font of all evil:
I've thought for a while that this was a form (forgive me for stepping on your turf) of narcissism - they think that we (our culture, the West) are so powerful that we are, in effect, omnipotent. So of course we can get the bad guys without hurting them; of course we need rules to contain our strength. Because we're so strong that everything that happens anywhere in the world is a reflection of something we do or have done.
I'm sure all of this ties into things I--or Dr. Sanity, or Shrinkwrapped, or SC&A, all of us psychobloggers--have written before. I'm too lazy to search for the links right now, but I'm hoping you'll take my word for it.
What Armed Liberal says is correct, and at the risk of repeating myself I'd like to say it also reminds me of the relation of a child to parent. To the child, the parent is omnipotent, and perfection is demanded and easily achievable. Everything that goes wrong must be the parent's fault, that much is clear; otherwise, the world would become a much more frightening place.
Because the truth is that if the parent is not omnipotent, or can't ever become perfect, then the child is exposed to truly frightening dangers that he/she is unequipped to handle. So it's far better to preserve the myth of parental omnipotence and perfection, and to get angry at a parent who, after all, (at least ordinarily, in the absence of major pathology) loves the child and is not about to retaliate harshly against that child.
The child knows the parent is strong enough to absorb the blow, so it's safe to direct the blame and the anger where it won't be dangerous to do so (if the US were really as bad as extreme leftists say, they'd all be in jail or worse). It's a win-win situation for the child, who gets to "vent," and to feel that the world isn't such a dangerous place, knowing the parent will not strike back and harm the child.
I'm not saying leftists--or those liberals who join the "blame America first, often, loudly, and last" chorus--are children. They are not. But in their relationship to their own government they seem to be acting out a similar dynamic.