"He lies. He lies, lies, lies. The man is a liar. He just is. But ninety-five percent of the time, he's a good president."

That was an actual clip from a discussion I heard on the subway recently between two "blue-collar voters," as they're now being euphemistically called in the press coverage analysing the Pennsylvania primary results yesterday. Those particular guys I overheard on the F Train were talking about G.W. Bush, of course, but they might as well have been talking about H.R. Clinton. Exit polls showed that 70% of the voting Democrats yesterday found Senator Clinton "untrustworthy," but nonetheless a good candidate. Yep. She actually garnered 55% of the vote. In an article in the NY Times decrying what the Clintons are doing to the Democratic Party, and effectively un-endorsing Slick Hilly, Adam Nagourney writes: "Mrs. Clinton showed again that she is a tenacious campaigner with an ability to connect with the blue-collar voters Mr. Obama has found elusive and who could be critical to a Democratic victory in November." (NY Times)

What does that mean? Or, more precisely, how could that be?

Well, as a therapist, I can tell you that I have heard countless stories of abuse, some subtle, some not so subtle, some horrific, endured by children at the hands of their parents. Yet, almost invariably, said offspring in their own adulthood will tell me what a fine childhood they had and how great their parents were. It's a common syndrome. Ask any therapist. Or ask anyone who has studied people in prison, POW's, hostages or children who've been kidnapped. It's known as the Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological response seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger in which the hostage has been placed. Stockholm syndrome also occurs in battered persons, rape cases, child abuse cases, bride kidnapping, etc. In psychological terms, it is also known as "identifying with the aggressor." In the schoolyard, it is like trying to align yourself with the bully, so you don't become the bully's next victim.

Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family in a blue-collar neighborhood, in one of the white, Catholic enclaves that have reportedly been going head over heels for Hillary.
It's brutal. The macho, mysogynist, homophobic, anti-intellectual, sado-masochistic mentality and the Lord of the Flies rights of passage leave you scarred. I put in nearly twenty long years of therapy and self-work as an adult, so I could break free to the point where I could live neither as a victim or a bully myself, and even slap a few bullies down now and again, if need be. Turns out bullies are always cowards, always living in that fragile house of cards of inflated ego and narcissism to cover up massive insecurity.
The Clintons are psychopaths, clinically speaking. As such, they know how to bully, how to exploit masochists, how to use the Stockholm Syndrome effectively. "You're either with us or against us, and you don't want to be against us." That's the approach they take, not unlike the abusive parents in the White House that the blue collar voters strongly supported for the last eight years. (W to the World: "You're either with us or with the terrorists.")

So, what's going to be? Well, I mainly keep thinking that we're just not ready yet. Not ready to break free, not ready to be treated like adults, which is how several commentators frequently refer to Barack Obama's approach to the electorate. Idiotic pundits like Joe Scarborough keep blaming Obama for not delivering the "knock-out punch" to Hillary, for giving her too much respect, even as she and Slick Willy throw mud in his face. Scarborough thinks this a sign of Obama's weakness. Well, what I know is this - after five years of attempted bullying, we're still dying and being humiliated in Iraq. Yet, without one act of violence, Ghandi forced the British to leave India, and Martin Luther King forced the U.S. government to pass civil rights legislation.

Hey, "Morning Joe," wake up and smell the coffee.

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