Well, today’s the last day of what has been a very surprising and very long campaign to elect a new leader for our country. We have seen the best and the worst of ourselves during the last two years. TWO YEARS?! It’s hard to believe.

Two things in particular that have been surprising to me: one, that the same country that chose George Bush and Dick Cheney as leaders for the last eight years seems poised to turn around and choose a totally transformational person in the form of Barack Obama; and two, that I have been so intense in my focus on this campaign, and so vehement in my drilling (pun intended) of John McCain and Sarah Palin and their followers.

Another very interesting aspect for me is that I have barely heard a word from my conservative friends in the last couple of months, no debates, no arguments, nary more than a few drops of criticism from my right-leaning associates. Nope. When the criticisms have come, in fact, they’ve been from my liberal-leaning friends and relatives. Yep. I’ve been chastised from the Democratic/liberal side of my relations, in most cases for what has been seen as my un-therapist-like attitude reflected in my writings.

Well, let me clarify with a story that is relevant to the situation.

Years ago, as I really landed in my niche as a psychotherapist, I discovered that I’d become an expert on the psychopathic character structure. I was one of a rare breed of therapists willing to work with psychopaths in therapy, let alone one whose approach didn’t include the use of medication. In fact, I was once invited to be the featured guest on a national radio show to speak about the school shootings at Scottsborough, Texas, and how to identify psychopathy in children.

An important revelation in my work with this very intractable character structure came one night in a dream. Here’s a shortened version:

Godzilla (yes the Japanese mega-monster we all know too well), broke into my home. When he saw me, the monster roared menacingly at me. Unruffled, I firmly whacked him on the snout. The chastened Godzilla stopped roaring, and bowed his head in surrender. I then took him by the “hand” (or claw, as it were), brought him into the kitchen and gave him some food.

That was it! When I woke up, I understood that my dream was a very simple outline for how to work with psychopaths. Firmly, with conviction, stop their maniacally ego-driven acting out, even if it means with a hard "slap," then offer nourishment for the heart, mind and soul.

This is the approach I have brought not only to my therapy practice, but to my writing as well when dealing with psychopaths. And make no mistake, those who have taken over the Republican Party, those referred to as “the base,” are full-blown psychopaths. (Read the chart at this link: http://fullpermissionliving.blogspot.com/2008/08/psychopathic-character-structure.html or watch the Movie, “STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN.” Ricardo Montleban plays a pure psychopath who destroys his ship, his crew and finally himself to defeat Captain Kirk. In Kahn’s final epithet, he says it all, quoting Captain Ahab of Moby Dick: “For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”) These political Godzilla’s on the right we've been dealing with are not only not moderates, they are not even “conservatives” (Which, in a moment of self-awareness, is why they renamed themselves "neo-conservatives.") That is why so many prominent conservative thinkers and politicians have denounced the McCain-Palin ticket and openly come out in support of Barack Obama.

So, with this election finally drawing to a conclusion tomorrow, I hope that the monsters inside of the distorted characters that have wreaked havoc on our national psyche and on the world at large for eight years have been sufficiently slapped down. If so, I plan to return to a kindler-gentler writing style and offer the nourishment of a lighter consciousness to those same people. If not, I am ready, willing and able to continue taming Godzilla. No apologies necessary.

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