Because I had just recently removed myself from the D.C. fast track; or the swamp as it is being called today. Because I still had friends in key places in Washington who were deeply connected to the center of Washington society and politics, including Watergate.
Because the Watergate break-in had occurred and Richard Nixon was being investigated by the Watergate Commission as he appeared culpable. Because the hearings were being televised and people, including me were drawn to watching. Because I was a captive audience lying in a hospital bed waiting for a cornea transplant and had nothing to do other than watch these trials. And, because I saw people around me seeming to believe Richard Nixon while my unsophisticated gut told me not to.
This is why I took on my very first super sleuthing adventure. Because I was in my first year of clinical training as a Transactional Analyst, I could analyze the transactions going on in this drama with my newly developing analytical skills. It was an intriguing exercise for a budding clinician.
I needed to know how the president of the United States of America could lie to the American people – and -- how so many of his constituents could seem to believe him.
(Many decades later I would discover that this pass timing activity of mine had much deeper roots in my own personal history. But that came later.)
So I dug in and I dug in further and further until I developed a passion for searching out truth and developed a great deal of understanding and expertise in handling these issues --
- How the president of the United States of America can lie to the American people;
- How so many of his constituents can seem to believe him;
- What to do when the Dark Side of society and politics gets really bad, beyond the Pale.
I want you to tell me back your stories of Dark Side encounters and how you may have transcended or transformed them to a higher good. We absolutely must do this kind of coming together. Storytelling is one of the best ways possible to pass forward the wisdom of the ages on such things!
Let us join together, now, in telling our stories!
When I saw Alec Baldwin last Saturday, again impersonating Donald Trump – and – his play-acting devotees on Saturday Night Live, depicting believers of what many of us see as the dangerous manipulations of innocent people by Trump and team, my heart hurt and my gut wrenched. The faces of those actors called up memories for me of the disbelief and confusion people felt when Nixon’s behavior negated the esteem and trust people had placed in him. I felt sick.
Today, this anguish comes out of me in the form of my wanting to urge you to use me now!
More than ever, after my forty plus years of building my life’s work and my life’s passion for sorting out the ills of Watergate -- and -- doing my best to deter their being repeated, I have discovered how to move past such transgressions, or at least cope with them.
Whether these ills have to do with the Dark Side of politics, corporate manipulations, street violence, domestic violence or child abuse, let us to talk to one another and learn from one another, NOW!
Right now, coping may be the best we can do. That and activism. Other than these there seems little else to do these days to set things right in our nation.
So please do use me! I am one of your national treasures. Perhaps we are all that for one another.
You might be asking “What the hell is going on here?” and “What are we supposed to do with this?”
I don’t have all the answers. But I do have quite a few where these particular questions are concerned.
At the top of my list of answers is that we must hang together, now, more than ever to pull ourselves together as one nation, looking out each for each other.
Storytelling can get us started!
With love for humanity in all its frailty,