The Cycle of Abuse or Why People Keep Voting Republican
This is why.
Starting from the top right:
- Real American
- Union Busting, Attacks on the Poor
- Slut Shaming and Demeaning Rape Victims
- Anti-Choice. You’re Killing Babies
- TERRORISTS! American Way of Life Is OVER! Brown People Are Coming Across The Border To Take Your Jobs
- Anti-Choice. I can make better decisions about your body and sexuality than you can.
- You can’t trust the media or anyone who disagrees with you.
The saddest thing of all: This insidious, repetitious wheel will break you so smoothly, there’s an excellent chance you won’t realize you’ve lost yourself. For some people it may take years… but it will break you.
This is what has happened to a large portion of the the American electorate over the past half century. Over and over again, election cycle after election cycle, the GOP abuses the electorate.
The quote above is from the linked website and I think it is largely correct but I will disagree with it in one tiny way. The saddest thing of all is not the insidious nature of the abuse. The saddest thing of all is the way in which we on the left blame the victim. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not pointing fingers. OK, I am but I’m acknowledging that I am just as guilty of the blaming. I take responsibility for my share of the bad behavior.
I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for six years and I’ll tell you the plain truth, I didn’t know I was being abused until I decided to leave. It was only then, through my need to obsessively research every fucking thing that I realized I had been in a relationship with a raging narcissist. My friends didn’t badger me. They didn’t tell me I was stupid for believing that I could build a better relationship. They were honest with me when I asked them or when things got so bad they couldn’t keep silent but they were also supportive. That’s why they are still my friends.
Right now we’re in the reconciliation/make-up period. This is the part where the Republicans talk about their behavior pretend that they didn’t really do much wrong. It wasn’t them. It was stress at work or home. Or maybe it’s you. If you would just get dinner to the table on time they wouldn’t have to teach you a lesson. Similarly, if you would just shut up and vote the way you’re told, they wouldn’t have to try to take away your voting rights. And they are sorry for the small things you might think they did wrong. They’ll never do it again, sweetheart. This time they promise. Maybe they even bring you flowers or a comprehensive immigration bill.
The thing about the this period and the period of clam that follows? They are actually the worst part of the entire cycle. Why? Because you know it’s going to end but you never know what is going to cause that end, nor how that end will come. Maybe it’s something you say, maybe something you wear. Maybe it’s a bill you pay without consulting your other half or it’s trying to avoid fiscal disaster by making rational decisions. No matter what it is, even if the cause is absolutely nothing, the fact remains that the tension will eventually start to ratchet up again.
The flowers will fade and you’ll eventually return to being the stupid, fat, lazy source of the problem again. Or, you know, you’ll go from being courted to being an illegal again. Or you’ll go from being an unfortunate victim to a whore who should be forced to carry her rapist’s baby.
Then the abuse will start again; mental, emotional or physical or, you know, lowering taxes and attacking the programs that help those most in need, or trying to remove rights and protections from your fellow citizens.
And you can’t make it stop, no matter how hard you try or how much work you put into it, it just won’t stop. Sometimes you have to just walk away, but it takes a while to do that.
As friends and fellow citizens, what they need is support and honesty. If we can’t offer them that, they have no hope of escaping the cycle of abuse.