These are puzzling, irrational, and dangerous times. It is impossible to explain why our president continues to make decisions that harm people and put our country at risk of armed conflict. I do not believe that lack of intelligence, old age, or senility is the cause of our culture’s dysfunction.
I do believe that Joe Biden acts the way he does because he’s stuck with an enormous amount of undealt with grief. He has lost a spouse and children, the most catastrophic losses a person can sustain. This observation is in no way an excuse for political decisions that have done great harm to perfectly innocent people. It is simply to make the point that endless attacks on his character and theoretical attempts to diagnose his medical maladies are accomplishing nothing.
Grieving is a wholly emotional, illogical, and irrational process. There is no way to explain much of what people do, who have experienced significant loss, let alone, catastrophic personal loss. Trying not to drop into the hole of deep, gut-wrenching grief, magnifies its impact. The signs of undealt with grief are unmistakable: Decision-Making is paralyzed and non-sensical; impulse control is damaged, and bursts of anger and hostility shoot through one’s defenses; and the need for revenge (toward an anonymous evil-doer), creates fertile ground for scapegoating and unrelenting targeting.
This is where our president is at. Uninterrupted, he will self-destruct, further the polarization we are struggling with, and set back the gains our culture has made in building a truly values-based country. The only remedy, as far as things have gone, is impeachment. The downward slide that the president is on, can only end poorly for him. And our country desperately needs a reprieve from the hateful and venomous diatribe that dominate public discourse.
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