A mental or psychiatric disorder is a psychological pattern reflected in behavior that is generally not considered part of normal development. Generally, mental illness is defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives, and can be associated with particular functions of the brain that causes the sufferer to be hostile to or disruptive of the established social order and engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores. The danger is that the mentally afflicted believe their condition, regardless how severe, is normal and that anyone who disagrees with them is their mortal enemy including their allies; such is the current iteration of the Republican Party.
It is reasonable to assume that racism, extremist religion, and disbelief in reality are manifestations of Republican psychiatric disorders and they are particularly rampant in the extremist tea party wing. It is generally agreed by mental health experts that mental illness is not contagious, but they have not yet conducted in depth studies into the plague ravaging the Republican Party. It is unfair to blame the lunacy rampant in Republican ranks solely on delusional teabaggers because what was once regarded as extreme is the new normal for the GOP from the leadership to freshman representatives in Congress and state legislatures. It is true there are a small number of Republicans who have not yet fallen victim to teabagger insanity, but they are being called upon by the psychologically demented to either get out or they will be replaced.
After the electoral loss in 2012, while the RNC’s internal studies revealed extremism coupled with their anti-women and anti-minority policies were major contributing factors to their loss, a segment of the party countered that the problem was the party was not extreme enough. The mindset among extremists was that if Republicans had convinced voters they really wanted lunatics ruling in Washington, the people would have overwhelmingly supported intemperate conservatives Republicans have become. Last Friday, a coalition of teabagger groups sent a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander demanding his retirement because “our great nation cannot afford compromise” that exposes teabaggers concrete thinking that is a symptom of mental illness. Yesterday, a teabagger decided to challenge Alexander in the Tennessee Republican primary because Alexander is not extreme enough and teabaggers are tired of him compromising as part of governing.
Former senator Jim DeMint, current president of the Heritage Foundation and extreme teabagger told attendees at a town hall that “Republicans too afraid to shut down the government over health care reform should “be replaced” and it exposes another break from reality as well as teabagger’s willingness to create more distress for Americans because their unrealistic demands are unmet. DeMint also said that if Republicans were successful passing a budget defunding the health law under threat of a government shutdown that “we don’t know if Obama will sign a bill to defund Obamacare” suggesting the President will actually sign a bill abolishing his signature health law. It is the height of insanity to think for one second that threats from lunatics on the right will force the President to sign a bill reinstating lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions, and exorbitant fee increases, not to mention removing access to health insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans to prevent Republicans from shutting down the government. Another indicator of mental illness is obsessive compulsion Republicans have displayed over the Affordable Care Act, and their obsession has cost taxpayer millions of dollars voting to repeal the health law despite it will never get past the President’s veto pen.
Yesterday it was reported here that some extremists in Republican ranks left the party because they “can no longer associate ourselves with a political party that goes out of its way to continually restrict our freedoms and liberties,” and they were not talking about the DNC. That is how extreme most Republicans have become regardless their policies are having a profoundly damaging effect on all aspects of the nation. In fact, it was reported here that American businesses are suffering the consequences of madmen obstructing sound economic policies championed by Republican extremists and it was just a matter of time before the lunatics laying waste to the American people would affect the business world. Republican extremism has touched all aspects of society now and still, they are ramping up insane policies that are driving one of their most dependable voting blocs, senior citizens, to turn sharply against the GOP.
In the same manner that mental disorders are not contagious, they are not necessarily caused by any event. However, when the American people elected an African American man as President it drove the current crop of Republicans and their teabagger cohort mad, and like crazy people are wont, they took out their raging psychosis on innocent bystanders; the American people. President Obama is, at best, a left-leaning centrist, but he is a Black left-leaning centrist and his race drove the conservative movement’s decline into insanity with valuable assistance by non-stop ranting that this Black man was taking their guns and religious freedoms. There has been no dearth of paranoia that the President is on a crusade to destroy Christianity because of the religious right’s delusional belief he is a Muslim and it contributed to the rise of extremism that is now the Republican Party.
There are many on the left describing the mental state of Republicans and the resulting internal war to seize control of the conservative movement as the beginning of the end of the GOP’s relevance in American politics and that may be true. However, Republicans still control the nation’s purse strings and they are using their five week recess to marshal support for the upcoming budget and debt limit battles. The extremists are single-minded in shutting down the government and as dangerous as that prospect, the real peril lies in their threat to block a debt limit increase over funding the health law. There are some in Congress who suggest permanently denying a debt limit rise regardless the certain worldwide financial crisis that would ensue and it exposes them for the truly insane people they are.
Republicans have lost their grip on reality and it manifest itself their blatant disregard for the Constitution save the 2nd and 10th Amendments. Their obsession with the President has motivated them and their supporters to discuss impeaching Obama despite they have no grounds, and many of the lunatics still consider the ACA an unconstitutional breach of power. America likely had a few crazy politicians in office throughout its history, but the level of insane extremism has never permeated an entire party or posed a profoundly serious threat to the nation. There is no cure for mental illness and even if there were the insanity ravaging the conservative movement is as untreatable as it is boundless. Obviously, the majority of American people are not insane and certainly do not support the lunacy rampant in the conservative movement, but there is little they can do now and the GOP is just sane enough to prevent them from voting the crazy out of Congress and state legislatures in coming elections. Maybe the GOP insanity will be the party’s undoing, but in the meantime Americans are paying dearly for sitting home and allowing raving racists, disillusioned religiosos, Obamacare obsessed fanatics, and crazed economic extremists to rise to power.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.