The choice of politicians in the US presidential election appears polarised.
On the one side we have the first black president Barack Obama of the US tainted by the over expectation of providing a new world for fairness and racial equality while presiding over an economic recession. On the other Mitt Romney, a multi-millionaire investment banker who is seen to side with the rich. His main ticket is having the business acumen to secure the future of the American dream by putting the economy back on its feet.
What about the element of choice so widely promoted in the 21st Century West? There seems no choice to vote for somebody in the middle. Is this due to the polarised nature of the US? The divide between haves and have- nots? Middle America and the metropolitan coasts? Rich and poor? Black and White? Does a market economy create these opposites or is it the nature of the American psyche? The US is a country of extremes.
After all young children live in a world of extremes. Happy and sad. Right and wrong. Yes and no. How do children develop and mature to gain more appreciation and sophistication of the middle ground or the grey area as adults? Our parenting and families are crucial in this endeavour. The complexity of trying to help children to maturity for a tolerance of extremes but to understand that this can be a simplistic or over simplified view of the world is sometimes not managed.
Is it fair to say that the over -simplicity of the US’s reflection of itself is part of the creating opposites? Before the attack on New York in 2001 this argument might have carried more weight. Since then the country has been going through a decade of introspection leading to doubt and anxiety.
Perhaps this is important? Being introspective helps awareness but it is an awareness gained about the two sides of human nature: strength and fragility.
The last UK election seemed not to be so polarised with Blairism and Thatcherism sharing many similarities. The electorate was not being able to decide which to vote for because of being so similar. The UK has a history of self-deprecation alluding to weakness without directly talking about it. Is this the sign of a country which has been around for longer witnessing the ups and downs of politics and history?
Perhaps, perhaps not.
It is not just experience that brings people to the middle ground: but a thinking and studying of that experience.
Obama humorously commented on the polarity of the two US Presidential candidates: he shops in stores while Romney buys them!
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2012
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.