Monday, February 27, 2017
Watching A President Lie
August 7, 1974; The Day Richard Nixon Lied And
Anastasia's Prophecy Came To Be
I am a captive audience, bound to the television in my room at Doctor’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. I am scheduled for a cornea transplant. In these days of relatively early tissue donation procedures, recipients must be hospitalized, often for days as in my case, awaiting the death of someone whose cornea tissue will next be theirs.
I am not typically a regular television viewer but there is nothing else for me to do here, in the hospital day after day as I wait. But the watching is not as dull and boring as it might be, as I have created an interesting pass time for myself.
I am in my second year of clinical training to become a psychotherapist, using Transactional Analysis as a treatment modality. This is the psychological approach that bases its analysis on recognizing the ego states, Parent, Adult and Child, and the dynamics of interpersonal exchanges, identified in this model as “transactions.”
The Watergate hearings are being televised and it is them that has attracted my attention as I sit here, propped up in my hospital bed waiting. Friends and family visit. They too are drawn to this televised inquiry. We are actually all quite stunned.
Could it be that our president, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, has been lying to the American people about his involvement in the scandal of a break in at the Watergate complex where the Democratic National Committee is housed?
Trying to make sense of this devastating situation, I am entertaining myself analyzing the ego states of the players in this drama, especially Richard Nixon and John Dean. Without realizing, I am, right here and now, in this instance of watching the Watergate trials, developing skills of observation that will last my lifetime.
Out of this will grow my devotion to exploring, analyzing and understanding the Dark Side of humanity, especially how it plays out in society and politics. In the process I will develop expertise at transforming the Dark Side; lead into gold!
But here initially, I, like others around me, are shocked. Richard Nixon is lying!
No, how can that be? Presidents don’t lie!
Look back at George Washington, one of our Founding Fathers and the first president of the United Sates. George Washington is known for telling the truth! This is our standard for presidents.
And, look back to Abraham Lincoln, another of our hero presidents!
What about Franklin Delano Roosevelt? I remember my mother crying as she sat by the radio listening to news of FDR’s sudden death.
And John Fitzgerald Kennedy? I can still see, vividly, in my mind’s eye, the very instant my friend and I discover that JFK has been shot. That moment and that day and the one’s following are indelible in my mind. We are devastated, our world turned upside down!
Our presidents’ lives are inextricably interwoven with our own. Presidents are our pillars of security, the highest leadership in our land that we honor and look to to keep our country and its people safe.
How could it be that the president of the United States of America could be lying? Shocking! Frightening! Devastating!
Our world is turned upside down, once more. Recovering from the three assassinations of the 60's; JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy. And now this! Our innocence is truly gone now.
But it is true! Richard Nixon has lied to the American people, leaving many of us traumatized by his almost unheard of actions in an American president. Later, of course, we will come to know of more moral failings in presidents. But for now we are still quite innocent.
Next there is Bill Clinton. I see him, too, in my mind’s eye, lying to the American people about Monica Lewinsky in his Map Room address to his loyal followers. We, the people of the United States of America .
This time many make light of the lying. Why is that so?
Not I! I actually go blind as a result. But that is a tale for another day.
Now we have Donald Trump and millions seem to have little to no difficulty at all in accepting his lies; big and small, as ordinary.
How did this happen? Where has it all gone; the values of human valour and integrity that made this country great?