In about a month, The US will have one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime aside from perhaps the rejection of Trump in 2020. There are so many close races that every vote matters. Approximately 60% of Americans are going to have a candidate on their ballot that is an election denier, embracing the big lie of our time. The potential fall of our democracy is very real if the authoritarian MAGA party infiltrates deeper into our institutions to further weaken and centralize them. Robert and Dave want to make clear the distinction between MAGA and the more classic definition of those identifying as Republican. It will take the action of us all, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats in this crucial time.
In this episode, Robert and Dave discuss this, as well as other key dangers facing our country. Robert uses his 45 years of psychotherapy experience to uncover the subtleties of the unconscious anger that is coming out in the rage and support of the Trump Republicans. Perhaps this can provide some understanding or compassion for how their anger is distorting their conscious mind but it cannot yet play out into forgiveness because we need to wake up and be the source of helping them wake up. The depth of fear to stand up against this authoritarian wave can be better understood in the context of the pressures of being a cult member. These overtly authoritarian views and tendencies that define Trumpism and the MAGA Republicans have managed to have a good part of our country beholden to them politically. A lot of the beholding to them is fear. Not only fear of not being reelected but fear of being utterly ostracized like Liz Cheney. It’s so important that we understand that fear, anger, and denial are the roots of where we are and are the roots of dictatorship throughout the history of mankind. Don’t let fear rule you. Let your passion and your wisdom rule you and guide you to the polls and beyond.
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The Missing Conversation, Special Political Series, Part Three.
Robert Strock (00:04):
We’re facing the death to democracy. And if we don’t wake up, and wake up quickly, we will lose more and more of what we have had these past centuries in this country.
In this podcast, we will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others, and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking. As we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view, your host Robert Strock has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian, and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation, and inquiry born from working on his own challenges.
Robert Strock (00:58):
Again, a very passionate welcome back to The Missing Conversation. As we’ve said in the last couple of episodes, in about a month, we are going to have one of the very most consequential elections of our lifetime. And perhaps aside from the rejection of Trump in the election of Joe Biden in 2020 and the goal of these next few Missing Conversations, we will be discussing the importance of doing whatever you can to not only vote, but help get out the vote and more. In this ultra-partisan time, so many elections are so close that literally every vote matters. Don’t rationalize. Supporting organizations directly or indirectly, too, is critical if you have that capacity. Today, we’re gonna finalize what we started in the first episode to introduce the massive importance of us each facing reality that we will reveal the details of and what we perceive about the immense danger facing us in this election and beyond with the MAGA Republicans and the potential of independents, mainstream Republicans and passive Democrats most vitally getting involved, including finding their voice through voting.
So as you’re listening to this, I know there’s a real possibility that you may just hear the mad passion that sounds like I’m angry and I wanna be really clear that underneath the passion you’re going to hear is a plea for passive Democrats, Republicans that are not in the MAGA Republican group, independents—it’s a plea to see that our democracy is truly endangered. I know every party, including Independents, love America and are rooting for what can really allow democracy to thrive. So I ask you, please don’t lose the message when you just listen to the passion. So before I begin, I’d like to introduce Dave as those of you that know, have seen the past episodes, closest friend for over 50 years, and my partner at The Global Bridge Foundation.
Robert, thank you. The seriousness and soberness of this moment cannot be overstated. Uh, it’s impossible. Just today, just today, the very well-respected 538 site put out something that is scary as shit. That 60% of Americans are gonna have an “election denier,” and I use election denier as a surrogate marker for the big lie. Remembering that the big lie, uh, has many, many historical precedents. The big lie that Hitler used, that the Jews are the root of our problem after he instituted and as he instituted 6 million of them being exterminated. The big lie is that surrogate marker of this election that happened in 2020 that Trump continues and the people that support Trump and the MAGA Republicans continue to go for. And we’re not just talking about people that support it. We’re talking about 118, 118 out of the House of Representatives in the United States Congress have a 95% chance of being elected to this next Congress in the midterms that are election deniers, not borderline, not saying maybe, but are saying 2020 was illegitimate.
Our president that we have today, Joe Biden, is not really our president. Trump is really our president. And this is implemented all the way down the line into different ways, people that are Governors that are gonna have decision making, people that are Secretaries of State in different states that are gonna have control over how votes are counted, and all other kinds of complications if we’re not really, really activated here. It is a scary, scary time. 60% of Americans will have a denier of the election on the ballot. I’m not saying they’re all gonna be elected, I’m saying of the population of the United States voters, 60% will have somebody, somewhere on the ballot that will be an election denier.
Robert Strock (05:43):
When you say that 60% of Americans are gonna have an election denier on the ballot, I’m quite sure you’re not saying that the 60% of people are going to vote for an election denier. You’re really saying that we need to be aware that an election denier might be there that we may not notice. Or could you please clarify what you’re saying?
I can’t say who’s gonna vote for who, except to say I don’t think any Democrat or any Independent is gonna consciously vote for an election denier. But there will be one on the ballot and 60% of the country, there will be at least one. And in some states it will be many. And in some states, many of those people will be elected.
Robert Strock (06:27):
Thank you. So as we mentioned at the end of the last episode, we were going to go into three areas that are greatly contributing to the danger facing our country and through our country, the world. We’re facing, the death to democracy, which is clearly illustrated to name just a few clear warning shots, tearing down institutions from the post office to the energy department to the military generals with that famous statement, “I know more than the military generals,” the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the insurrection. I could kill anyone on Sixth Avenue or Fifth Avenue, whatever it was, “I could kill anyone and it wouldn’t even matter.” With McCain: “I don’t like those kind of heroes.” No elections are fair, If the MAGAs lose. We are in denial if we don’t see the death to our democracy being in jeopardy. These are all utter statements of clarity of who Donald Trump sees himself to be and who his replacement is inevitably gonna see themselves to be,
if there is a replacement. With his transferring all of our institutions into power at the core of the leader. The leader believing that our State Department— “We don’t need to negotiate with other countries, I’m the one that can do it. I can do it better than all of them can.” All of these decades, all the times where we’ve seen the utter necessity to have our State Department go out and subtly negotiate is gonna be in the crudeness of the gut-level feelings of whoever is representing the MAGA party. That doesn’t matter whether it’s the MAGA party in the current elections or whether it’s in the future of the presidency or the dangers of the future of the presidency. He believes his wisdom and his wisdom alone is worthy of the Department of Justice being taken over by his authority. And he’s not even ambivalent. There’s not a hem or a haw,
it’s an obvious reality to him. How can you overlook that as being, well, I don’t agree with everything he says. Now for those of us that are fired up, let’s get more fired up. The second part besides the death to democracy that we need to take a look at that is very subtle and isn’t really very well understood, that as a psychotherapist is very well understood, that when you suppress anger in your life at a very large level, then the anger goes to your unconscious. And as is well understood, the anger and the unconscious is like a demon that can come out anywhere. It can come out with your spouse, it can come out in your political views, it can come out in rage, it can come out in abuse, it can come out in murders, it can come out in cults.
And the anger in life has clearly been there. And the few people that I know that are MAGA Republicans, they have a history of abuse in their childhood. They have history of violence. And at one level we could have a limited compassion for realizing they don’t know what they are doing, they don’t have a clue that this anger is distorting their conscious mind. It is in their unconscious. And I do assume that, but I’m not gonna take it as far as bringing compassion and say forgive them, because they need to wake up and we need to be the source of helping them wake up. And I know damn well we’re not gonna wake the vast majority of them up. It’s not a naive portrayal. It’s a passion that we need to bring wherever we go. The third element is the depth of fear that comes from being a cult member or being outside the cult and realizing the cult will kill you or your family.
And that fear is operating in the vast majority of the MAGA Republicans. We need to understand how powerful it is. And we’ve seen so many ways in which intimidation of a witness, or intimidation of a postal worker, an intimidation of party members that are leaders even has changed what they say because they’re afraid their family’s gonna be killed. The ante has been upped from instead of just being afraid of having a contentious debate, now the stakes are we may kill your family. That is what we are on the verge of. So I wanna acknowledge, I referenced it before, but I have one friend in particular who I’ve had extensive conversations with who has said in spades, and he’s quite an intelligent person, that he doesn’t like a lot of what President Trump is saying. He doesn’t believe in a lot of what he’s doing, but he really, really does like his policies.
And I do believe he’s a reflection of a pretty large segment of the Republican party. And he is not open, I can’t reach him. He’s not open to a dialogue that allows for a porous possibility. But he is giving a ratio of importance to policies that are exaggerations or distortions. And he’s eliminating or calling it a quirk or calling it a personality limitation and minimizing lies, taking over all departments, or most of the departments in the country, and when approached, he is unwilling, absolutely unwilling to reconsider or re-weigh the issues of importance. And so I say this so that all of you who have people like this in your life do your best, probably not over dinner, probably not over Thanksgiving dinner, too late then of course, but allow yourself to give your best effort to share much of the truth of what we’re sharing with anyone that’s in a gray area.
So it is these overtly authoritarian views and tendencies that define Trumpism and the MAGA Republicans who have managed to have a good part of our country beholding to them politically. And as I just mentioned, a lot of the beholding to them is fear. Not only fear of not getting elected but fear of being utterly ostracized like Liz Cheney. Or, being threatened or having their family threatened and then having discussions with their family—I’m sure it’s not worth it to risk our family’s lives, it’s not worth it to upset the complete apple cart. And so, it’s so important that we understand that fear, anger, and denial are the roots of where we are and are the roots frankly of dictatorship throughout the history of mankind, are the roots of war, are the roots of not being able to discuss, to be able to argue with the intent to have the well-being of the whole world be the central priority.
And again, we wanna make a clear distinction between MAGA and ordinary Republicans that are still waiting and hoping but under the spell of a certain amount of anger, a certain amount of fear, and a certain amount of denial. And when we see this relate to them, for us to relate to the Republicans not as all MAGA, it’s important for us to understand that many of the Trump Republicans are led by QAnon and believe that the Democratic Party is the leader of pedophile bloodletting of children; an evil cult. A cult is calling the other a cult, which is the chronic strategy of all cults. We are the ones that are the original thinkers. We are the ones that are gonna save you. We are the ones that are religious—that all cults call the rest of the world a cult. We need to understand that psychologically QAnon says it wants us to be united and the Democrats want us to be divided.
They’re the source of race wars, class wars, religious wars, political wars. Trump will clean up the evil pedophiles. Trump, a sex offender, a known sex offender, will save us from the same Democrats who formed the KKK is what is being said. Barack Obama armed North Korea with nuclear weapons. These are the kinds of lies that are being spread and believed. My friend and many of the marginal and below marginal MAGA Republicans admit that his personality is full of what they would call meaningless white lies, but for a greater cause. Dave and I have both seen this be acted out in spiritual traditions where for a greater spiritual view, the ordinary truth doesn’t matter. It’s the same that we see in cults. It’s so important that what Dave early referred to as cult is what we see. And what this means is the cult is potentially controlling our country.
And if we don’t respond with immense passion—voting is absolutely mandatory—but we have to go beyond voting. We have to get out of our fairytale lives and our own little, what I would call relatively innocent mini cults of being disinterested and not taking heed to the fact that we’re being given thousands and thousands of warnings. As we move forward in these podcasts, we’re gonna continue to see that we’re moving down a road like the previous mentioned frog—slowly boiling when put in cold water—we’re being heated. Even if we’re passive Democrats, we’re boiling in that heat. We may see ourselves as having good ideas, but I don’t know if I feel like getting out to the poll today, I’m only one vote. You’re a frog. None of us can afford being a passive Democrat. And if we don’t wake up, and wake up quickly, we will lose more and more of what we have had these past centuries in this country. We must vote, we must overcome any obstacles in our way and get to the polls and vote for those who truly wanna be elected to serve us and not themselves.
Really wanna emphasize that this midterm is gonna have the burden of laws that are meant to be obstacles at the polling booth. This midterm is going to have poll watchers that are gonna have attitude. Is going to have the kinds of things that we’re not used to seeing that are in the way that make it, “ah, I’m one vote, what does it matter,” becomes more prominent because of more obstacles that are put up in our way. We have to overcome it, we have to expect it. We have to see what’s going on, where we live, wherever that may be in our country. And especially even more important in the parts of our country that have these kinds of things going on.
Robert Strock (19:41):
And what you’re referring to is, again, one of the three things I’m highlighting is that the Democrats also have fear. And when they’re intimidated by poll watchers that fear unconsciously might be enough to keep them from going to polls, or the long waits. Or if you’re in a situation where you’re not allowed to have food and water, you know, and you’re gonna, you’re gonna have some kind of sunstroke or you have low blood sugar, you’re gonna have to risk your life. It is so important to see how much the unconscious, the fear, the anger, and denial is dominating a part of our country and potentially our country. The endless lies, like the talked about pedophiles being Democrats, the election not being a reflection of Americans condemning all Muslims. The second there’s an incident, the utterly disgusting and revolting protest that was turned into a violence, by Trump’s protected militia basically.
And the ultimate upside-down Bible incident that was so utterly revolting to use religion, upside-down was perfect. Looking at the Bible, being upside-down was exactly a reflection of what is happening. His prior business dealings, Roe being decimated, and the hints, or more than hints, the statements of it being nationalized, automatic weapons that are going to be able to be used in the streets if we don’t stop the MAGA Republicans from winning and being able to change the laws as Dave was talking about. Not worrying about those that are being killed in schools and the kids that are utterly vulnerable. What’s gonna happen when it’s being condoned or it’s being held passively? If we really elect MAGA Republicans into the interim elections, if we don’t allow for fair voting, all the money that Trump has absorbed with the collections for other intended purposes, all the classified documents that he is so carefully taken to his house, put at his desk, it doesn’t require a sophisticated spy to go through all of those classified documents or go through a lot of them.
Are you really ready to not be fired up about this or to rationalize this? Is this not a warning that we’re facing a Germany, frankly a more realistic Germany than Germany? If there is the ability to combine MAGA Republicans to the greatest hope of the world in America, and it unites with Russia, and then co-ops the freedom to expand from there to take on territories that other authoritarian regimes wanna take on. Are we not in a more dangerous time than Nazi Germany? Can we not see this? Can we not be fired up no matter who we are as Democrats, as Independents? So I becken you, I beg you, I plead with you to be fired up. Every single person that’s hearing this or through other sources is seeing the truth. Get to the poll booths and let this be a passion in your belly for the rest of your life so that we can save democracy, we can save our country, we can save the world.
And I thank you for really not only listening, but letting it go into your passion. Cuz your passion is what matters. Your passion and action is what matters. Your capacity to outreach and especially if you’re someone who has a life that, “Well, I have a pretty good life.” You have a reason to be passionate. Let this be contagious. Send this and everything else to all your mailing lists. We can’t afford to be passive like the passive World War II Germans that had some inkling. The advantage we have over Germany is Trump has made it obvious he couldn’t be more careless, or you could say bold or disgustingly outrageous. Hitler was much more clever. He hid it from the masses. We have no such excuse. We’re being hit over the head with it, no matter who we are on the political spectrum. So take action, but while you’re taking action, take heart, grab courage, don’t let fear rule you. Let your passion and your wisdom rule you and guide you to the polls and beyond.
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