Special Political Series – Part 5: How Collective Denial Threatens Democracy

How Collective Denial Threatens Democracy - SPS Part 5Join Robert and Dave on the 5th installment of this special political series. Drawing from his knowledge and professional background as a psychotherapist, Robert illuminates ways in which it is both understandable and easy to be caught in denial in this crucial moment in US history. He offers a profound plea to shake free from the fear and anger that often unconsciously supports Trump and MAGA authoritarianism. We are in a new century where we must recognize that to be individuals in a free country, we need to get involved. Fast forward and see the implications if election fraud is normalized. Democracy is over for the world if we are not able to commit to this kind of fundamental truth to add up the number of votes in the country and honor the will of the majority of citizens. Fear and anger are the great distorter of history which we cannot afford to be in denial about it any longer. 

Robert reminds us that our country had a significant minority of people in the 1930s that were pro-Hitler. This includes representatives of Congress. This parallel may help break our denial to recognize that not only are we going through it now but it’s been with us for 90 years, if not longer. This is a long-term fight for our lives and our freedom and our ability to lead the rest of the world and not be run by a series of endless dictators. MAGA Republicans are committed to denying the truth in a vast variety of ways. To be precise this isn’t identifying Republicans in general but specifically the Republicans that are responding, creating, and supporting massive lies that have been found baseless time and time again in the courts. The lies are so fundamental and blinding that it puts us in the same place that Germany was in in the 1930s. If your emotional reaction tells you this is too much, then you are enabling this to occur in our country. MAGA Republicans are not just telling white lies but black lies that could be the death of democracy and the birth of tyranny.

Mentioned in this episode
The Global Bridge Foundation

Note: Below, you’ll find timecodes for specific sections of the podcast. To get the most value out of the podcast, I encourage you to listen to the complete episode. However, there are times when you want to skip ahead or repeat a particular section. By clicking on the timecode, you’ll be able to jump to that specific section of the podcast

Announcer (00:00):

The Missing Conversation, Special Political Series, Part Five.

Robert Strock (00:04):

Are you really letting in that democracy is threatened? We need to all find our voice to fight for our kids, our grandkids, our friends kids, our friends grandkids, so that they can be in a world where they’re not being run by a dictator.

Announcer (00:23):

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 (01:01):

A very warm and passionate welcome back to The Missing Conversation. We’re gonna continue our series about the importance of voting and getting more involved in saving our democracy in the midterm election, that’s just a couple weeks away. In the last episode, we explored many, many things including poll watchers being threatened, Trump inciting violence in a way that threatens us all physically, emotionally, and our ability to function as a democracy. We’re infected as a country and if we don’t attend to that infection, we could very well lose our fundamental way of life. And when I say fundamental life, that includes you. That means you are in danger of not having the basic freedoms to live without the threat of military takeover, of economic takeover, of really truly living under a tyrannical government. Now, this isn’t new and we’ll be going into this as Rachel Maddow has recently exposed something that I didn’t know about that we’re gonna go into today.

And today we’re gonna focus mostly on this infection and more specifically on the deceptions, denial, and angry provocations that threaten our democracy. We’re clarifying that these are not just minor defects, but reveal the core intent of the dominant part of the MAGA Republicans and Trump while separating the broader Republican base, Independents, anyone that’s even mildly sympathetic and giving the assumption of goodwill, that there’s still an openness. That’s the main audience that we’re trying to talk to and not preach to the choir. Now, in these first four episodes, I made it clear that I was allowing a natural passion to arise that could be heard as anger. I wanna make it very clear that the whole message of the series is a profound plea to save our democracy. A profound plea for you to get involved, not only in voting but realizing we’re in a new lifestyle.

We’re in a new century where it’s so critical that we all recognize that to be individuals in a free country, we do need to get involved. It’s not the time to say, oh my God, it’s so overwhelming. I can’t do X, Y, and Z, and this means you. This means me. That means all of us. And if you can see the threats that are there, not only for our democracy, but beyond our democracy and the implications to the broader world, it’s hard to imagine that you’re gonna go back to what was normal 20, 30, 40 years ago. So please hear the plea underneath the passion and convert the sincerity of asking you to be involved and for you to face the reality that we’re all in. So we’re gonna return to something we referred to in prior episodes, to Rachel Maddow reminding us and really more accurately informing us that our country had a significant minority of people in the late 1930s that were pro-Hitler. And this included representatives of Congress. And so it helps break our denial to recognize that not only are we going through it now, but it’s been with us for 90 years, if not longer. Hopefully this will sink in and say, oh my gosh, we are actually dealing with a split country that has a significant minority of it that is pro-white nationalist and pro-Hitler. So before I start going more deeply into this show, I’d like to introduce Dave, my dearest friend for over 50 years and my partner at The Global Bridge Foundation.

Dave (05:22):

Robert, thank you. I can’t emphasize enough how important these particular episodes are to our democracy. Given that this November in a very, very short time, we have an election that uh, will impact all of us. Seriously impact all of us.

Robert Strock (05:39):

Thanks Dave. The key feature that Dave is mentioning is, yes, we are trying to encourage you to get out and vote no matter what, but it’s even deeper than that. We’re really saying part of our lifestyle needs to be devoted to fight for our democracy no matter what position you find you’re in, in life. So it’s critical that you join groups that you volunteer, that you see that we’re looking, we’re preparing for the 2024 election, that this is a long-term fight for our lives and our freedom and our ability to lead the rest of the world, to have a chance to not be run by an endless series of dictators. We have covered in the past the many public ways that the MAGA Republicans are clearly committed to denying the truth in a vast variety of ways. We’re also being very careful and precise that this isn’t identifying Republicans in general with MAGA Republicans.

We’re really talking about the Republicans that are responding, creating, and supporting massive lives that are obvious their own party has found in court cases time and again, they are lying about the election. They’re lying, They’re lying about the electoral college conspiracy. They’re lying about January 6th insurrection. They’re lying about so much that is fundamental that we can be blinded and not see that this puts us in the same place as Germany was in, except it’s being even more in front of our face. And if we aren’t motivated, if we really are in our own emotional, if you are in your own emotional reaction that says, oh, this is too much, I can’t handle it, then you are enabling this to occur in our country. So it really goes against my nature to not see almost everything in relative terms. It’s actually very painful for me to have to say, I am against MAGA Republicans cuz I wanna be able to say I’m 80% or I’m 90%, or I’m mostly against, or there are some good people on both sides like Trump says in Charlottesville.

But I honestly cannot say that anybody that’s staying MAGA Republicans at this stage of it being obvious that it’s rooted in important lies, not just lies, it’s not white lies, it’s black lies, it’s lies that really are the death of democracy. It’s the birth of tyranny. So it’s so important that you not just hear these words, but that they impact you. They resonate in you that you are looking at real news, that you’re looking at the real hearings that are going on in our Congress. And if you aren’t that you educate yourself with that election fraud. And the, the way the Republican courts have rejected Trump’s efforts to be validating the election is just really remarkable. And the ability for Republican, MAGA Republicans, to still be committed that it’s a fraud in spite of their own party, validated it again and again, even Barr validating it and really truly having to separate at that point is so staggering.

The phone calls to Georgia and we only need a certain amount of votes to win the presidential election after it’s now come out, which we’ll get into later in the show with concrete proof that he a hundred percent knew that he lost. This was a conscious process. How can you or any of the people that you know, well when you talk to them, when you know that it’s a conscious lie to claim the election is fraudulent, how can you not fast forward and see the implications for our country that if this is done by both parties forever, democracy is over for the world if we are not able to be committed to that kind of fundamental truth, to add up the amount of votes in the country, So many court cases that have validated again and again that the elections were fair. It’s, it’s absolutely staggering.

And what we’ve pointed out is that so many of you and I even mentioned in the last podcast, even myself prior to 2016 when the candidates were running, I was rooting for Trump to be somebody different that was gonna stir up the whole election process. That’s understandable. I can even want to extend to the MAGA Republicans and say, it’s understandable why you wanna just scramble everything up, start from over and maybe somebody could be smart enough to make sanity where not only democracy is here, but we’re taking care of the poor, the middle class, all of humanity in our country, and that we’re not fighting party to party. But he has made it so obvious he’s not that person. So if there are any MAGA Republicans that are listening to this, please see that the gut level feeling is not a good source. What’s the psychological makeup of most of our gut feelings?

Dave (11:12):

To your point, um, there were about the, the legal ramifications and elections in 2020. I think there were some 61 cases brought about the 2020 election. One technical case, uh, which did not switch any votes was won by somebody bringing a suit that you could call supporting Trump. The rest a hundred percent lost. What’s more or less happening now is individual states are making it harder and harder and harder. People listening to this podcast are maybe aware, maybe unaware, of new requirements where they live, some of which of those requirements are being challenged in court, some of which may not be resolved before the election. So everybody has to pay very close attention to what they need to do right now to have their vote counted while courts are scrambling around with challenges to laws that honestly at this stage are probably too late to change.

Robert Strock (12:18):

One of the things that I’ve repeated, but I can’t help myself, but repeat it again. I want you to visualize how chummy Trump has been with Putin and what his very obvious role would’ve been, like it was with the insurrection of supporting Putin and where we will be if he becomes president or in this election, the forerunners that will make it more likely for him to become president where we will be with countries being able to justify taking over their prior lands that they owned as part of their territory. Now Dave last time went further with it and talked about what if Britain regained all of, all of the countries that it did alone, including the United States. You see the insanity? If we start to give permission for dictators to go back and reclaim lands, we will be fighting in a nuclear age forever until, in my view, until we die, we’ll be, gonna be faced with that nuclear threat that we, we are in Ukraine currently.

And it will be the justification of we’ve gotta be careful not to alienate this dictator or they might use nuclear weapons. And the more we appease, the more we increase the war like we did in Nazi Germany. Now, one of the underpinnings of all of this that again we’ve talked about, but I see is the real key to being able to understand psychologically why this is going on, and a direct tie in to why there’s been war throughout the history of mankind. And it starts with denial. That we are in a state of denial, that we are more important somehow, our families are more important, our friends are more important, our religion is more important, our political party is more important, our country is more important. Our lands in the earlier years were more important. And so we felt like we were denying the relative importance of everyone having a chance to survive and putting at the front our own survival.

Now, when we were only dealing with tribes, that made some sense. In some cases when you had alienated tribes and you were fighting for your survival. But when you’re in the world of 2022, the nuclear age, if we stay in denial that this superiority, this identification with our own country, this supporting dictatorship, this ability to utterly destroy our planet, this age of global warming. We need to get out of the denial of death to democracy and supporting dictators who can power trip through taking over lands, through claims of ownership of prior generations under the delusional image they have of being the hero of their country by amassing more, more of their own. So can you look at how denial functions in your life? And are you really letting in that your life is threatened? Are you really letting in the democracy is threatened? Was January 6th not enough?

Was the lying about the election and all the predictable subsequent violence that’s going to come from that sooner or later how Trump and many of the MAGA Republicans have stoked the fire by saying if he’s indicted for the crimes that he is charged with, there’s gonna be violence in the streets. Are you in denial about that? Are you really letting it in that your neighborhood is very likely in jeopardy? This is a plea to you to please take it personally. Secondly, another element psychologically, besides denial, is how much fear is the great distorter throughout history, how fear of another nation or communism taking over or fear of another nation being the evil people and the projection of our anger, creating fear that we’re in jeopardy, justifies us attacking the same thing that Putin is saying right now. I’m afraid that NATO is going to attack us and so we have to protect our lands.

Can you see how fear leads us on a national, global and even personal scale to attack our lovers, to attack another country, to lose faith in another country? And we need to find a place of basic equanimity that realizes if we don’t join as a world and learn how to cooperate, and if we allow fear to endlessly just keep turning over one generation after another and saying, well, they, two generations ago they killed my grandparents, so I have to kill them or I have to distrust them, or I have to deny Israel’s existence, or I have, I have to do something that is going to freeze countries where they were 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, 200 years ago, that we are fried forever. And the third key psychological component is how much anger and distrust unresolved in our lives. And this could be because we were abused as children.

It could be because we had parents that were in a military war, that they were angry because their brothers and sisters or their compatriots were killed. That, that anger, if we don’t start being able to feel the anger and contain it and not pollute it and project it onto the countries around us, we are gonna feel a false sense of superiority as a country or as a political party in our country. And we’re going to just be fighting blindly against the other. And that’s why it brings up so much conflict, because I don’t even like being against MAGA Republicans, let alone Republicans, which I’m not against. I disagree with a lot of the ideas. I agree with some of the ideas, but I’m certainly not against them. And it’s so important that we see that throughout history we can learn that the suppression of anger and the projection of the anger and distrust onto other countries or other parties leads to such chaos that it makes it look like a newcomer, like a Trump or like, like a Ross Perot or like somebody that comes in from the past.

Maybe they’ll just shake it all up. And I sympathize and empathize with this gut feeling of we’d be better off to start from zero if we could start history again and we don’t have all the wars, all the senseless killings throughout history. And we see that in a way tyranny is a version of those wars and that we need to all do our part to fight for, vote for, get involved, for a world where we can have a collective responsibility for the whole country, planet and also still have the incentive of democracy and freedom and fight for a world that’s gonna allow that to be the case. And in this situation, we only have one major party that’s a hundred percent pro-democracy. There is no way that they are socialists. But I’m not saying that there aren’t some fringes of the democratic party that are on the socialist end, but the fundamental democratic party is definitely for democracy.

And the fundamental Republican party is quietly, is definitely for democracy and those are the people we’re speaking to and Independents are fundamentally for democracy. It’s the overwhelming percentage of the MAGA Republicans that we really need to stand against and identify the ones that don’t believe that we deserve even the right to vote. So as we look and penetrate more deeply, we’ve seen Trump offer to pay the legal bills for those who were the attackers. He’s given great hints and more of giving pardons to people that were part of the insurrection. Do you really wanna support someone that’s going to be conveying that message? Do you wanna support people in this current election that are gonna ultimately be supporters of him or not even ultimately, that are presently supportive and that will be moving our country in that direction? Yes, I could see how the protestors at Lafayette Park were seen as aggressive, but this is denial.

If you watched, it like I did, you saw that they were peaceful, there was a line, a clear line, and then suddenly gas was coming. Suddenly there was, there were batons and there was moving them back when they were completely peaceful. And that, that, as we’ve talked about in the last podcast, that led to the upside down Bible that was so profound of seeing how upside down the lack of truth, the lack of sincerity, the lack of real relationship to Jesus as a lover of mankind that couldn’t have been more symbolically accurately. Most recently in the last month or so we’ve seen that the legal problems are mounting for Trump and for his followers. And he’s saying again to incite violence if a thing like indictment happens to me or those that are mine. You know, he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country, the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before.

I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.” Now he is using inciting words again, nothing compared let’s say to a whole lie about the election that every one of these are inciting violence. Do you really want to support a president and predecessors to the president in this election to incite violence in our country and not to be a voice? I imagine if he said, Listen, I know you’ll feel the tendency to be violent, but that’s one line I wanna set. He’s not even coming close to being sensible. He is speaking the words of a normal dictator. It was clear that Trump was told before the Georgia election that he had lost and he was even saying something, I can’t believe I lost to this guy. In April of 22, Trump admitted he lost the election saying on CNN that he lost the election and he wasn’t happy.

Can you believe I lost to this guy? Of course, there were a host of people that told him well before this, all Republicans, including Barr, that he did lose the election. This was a completely known lie. Again, this denial that I’m asking you to focus on is a massive key to being able to vote to any of the election deniers. That’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re voting for denial. You’re voting for lies, you’re voting for the truth being virtually irrelevant. We need to all find our voice to fight for our kids, our grandkids, our friends kids, our friends grandkids, so that they can be in a world where they’re not being run by a dictator, where they’re not gonna become a third-world entity with a dictator, becomes wealthy with tens of billions of dollars while the country becomes poorer and poorer. We need to wake up and not be in denial.

We need to understand that the anger that is not resolved inside ourselves makes us just wanna tear things up and start over again. But it’s a dream world. It’s like a cartoon where we have a belief that there’s somebody that pure and especially when we see somebody like Trump who has lied so many times. So don’t follow, as we’ve talked about many times before, don’t follow your gut feelings. Look at the truth, look at the actual hearings and what the witnesses that are dominantly Republican have said about Trump. Look how many Republicans have tried to talk him down, have tried to have him face the reality of the elections. See the ramifications of violence that is setting up in the country. If these lies, if this unresolved anger, if this fear that we’re living in of a democratic party that’s been made out to be bloodsuckers of infants and pedophiles and all these lies that have been promoted on conspiracy theories, if we let this be believed, we are basically in sync with the German people with more awareness than they had and we are aiding and abetting us. We are only gonna be proud of our lives if we are as active as we are capable to be. And I hope that you see this as a deep plea to you to look at your conscience.

Dave (26:33):

I really want to clarify and distinguish something that’s maybe was true at the time of the January 6th event. Uh, the insurrection people pissed off with Trump that he wasn’t stopping stuff versus what’s happening today where it’s not just MAGA Republicans. There might be one or two or 5% of generally Republicans period, including all of them that are saying a word that are, that are watching what’s going on, that the majority of this country, as we’ve talked about previously, is uh, gonna have a choice of electing someone who is a denier of the 2020 election. The majority of the population. And nobody’s talking about it on the Republican side, it’s not a thing. It’s not just a MAGA thing, it’s not a thing period on that side of the equation.

Robert Strock (27:27):

Yeah, I think that’s a very important expansion of denial, that the denial is through the majority of the Republican party on a lot of the factual, critical issues. I do believe they are still potentially open to change their mind, but they are in massive denial of the election. What is it, Dave? Is it 60, 70% that are still believing at this point that, that the election was fraudulent?

Dave (27:57):

It’s true. And it’s also true that there are those that have left the Republican party and become Independent, so it’s a larger percentage of a smaller number, but it’s still really significant.

Robert Strock (28:10):

So this is largely an appeal to you, to your conscience, to your sanity, to your kids, to your well-being, to your sensibility, and to really check out if your gut feeling is really informed with the witnesses that have been shown in the congressional hearings. And if you have not watched those hearings, you owe it to yourself. This is not, the Democrats did not put words into the Republicans mouth. The Republicans spoke the truth. They were the Republicans that were next to Trump that saw what happened. And if you are in denial, then you probably haven’t watched those hearings, watch those hearings. So in advance, I wanna thank you for being active. It’s not too late. We still have a couple weeks to wake up and really get out there in massive quantities of us and bringing our friends. It’s a time and history that all of us are responsible for what’s happening and doing our part in America, not only for America, but the world is fucked if we don’t vote in candidates that are going to believe the people that are going to allow the people to decide future elections that are not gonna get state representatives, that are gonna be able to override the people in their various states with electorates.

That you see the whole effort to have electorate fraud. And when you see all of these things, I hearken back as a final word, that these are not just personality quirks. This is Trump and MAGA Republicans core psychology. It’s their core identity, it’s their core being. And if you vote to have these election deniers in, you are voting to lose your quality of life at least. And so I ask you to please get as involved as possible.

Dave (30:13):

Similarly, we can’t get discouraged, we can’t get to the point where we say, you know what? I can’t even participate in this. We can’t be apathetic, we can’t go that route. Or by default, those people will be elected.

Robert Strock (30:28):

Yeah. And tweaking the words a little bit, it’s like we, we, we can afford to be discouraged, but we can’t let the discouragement or the overwhelm stop us. This is more important from my vantage point that any time in the history, certainly of America, and the only other threatened time that I know of is what Rachel Maddow mentioned, which was in the 1930s and there wasn’t the same amount of people. It seemed that there were somewhere between a half million and a million people that were really rooting for Hitler. And there were three very prominent Americans that were heroes, Charles Lindberg and a couple of others that were really leading the way. And it was acceptable. It was flat out acceptable. You need to see that is what’s happening now. Don’t withdraw, don’t condemn yourself. Don’t criticize yourself for wherever you’ve been. Give yourself credit for giving yourself a chance to wake up and look at these hearings. They’re the most tangible evidence that you can see from Republicans that were closest to Trump that can reveal how much he knew, what he knew, what he was willing to do in exactly the same way as dictators. So this is the end of the plea for this podcast. We’re gonna have one more. I hope you’ll join us in it and I hope you’ll listen to the prior ones before it. Thanks so much for your attention.

Robert Strock PhoitoJoin The Conversation
If The Missing Conversation sounds like a podcast that would be inspiring to you and touches key elements of your heart, please click subscribe and begin listening to our show. If you love the podcast, the best way to help spread the word is to rate and review the show. This helps other listeners, like you, find this podcast. We’re deeply grateful you’re here and that we have found each other. Our wish is that this is just the beginning. 

We invite you to learn more about The Global Bridge Foundation—an organization collaborating to heal communities and the world at TheGlobalBridge.org.
Visit our podcast archive page

 Be Part Of The Solution

Receive the latest news from The Missing Conversation Podcast that highlights leaders in the fields of Psycho-Politics, Agricultural Restoration, and Alternative Housing for the homeless.

Scroll to Top