Stockholm Syndrome, otherwise known as "capture bonding," is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy, sympathy, and have positive feelings towards their captors. The syndrome was made famous in the 1970s when wealthy heiress Patty Hearst, granddaughter of powerful publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, used it to defend herself in court. She was charged with being a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army and participating with them in a bank robbery.
Miss Hearst said she wasn't a full-fledged member of the SLA but did participate willingly in the robbery because she had bonded with her captors as a way to survive with her ego, if not her mentality, intact. Her defense was unsuccessful and she was given a prison sentence. But lucky Patty: Her sentence was commuted by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1979. In 2001, Pres. Bill Clinton pardoned her as one of his last acts before leaving office. That's what being the wealthy heiress of a powerful publishing magnate will do for you.
I'm not wealthy. My power level, apart from video role-playing games, and sometimes even then, is zip. I don't have Stockholm Syndrome. But on this, the first day of 2013, after four years of following closely, and blogging about, the machinations of government at all levels, the temptation to give up and go over to the dark side is great.
I am tired of attending meetings of our city and county governments. I am fed up with putting myself on the line by speaking out against their profligate spending and misuse of public funds, their failure to defend us from the radical leftwing United Nations agenda, their decisions to favor the financial manipulations of those with power at the expense of those who have none. I am worn out from following the Greek labyrinth that is state government when all that I ever find at its center is a big bull. As for my efforts to point out the dire consequences of the self-serving politics at the federal level, I am as a voice crying in the wilderness. Why should I distress myself (and my husband and anybody else who will listen) having opinions contrary to the inexorable status quo when our commissioners, representatives, governor, and president treat my calls and emails as interruptions of their day?
Many of the best and brightest -- at all levels of government -- seem helpless to do anything, including even getting elected in the first place. The worst of them, which are most of them, are incompetent or corrupt, take your pick. The saddest thing of all is to see the worst of them keep on getting re-elected. Why? Are there really that many "low information" voters out there? Have 50 years of liberal bias in education, entertainment and the media produced a majority electorate that can no longer discern the truth from a lie? Do they close their eyes and vote for the one their finger lands on? Is it nothing more than name recognition on the ballot? Is being glad-handed at church on enough successive Sundays enough to swing an election?
I don't have Stockholm Syndrome. But I fear the majority of the country does.