Battered Country Syndrome

We, as a country, wait with resignation for the next slap, punch, or kick from the current head of our family. We know more is coming, just not when or why the ever-present rage of our abuser will be unleashed at us. We have become so used to this mistreatment we almost don't remember when it wasn't this way. Do you recall, back when past heads of our family loved the family, and appreciated the responsibilities of the role of protector? When the head of our family appeared to care about us? Many don't. All that some family members have known, or can remember, is that the current head of our family dislikes us intensely. We know that although we are pliant, and he is free to do what he wishes at our expense, he will eventually come home and take out his anger and frustrations on us. Again. What is so jarring, of course, is the apparently malicious breach of the faith and trust which we have placed in the current head of our family, as we have in all past heads of this American family.

Our country has become a battered spouse, or child. The head of our American family, President Obama, clearly detests the family and its history, and at this moment is happily abusing us on a near daily basis in the name of a strategy he himself devised: Sequestration. I say 'at this moment' because he detested us and abused us long before now, but for other, less obvious reasons. Most recently, of course, he did not get his way. The abuse began with the unnecessary and dangerous release of violent criminals of the illegal-immigrant variety, purposefully and prematurely released in Western states that have openly objected to prior abuse by the same head of our family. Then, to punish us more obviously, he closed the White House, which does not belong to him. Doesn't it make you wonder why, if he has discretion to close the White House itself, he can successfully pretend to be powerless to effect other changes, especially those that are dangerous? No, we are told, the loss of privileges must happen (we deserve it, after all) and are merely mechanical, not a punishment.

This is, of course, a lie. In the name of politics, we are being punished because the head of our family did not get what he wanted, and he's angry at us. But he was angry at us before. He told the whole world that he was angry from the beginning of his tenure, when he went around the world and threw us under the proverbial bus in speech after speech. Now, he is making sure that future reductions in the rate at which he can waste our tax dollars translate into present inconvenience and discomfort at airports. Some have pointed out that in the air traffic control industry, politically-motivated reductions in key personnel are not only unwise, but are dangerous. But that's the point, isn't it? We need to be shown repeatedly that the head of our family can make our lives miserable, for no reason other than because he feels like it. He can literally put is in danger, and then taunt us because he believes we can't do anything about it. After all, he has decided we deserve it and his anger must be indulged.

What to do? If this were an actual physical abuse scenario, we could go to the authorities and seek protection. For more than four years, we have curled up in a collective ball and taken it, as the head of our family mistreats us in earnest, while he simultaneously showers his favorites with all the goodies we supposedly cannot afford. While we nurse our wounds in the yard, he holds parties in the house we cannot enter. While we await lost work days, or delayed flights, his favorites vacation lavishly in the Bahamas or Vail, or both in the same week. When others attack us, he warns us not to rush to judgment about why they, too, detest us. It's distressing how they seem to share the same hatred of us.

At what point do we admit, as the American family, that the head of our family seems to enjoy each opportunity to abuse us, because he detests us, and finally seek to remove him for all the wrongs he has done under the rules of our American family? At what point do we admit we must do this for our own protection and that of our future? Isn't it long past the time to speak in earnest about impeaching this serial abuser? There is no other mechanism available to us to stop this endless abuse.

Jeffrey T. Brown is an attorney in Maryland.