Abusing kings, discarding dictators and warning Republicans

by Barton Parks

The movie The King’s Speech tells the story of a King abused as a child. In a royal household, the boy suffered emotional abandonment, vicious pinching and, when he stammered, humiliating reprimands.

If child abuse can happen in a royal household, then it can happen within our ordinary families. Those abused, especially in the most fragile time of life, often become traumatized. As the movie suggests, childhood trauma can damage someone all their lives. Consequences include not only stuttering, but also uncontrollable self-criticism, deeply rooted anxiety and its consequent physical ills and more.

As each new generation grows into adulthood, some of the traumatized complete the circle. Kings, parents, teachers and employers insist they are looking out for the individual’s “best interest.” In our way of life, rationales for abuse are a dime a dozen—parents insist they must “toughen up” their children, that they must “learn to behave.” Understandably, youth submit to the adult power over them. Nevertheless, inside themselves, a great many young people keep their desire to be free, to direct their own lives. Which brings us to discarding dictators. By oppressing Egyptians for 30 years, Mubarek gov- erned in ways that resulted in millions being abused and traumatized. He has taken tens of billions for his personal wealth. Worse, he put in place financial policies that made a small elite immensely wealthy, while 40 percent of their fellow citizens had to live on $2 each day. Whatever is on the books, such policies are criminal. They are sick, sick, sick. From somewhere inside their long suffering selves, ordinary Egyptians summoned the courage for their revolution. It was a good old American type revolt—non-ideological, non-religious. We heard nothing of Islam, Muslim, Christian, al-Qaida, etc. The Egyptian people responded courageously to degrading oppression. Let us admire and thank them for reminding us of the desire for freedom in us all, and the determination to get it. Which brings us to warning Republicans. In America, ever since King Reagan, Republicans and conservatives have been implementing policies that moved wealth upward—just like in Egypt. We have seen the rich in America get so obscenely wealthy and powerful that we can no longer say America is a land of opportunity for ordinary folks. It has been made into a rich man’s playground, carnival time for corporations. We too now have an elite — just like in Egypt—built on a shrinking middle class and growing poverty.

Let us no longer be confused by all the propaganda around us. The Egyptians became skilled at seeing through their elite’s attempts to indoctrinate them. They saw that the policies passed by the rich helped the rich at everyone else’s expense. We can learn that our elite, with their hugely concen- trated wealth and power, really run this country. They create policies furthering their immense and still growing wealth, and causing millions of us to lose our jobs or suf- fer in poverty. When the elite go so far as to try to prevent everyone from getting health care—health care, mind you — they are truly sick, sick, sick. In America our dictators are corporations, not kings. As we are seeing all too clearly, corporations build their riches by throwing those they do not need into the trauma of unemployment and poverty. Let us stand with the Egyptian rebels and discipline our corporate elite away from ruining our democracy into serving it. Barton Parks lives in Greensboro.