Dear America: Who's Driving the Bus? is my philosophy book that offers a universal paradigm for understanding the often confounding and contradictory ways in which people behave.
America is currently embroiled in a second civil war that it is unaware of and that threatens our way of life. The civil war in this country is being fought over the same thing all great wars are fought over: power. But in this war, the adversaries are ourselves. Civil War II is not a race war, an economic war, or a war between states. It is a psychological battle between states of mind that will determine who has the power in our society, who is in control.
The human growth process is twofold; it has a physical component and a psychological component. Chronological age is an uncontested biological accomplishment. Psychological growth is another matter entirely. We struggle with the wish to become powerful, independent adults and the longing to remain powerless, dependent children.
Psychological growth is the universal challenge of childhood. Every society in the world needs its children to grow into physical and psychological adulthood in order to continue the cycle of life. Theoretically, if a society were to remain a society of children that society would necessarily collapse and extinguish itself. The psychological growth process is a difficult struggle, but it always involves a choice. It is impossible to become a responsible adult without choosing to relinquish the irresponsibility of childhood.
Until the 1960s American institutions cooperated in common cause to help American children become responsible adults whose individualism and embrace of the meritocracy produced enormous contributions to society that strengthened the country. The family, the church, and the government including educational curricula were uniformly determined that American children grow into responsible productive psychological adulthood. What happened??
After WWII the enemies of the United States understood that to end American dominance as a super power it was necessary to destroy the infrastructure that supported American exceptionalism. The Culture War was a deliberate attempt to shatter the American infrastructure of god, government, and family. This is how it works.
We all begin as children: helpless, dependent, self-absorbed, and completely lacking boundaries. We exist in a state of fusion unable to distinguish self from other. The universal task of childhood is to emerge from this state of total narcissism; the method is learning. The child slowly learns to become a psychological adult by gradually relinquishing the total self-absorption of infancy. The child learns to identify self by discovering the reality of other.
The degree to which we have emerged from our state of total narcissism is the measure of our mental health. A state of mind is not fixed. It is constantly shifting along the growth continuum, anywhere from total, infantile narcissism to responsible psychological adulthood depending upon the level and stability of the individual's inner development and the strength of the external pressures challenging it.
Let us imagine a single life span as a time line beginning with birth and ending with death. Ideally the chronological development of this life corresponds with its psychological development. Whether an individual's lifetime is ideal or traumatic, his growth patterns and level of functioning can be visualized as points on his growth continuum.
At any given moment in time he can know which state of his mind is functioning along his time line., Is he functioning like a rational adult? If so, which adult? The parent? The sibling? The businessman? The friend? Is he behaving like an adolescent? Or is he behaving like a child? An oppositional adolescent? A frightened child? A happy child?
When the rational adult identifies a child as the state of mind that is in command at the moment, he has identified one of his inner children. An inner child is a psychological entity - one of the historical children who exist within each of us. We must remember that we are each the the whole of our life's experience and that the children we once were continue to exist internally as parts of ourselves. Even after we reach chronological adulthood, the narcissism of childhood exists within our minds. Each inner child is a mobile entity seeking control of the individual's mind. The inner child's struggle for power continues to challenge the individual's rational, adult state of mind.
If we understand the growth process and the complexities of the human mind we can understand how one person can perceive us completely differently than another, and we can make sense of the often confounding and contradictory ways in which people behave. Imagine yourself as a big yellow school bus with many seats to accommodate your inner entities and their different moods, roles, and states of being. The bus travels along the time line that is your lifetime picking up new passengers as you grow and develop. The driver of the bus is always selected from the passengers on your bus. To understand how one person perceives us so differently than another we must ask ourselves the defining question, "Who's driving the bus?"
The power struggle between one's inner children against one's rational adult over who will drive the bus is the source of Civil War II. Civil War II begins as a personal, internal war and eventually finds its way into external society. The current demonstrations of infantile behavior exhibited by angry leftist millennials having temper tantrums, uncontrolled outbursts of profanity, calls for violence, demands for safe spaces, Play-Doh, and service dogs are all symptomatic of a lost internal battle to the demanding angry inner child. How did this happen?
From America's beginnings until the 1960s America's children were encouraged to grow up psychologically and take their rightful place in the adult world of rational thinking and objective reality. American exceptionalism was a product of the physical and psychological growth of its citizens incentivized to excel by opportunities for upward mobility supported by individualism and the meritocracy.
The ongoing leftist Culture War on America is a relentless attack on American psychological adulthood. The pressure to regress Americans back to childhood dependency and the world of subjective reality is a deliberate reversal of traditional American norms designed to collapse America from within. Educational indoctrination, media propaganda, and the drug culture of unproductive apathy, are weapons of the Culture War introduced in the 60s and expanded exponentially under Barack Obama. WHY?
Socialism is a binary political structure with a massive childlike population dependent upon a ruling elite who demand total government control. Socialism is the transitional political system required to internationalize America and impose one world planetary governance. Obama is a globalist puppet whose deceitful promise to transform America was his seditious plan to turn America into a socialist state in preparation for one world government. This is how it works.
Obama engaged America's angry inner children. Identity politics are based on victimhood. Instead of mobilizing the empowered rational adults able to effect constructive social and political change, Obama's policies are designed to mobilize the angriest entities of childhood who feel marginalized and prefer destruction, temper tantrums, and anarchy. Chronological age is irrelevant. Robert DeNiro is a primetime example of a mobilized angry inner child disguised as a middle-aged adult. DeNiro's outbursts of profanity would be rejected and reviled in a community of rational adults, but Hollywood glitterati are a community of angry inner children. Their behavior is out of control because their inner children who lack impulse control are driving their buses.
"Progressive" left is an oxymoron. The radical left lives in a regressive world that strives for childhood dependence rather than adult independence. Instead of striving for the empowerment of rational adulthood they compete for victimhood and the regressive powerlessness of childhood. Here is the problem. The radical left deceitfully promotes socialism's cradle to grave government care as social justice and income equality. It is the greatest bait and switch of the 21st century.
What the duped inner children do not understand is that free stuff is not free. The price for free stuff is freedom and total surrender to the parental government. Total government control over an infantilized population is the infrastructure of every despotic regime on Earth. There is no social justice or income equality in despotism. Childhood belongs to children - when childhood is advanced into adulthood it is the infrastructure of tyranny.
President Trump is diametrically opposed to the regressive policies of Obama and the radical leftist Democrats. President Trump believes in the Founding Fathers commitment to individualism and the meritocracy. He represents a return to rational thinking and a demand for psychological adulthood. The underdeveloped leftist Democrats that have been indoctrinated toward dependency and childhood cannot bear President Trump's demand to grow up and live in the adult world of objective reality.
Every parent is familiar with the temper tantrums of children being told NO. Effective parents are not intimidated or persuaded by temper tantrums. Effective parents do not reward tantrums, effective parents reward restraint. It is time for the rational adults in America to say NO to the temper tantrums of an increasingly out of control regressed population disguised as adults.
The Obama/Clinton leftist Democrats were told NO when America elected President Donald Trump. Obama's seditious "resistance" movement is a national temper tantrum powered by an army of angry inner children designed to overthrow the sitting President of the United States. President Donald Trump demands objective reality and psychological adulthood to make America great again. He understands the psychodynamics of regression being used in the Culture War against America.
Obama's drive to shatter America from within actively promotes policies that engage our angry inner children and encourage regression. Thought precedes behavior. People who think like children act like children regardless of their chronological age. For America to remain the land of the free and the home of the brave it is necessary for its citizenry to GROW UP psychologically! It is necessary to embrace rational adulthood and reject the bait and switch snare of eternal childhood.
There is no freedom without personal responsibility and rational adulthood. At this moment in history the quality of life in our nation is devolving because our society is being overrun by out of control inner children disguised as adults who are trying to seize power from responsible adults. To reverse the trend and restore the course toward growth and self-sufficiency, the responsible adults in our society need to confront the narcissism that is threatening to overwhelm us. Narcissism must be identified as the enemy of civilized life for individuals, families, societies, and humanity.
Chaos is the antithesis of civilization. The degree to which we emerge from a state of individual narcissism will determine the level of development with which we can relate to our families, society, and humanity. Chaos is the natural environment of the narcissist - no rules, no regulations, no demands, no responsibilities. It is the world that is appropriate only to the infant, a world of unconditional love an acceptance.
If we are to be civilized, we must insist the chaos of childhood remains in childhood. We must distinguish self from other and establish our own boundaries so that we can respect the boundaries of our family members, society, and humanity. We must give up the regressive demand for unconditional love and acceptance and move forward developmentally to a place where rules are respected as the infrastructure of civilized life. We must return to the meritocracy as the standard for advancement. We must ask ourselves, "Who's Driving the Bus?" and be sure that it is our most rational adult self at the wheel.
Dear America: Who's Driving the Bus? by Linda Goudsmit is available at Amazon.com