Ichabod

You will know them by their fruits . . . Matt 7:16


The world is full of narcissists. Narcissists use many tools to manipulate others. They gaslight. They lie. They accuse. They demean, name call, and bully. They will trip you in ways you cannot imagine. Narcissists are never satisfied despite the many ways they inflate their well-embellished pedestals. They are incapable of understanding how their self-centeredness demolishes relationships. It is always the other person’s fault, never their own. At their core, they harbor deep insecurities, but they’d never admit it.

My family of origin was affected by narcissism. My mother, though she had many good qualities, struggled with the affliction. Her need for recognition drove her relationships and it was exhausting. Instead of celebrating her grandchildren’s accomplishments, she quickly steered conversations to compare them to her own past achievements. Eventually, I stopped telling her of the things most grandparents would have found joy in hearing. I’m sorry to admit it, but as a family, we avoided her. Visits were always a mixed bag and I often was filled with guilt as we parted company, wanting to see her in a positive light but angry for the way she subtly demeaned me. Eventually, I came to peace with the hurt and learned to love her as she was, despite the strings attached.

Of six children, one of my brothers is a full-blown narcissist, far worse than the person who bore him into the world. Mom was out-matched at every turn, but instead of heading off his tendencies, they were coddled. It was so bad that when she fixed his breakfast, if his eggs weren’t to his standards, she would make a new batch. He ridiculed her for it and laughed behind her back. I would have turned the plate upside down on his head. We tacitly got along becaus at six years apart, I was in my own world and he in his.

That abruptly ended when he turned wickedly political over the 2016 presidential election. He conducted a poll of the family as to how they voted. Mom proudly proclaimed she voted for Trump. I ignored him, refusing to respond. None of your damn business, were the words that came to mind. During the same period, he instigated an unprovoked Facebook diatribe against me and my family. It was personal, pointed and done on a public platform, not through messaging. He engaged in name-calling and outrageous accusations. It was so horrid, my daughters took down the posts. “Mean as a snake,” they said of him. He refused to attend our mother’s funeral. He refused to help pay for her headstone. The stories of his vindictiveness could fill a book.

Being well-acquainted with the disorder, I can pick out narcissists and narcissistic behavior a mile away. I watched clips from AG Bill Barr’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 7/28/20. It was supposed to be a hearing, which by definition means there should be listening. Instead, it was a contrived and staged circus of narcissists vying for their turn in the spotlight, even refusing to give the witness a chance to answer their questions. They bullied, gaslit, lied about and accused the witness. This was not serious inquiry, it was harassment.

There is a collective narcissism at play on the national stage. Perpetuating a self-serving narrative has replaced telling the truth. I recently watched a live newscast from Seattle of an aggressive mob marching in unrestrained lockstep. During that same newscast, Mr. Announcer Man stated that it was merely a few people imbedded in the peaceful protesters that destroyed the Youth Justice Center. Mr. Announcer Man did little to focus on the criminality, instead emphasizing several times the protests were peaceful. Well, Mr. Announcer Man, these eyes watched those “peaceful protesters” acting without regard to the law, pushing back police lines, carrying umbrellas not because it was raining, but in anticipation of violent confrontation. The hatred-driven acts of the mob are being excused by the blindness of news media.

The protests in Seattle, Portland, Chicago and other cities have devolved into unmitigated and unrestrained riots. Buildings are set afire. Cars are burned. Fire is the tool of choice, much as it was when Germany went through upheaval prior to WWII, the same as it has been in every country where a lawless element seeks to tear down social construct. The anarchy is being excused under the pretensions of social justice. No matter how it is termed, it is not justice and it is most certainly not social. Minority business owners have lost their livelihoods and their life’s work. How is that benefitting the very people the anarchists claim as their banner? Any rational, fair-minded adult, no matter the political persuasion, should ask themselves if this is the world they want to live in. Where there is no law, there is no peace. Where there is no peace, no one can prosper. Chaos elevates no one.

I fear the hatred of one man has obliterated all rational thought and the haters simply don’t care about the destruction as long as their ends are achieved. Hatred blinds as nothing else can. I’ll go out on a prophetic limb and declare those who ascribe to this agenda will ultimately get something far different than what they desire. Their beds will not be one of roses, but of snakes. My fear is they won’t be able to recognize the vipers attached to their heels—until it is too late.

I am not ignorant of the racism that still exists in this country. There is far too much injustice for people of color. I was appalled at George Floyd’s death as any person watching that video should be. Unfortunately, the incident has been used as the springboard for the likes of ANTIFA to bring about destruction and desolation. This is no longer about George Floyd or racial equality. It is about tearing down the United States of America. The country that has coddled the anarchists’ narcissistic whims is the sole target for their sniveling derision and they are laughing behind our backs.

What the anarchists (and other narcissists) don’t understand is that they are stirring a volcano of anger in a thus far quiescent public. People of honest inquiry understand fairness, they can tell when they are being manipulated, they know when they are being lied to and taken advantage of. Much as my brother’s Facebook tantrum had the opposite intended effect (he didn’t bring shame, he stirred loathing), the actions of the mob and others to destroy our constitutional republic are also having the opposite intended effect. There is a sub-current of anger over the relentless attacks on civil society. People will only be pushed so far then they will push back.

God help us.



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