Enough Already.

As a physician, it’s hard to dismiss a repeated pattern of signs and symptoms in a multitude of people. Coincidence becomes less likely, and we may be witnessing a syndrome. It has happened before. We witnessed 8 years of unfettered rage against a President, first and foremost, for winning an election, and subsequently any reason, real or imagined, the afflicted could come up with.

One would think that 17 months after said President has been replaced, that the rage would subside, and the energy would be redirected into reforming those matters toward which the rage had previously been directed. One would think that as the rise of the oceans began to slow, and the planet began to heal, so too would those so afflicted by their unfettered rage. Well, the rage has abated to a degree, but this particular affliction may have chronic, long term consequences.

The rage has given way to a new set of signs and symptoms. Those affected seem to have lost an appreciation for the continuity of time. They have become distractible and tangential, unable to focus on matters at hand, in favor of revisiting the past. Oddly, they seem to have an uncontrollable desire to direct the attentions of others to the past as well.

In the last 68 days of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf disaster, much could have been done or said in an effort to find solutions to stop the leak, preserve the environment, and prevent further economic damage. But the afflicted seem to be unable to focus on this problem, so distracted are they by the past.

The afflicted have the uncanny ability to recognize a problem, say, unemployment or oil spill preparedness, and time warp back a few years to review the actions taken by former administrations, questioning them, blaming them, and distracting themselves and the rest of us from the more practical question: what is the current Administration/Congress going to do about it? This is almost reflexive. There is a problem today, but rather than question the current power structure’s actions of the last week, month, or 17 months, they are distracted by actions of several years ago, and carry on as if to demand those of the past to just stop it.

Never do they point out some issue, fault, or perceived cause of current events in the past, and ask, why hasn’t the administration of the last 17 months done something about this? To do so would draw attention to the current administration, raising those questions, which the afflicted apparently would rather not have answered. It might not be consistent with their delusion. They demand answers from the past, and none in the present.

Fortunately, there is a treatment for this affliction. Its effects are not immediate, and recovery is slow. If they take my advice, they just might recover. And here it is:

Don’t vote for Bush in the next election.