America Has The D.T.’s


an_alcoholic_man_with_delirium_wellcome_l0060780Delirium Tremens

(from Wikipedia)
The main symptoms of delirium tremens are nightmares, agitation, global confusion, disorientation, visual and auditory hallucinations, tactile hallucinations, fever, high blood pressure, heavy sweating, and other signs of autonomic hyperactivity (fast heart rate and high blood pressure).

Seem familiar?

What’s In A Nickname?

There are many nicknames for D.T., that bastion of perfidy currently known as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. I believe we use these nicknames as a way of making sense of what makes no sense. I don’t believe that even many of his followers think he makes sense, as much as he makes them feel justified in their own hatreds and loathings.

I think we also use them as a way of distancing ourselves from what we find repulsive and loathsome.  When I started writing a post about our Republican party’s nominee, I realized that I didn’t even want to type out his full name for this very reason. I also realized that when we use these nicknames, we have the choice of creating shame or, maybe, of opening our eyes to a new way of understanding. I started just using the initials and that’s when it occurred to me that I’d seen those letters before.

One of my favorite singers is Christy Moore, and for those of you who have been deprived of the delights of Irish music, I highly encourage you to seek out his recordings. There is a charming song that tells his story of having the ‘DTs.’ While I do not know of any of my family members ever having delirium tremens, for generations we’ve all been familiar with ‘the drink’ being blessed with Irish & English heritage.

Using Shame

“This is someone who likes to eat…”

I believe that D.T. as a presidential candidate is akin to our country having a case of  the ‘auld’ DT’s. We’ve ‘given up the drink’ and to our shock, this vision, as inexplicable as those sung about by Christy, appeared. If we’d been asked in advance, I do not think we would have believed it to be possible that there was enough support in our country for someone who personifies such human ugliness, but there is. This is an opportunity for us to see in the bright light of day how vital it is that each of us continue to actively and individually take a stand for the values we hold dear.

Respect. Compassion. Social Justice. Civil Communication. A Caring Economy.

We will elect Hillary. And our work does not stop there, it only begins. I Believe we need to ask ourselves these questions:

How do we show respect and compassion for those who are excited by the hatefulness of D.T.?
How do we heal the mental illness that is misogyny?
How do we heal the mental illness that is racism?
How do we heal the hearts of those who feel empowered by aligning with hatred?

Our Cultural Wounds

Look at these cultural wounds through the lens of Riane Eisler’s work. Ms. Eisler first exposed the systemic illness, the social auto-immune disease, that is dominator culture in her book, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History our Future. She also illuminated the cure: Partnership/Respect-based Culture.

In the Partnership/Respect-based cultural framework principles that we associate with the Feminine, like nurturing, empathy, respect, compassion, cooperation, and caring, are valued as highly as those we consider masculine. The drive for achievement is balanced with accountability for how what we do impacts the environment and others. The masculine warrior principle is deeply connected to the sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of community, in particular for those who are vulnerable.

Aligning With A Dominator

Vulnerability is valued in the Partnership/Respect-based culture. Highly. Yes, having a way in which one can be affected is a highly valued attribute. This is in direct opposition to a dominator cultural mindset, where vulnerability is viewed with loathing and disgust, and receives the sort of brutishness D.T. displays toward Ms. Machado. As Ms. Eisler observes in her book, ‘in a dominator culture there are two choices: dominate or be dominated.’

D.T.’s base, otherwise known as the human beings we share our country with, make an obvious choice when viewed from dominator culture’s perspective. ‘My best bet for avoiding domination by others is to either be a strong dominator, or, to align myself with one.’ These folks, as has been observed, lack some qualifications and education that could have been an entirely different source of empowerment for them. There would be no need to seek inclusion under the mantle of the most brutish dominator on the scene.

Why The D.T.’s?

I see many signs that our country is ‘giving up the drink.’ The most recent being the unfolding and results so far of the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another sign, so obvious it is like an elephant in the room, is our choice of Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate. Yes, I said elephant because elephants are huge and we women do not need to be afraid of being ‘yuge’ 😉

In The Chalice & The Blade, Ms. Eisler notes that every time a society moves toward becoming more Partnership/Respect-based, the dominator culture rises up with a fury in an attempt to crush it. This, my friends, is what we are seeing now. Just as the alcohol addiction sends the fury of the delirium tremens to frighten the alcoholic back into drinking, the D.T. himself is here to see if he can be a voice for a culture that knows it no longer has a place here. The dominator culture knows that its time is up.

We have awakened to far too great an extent to sit apathetically by and allow ugliness to rule the day.



PS – You may be wondering why the leading photo of this post is of Hillary Clinton and not D.T. I believe it is imperative that we hold the images of what we desire in higher priority than those of what we do not. It is not an attempt to equate Mrs. Clinton with the DTs. I simply think it is a bad idea to place that other D.T.’s image at the top of my post.