Wednesday, October 18th 2017

Barack Obama, John McCain and the presidential politics of codependence

Part 3 of 7 in a Soul’s Code series about codependence

BY DAVID RICKEY and PAUL KAIHLA — In our description of the Stage 1 of codependence we talked about how common it is for people who had childhoods with an abusive, dysfunctional or weak parent to carbon-copy that dynamic in adult relationships — or compensate for it.

As it happens, both of the 2008 presidential candidates fit the mold with their fathers. Barack Obama (in the B&W photo with his mother, step-father and half-sister) never really knew his father, except by myth. Obama’s father abandoned his family and future Democratic nominee when Barack was a toddler.

John McCain’s father, an admiral and heavy drinker, was absent for much of the Republican nominee’s childhood.

We’re not going to argue that Obama or McCain are currently in codependent marriages but you could say that every politician, at some level, has plugged into a codependent arrangement with his or her constituents, the media and public at large.

What is the energetic arrangement? If you take care of ME, I’ll take care of you :)

They perceive that their survival as a politician is dependent on their meeting the needs of the electoral public. And it requires walking a fine line between doing the right thing, and doing what will get them or their party re-elected.

The point is driven home beautifully in the political satire, Dave. Kevin Kline plays the role of a “loser” social worker who takes the place of the president, his look-alike, when the latter goes into a coma.

Dave (Kevin Kline) scandalizes the White House staff by insisting on doing the right (moral) thing, even though the political cost could wipeout electoral success — and everyone’s careers. Dave/Kline doesn’t fit into the system because he is not codependent: His core “constituency” is his own conscience.

So, whether you are a politician or civilian, the potential for codependence is a living, ticking thing. It’s a question, partly, of pre-disposition — and partly a question of willingness to work, to gain personal insight, to evolve.

NEXT: The Enneagram — A chart for ‘predicting’ codependence

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2 Comments on “Barack Obama, John McCain and the presidential politics of codependence”

  1. Paul, Father David, where is the line between interdependent and codependent?

  2. Good Question! That will be coming in the later Parts

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