Mohamed A. El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO and author of When Markets Collide wrote in a recent article concerning the debt ceiling and deficit issues facing America that elected representatives due to constant bickering are “failing miserably to communicate a vision that provides for even the smallest amount of medium-term optimism” and asks if politicians are aware of Main Street realities.
I would argue that there is a lack of vision not the failure to communicate one. The fanatical tea party ideologues are what David Brooks, a republican and columnist for the New York Times, calls “…an intransigent, dangerous force in the country, as they value far-right ideological purity over everything else.” They view themselves in heroic form failing to understand that the hero as conqueror must show more than the capacity to get what he wants. Villains show the same capacity and destroy with impunity to conquer for the sake of self gratification.
Carol Pearson, the Provost at Pacifica Graduate Institute and author of many books on archetypal symbolism, believes that to be a true hero in the classic sense, one must have a nobility of spirit and use power and independence for unselfish ends. The true hero transcends his ego to ride with courage and purpose and does not hold others hostage for vindication of petty ends. The perpetuation of this narcissist show of force by tea party representatives, if allowed to continue, will be carried out on the backs of impoverished and struggling Americans who can least afford it, while those who have received a free ride for far too long will continue on with a false sense of entitlement supported by the few at the expense of the many.
The classic hero on the white horse, the knight slaying dragons, is one of defending the boundaries of the kingdom so its inhabitants can flourish. Instead, we have a minority group of ideologues exemplifying the shadow side of the classic hero—the arrogant and ignorant Puer drawing his sword at any provocation and flashing it around just because he can. This is a hero drunk with egocentric illusions believing he is ensconced at the center of a wrongly perceived vast national or cosmological drama—think Glen Beck. No noble sustaining vision can come out of this quest.