I have always thought that Donald Trump was a sort-of twisted version of Ben Carson. They are the most closely related in their approach. They are more alike than different, except one just has much more precision and humility which make them worlds apart.
However, I see the strategic, or should I say systemic move Dr. Carson made in endorsing Trump. I also see the power behind it, which is the fact that there is strength in unity. Profound strength that cannot be ignored or underestimated. I also know that many people in the Carson camp might feel betrayed. I understand your concerns and don’t judge you, but if you paid attention to Carson’s message about unity, the destruction that comes through division and the will of “We the People”, then this decision is not that surprising. In fact, I urge you to go back to YouTube and listen to many of his Town hall meetings straight from his mouth. Remember, Dr. Carson didn’t preach on the importance of morality in the White House when he spoke. Instead, he educated the masses on the purpose of our founding document, the Constitution and that’s what is truly at stake here. Our government was supposed to be a government of, by and for the people, but instead it has turned into a conglomerate of enmeshed relationships with special interest groups, which by doing so, distorts a politician’s roles and boundaries.
Many of you know that I used to be a therapist. From the therapeutic standpoint, Dr. Carson recognizes America is stuck in a cave; one of anger, fear and irrational thinking. The doctor recognizes the fears, he sees the behaviors and assesses how dysfunctional this whole system has become. In fact, therapists and psychiatrists use what is called a GAF, the Global Assessment of Functioning. They use this to determine how functional an individual or system really is. His approach was very systematic in nature, much like how the Systemic Approach theory works in counseling.
In the systemic approach, the practitioner determines the reciprocal influence rather than just a linear influence. The systemic approach looks at the entire system as one big entity with several moving parts that play significant roles through personal beliefs and narratives. It does not use a scapegoat. One of its key tenants is that no single person is the problem in a system or family structure. The problem remains the problem and no one gets to bear the title of “problem child,” if you will. When working with families or other systems using the Systemic Approach there are three key factors. First, the therapist must decide which family or system member the practitioner will work with. Second, they must join the family to bring change from within. And third, it’s imperative that the practitioner remain neutral in order to be perceived as fair and objective.
When it comes to a nation and government, we can see where Dr. Carson has used this very approach. First, Dr. Carson has assessed which candidate has the highest likelihood of pulling most of the votes from both the democrats and independents. This is the most practical decision for him as the Carson campaign brought a highly diverse population to the polls.
Second, he is “loosely” joining the Trump family in at least being able to demonstrate to Mr. Trump his very comprehensive understanding of education and healthcare. Dr. Carson is of course willing to help serve in whatever way possible. His goal is to help the American people.
Third, Dr. Carson is making sure that he remains perceived as neutral and objective. He is only partial to the Republican party and helping them win against Hillary Clinton. He is ready to set aside his goal to “Heal, Inspire, Revive” and to instead help Mr. Trump “Make America Great Again.” His intentions are as honorable as they come. He is willing to serve the American people in whatever way possible to help preserve the “American Dream for the coming generation.”
Dr. Carson has always seen the role of POTUS as a role of servanthood. It’s a role in which the leader serves the American people and not the other way around. This is the narrative that he has introduced and this is indeed what our founding document supports. This is also another important part of the Systemic Approach. This is called “re-story-ing.” Restorying helps families change their narratives about who they are and what got them to the problematic place they are in right now. For America, this means not always blaming one group or another, but instead calling out the false narratives that have been pushed for far too long. Restorying helps the families and would help America at large. Dr. Carson is also restorying through his own personal life story. He is a conservative African-American that has risen from poverty through hard work and the help of God. This goes against all of which the progressive left has pushed for the last several years, which explains why they hate him so much.
There are a few other key pieces to Dr. Carson’s endorsement. This endorsement came from a deep assessment of the American voters. The doctor respects that this is where the American people are at this time. In fact, in therapy, we are encouraged to meet our clients where they emotionally are. To be the most effective, practitioners are supposed to crawl into the patient’s “cave” of depression and anxiety and help walk them out, through processing, coaching and teaching.
When the therapist meets clients where they are and finds out why they are stuck, the practitioner recognizes their dysfunctional state WITHOUT condemnation. When a therapist does this, he has a greater likelihood of reaching a hurting client. Once this happens, the client becomes “unstuck” and great therapeutic advancements usually occur, called “breakthroughs.”
Remember, Dr. Carson is a doctor, which means he will lead from a therapeutic stand-point. The media won’t teach you this, but this type of leadership is the most effective because it always requires the most holistic strategy. Much of that strategy includes being able to recognize, relate, reach-out and reform. With this consistent pattern being applied to our nation at large, change can finally occur.
And this is the bigger picture that the Republican party mustn’t lose sight of: the desperate need of “restorying” the progressive false narrative and making sure that “capitalism is coupled with compassion.” (Dr. Carson, CPAC speech, 2016). We will see the real enemy, yet again, is Socialism (which cannot exist without oppression and tyrannical government), and when Capitalism is coupled with compassion, it leaves very little room for either fascism or communism.
Dr. Carson is not a self-serving politician. Remember, he never wanted to do this. His concern is preserving a government of, by and for the people for our future generations. So, let’s remember that Dr. Carson is a doctor, first and foremost, and not just any doctor. He is world-renowned, a Living Legend (named by the Library of Congress) pediatric neurosurgeon, which makes him an extremely effective leader because of his ability to strategize through the most complex problems. His leadership is also therapeutic in nature and being therapeutic means you must’ve thought at least two or three steps ahead of your client. This endorsement came from a place of strategy and therapeutic problem-solving and not from a desire for advancement of selfish ambition.
He used a systemic approach, which looks heavily to define the hierarchy of control, roles, boundaries and enmeshment (in this case, the enmeshment is politicians in cahoots with special interest groups, which breaks boundaries and skews their intended roles of leadership).
So, instead of getting caught up on ideals and legislating morality, let’s recognize that a president is actually a Commander-in-Chief, a warrior and leader for millions of troops and a problem-solver for complex international policy and social issues. Let’s not put great minds in a box, and recognize that “we the people” do not have access to all the information that Dr. Carson has had. In fact, none of us have gotten to know the rest of the candidates the way he has! For him to make that judgment call, must mean that he saw the greatest opportunity to strategically and systematically uphold a government, by and for the people.
And fellow conservatives, that’s what’s really at stake here.
© Olivia Reid, 2016
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