An End to Enabling

By Louis Avallone

It’s a story that is all too familiar in our country today. Millions of Americans are in an unhealthy relationship where they are enabling destructive behavior. Some are acting out of love and trying to help or protect, even though they may actually be making a chronic problem worse, like an addiction. These folks are often referred to as “enablers” because they accommodate another’s harmful behavior and, in the process, almost encourage it.

What is an example of “accommodating” harmful behavior? Here’s a letter from a reader in “middle America” who discovered she was “enabling” her significant other’s destructive behavior. She writes:

“We have been together now for 3 years. When we first met, we drank and partied every time we were together, but I thought this was normal for moderates and liberals like us, who were out to change the world, on our terms. There were the parties and concerts at our home in Washington, D.C., from Broadway plays to performances by Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Queen Latifah. I mean, we spent at least $10 million on such engagements in 2009 alone. He started out as a very caring person too, even volunteering his time to provide amnesty to illegal aliens and free healthcare for us all, even giving “cash for clunkers” and spending wildly on this, or that, thinking that it would make it all better. I hit it off with his family too, like Aunt Nancy, and Uncle Harry, and even his Reverend. I felt like I belonged somewhere, and was proud, for the first time in my life. But even after our finances were completely out of control, and jobs became so scarce that I eventually lost my unemployment benefits, he would still go out and party, and I really didn’t know where he was, who he was meeting with, nor what he was doing. He seemed to stop taking a genuine interest in work altogether, because he kept trying the same old, tired, and failed ideas, over and over and over. One time, in fact, he went golfing thirteen weekends in a row, and we just seemed not to exist to him at that point.

Now, some people might call me dysfunctional too since I chose to be with him. But we continued this cycle of him obsessing on liberal ideology and me getting angrier, because things were not improving – our home’s value had plummeted, our retirement savings were nearly depleted, and I increasingly had to ask for permission to do just about anything. It was like a bureaucracy. And he told me once that if I brought a knife to the fight, he would bring a gun. I thought it was my anger issues, or mean-spiritedness, that were the problem, and if I could just get control over my anger, and be more tolerant and patient, things would be fine. But I became very resentful of him, because he wasn’t there to help me. He seemed to always put his liberal ideology of bigger government, more spending, and higher taxes before my well being and my children.

I was alone in an economy where the effective unemployment rate was 21.3% and feeling so very alone. All he could talk about was how food stamps and unemployment benefits stimulate economic growth. Our children have seen things no one should ever have to witness, especially from someone in his position.

He calls me names, if I disagree with him. For example, he said I was a ‘terrorist’ to him, for no reason at all. One time he said, ‘you know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.’ Then, the next day he either won’t remember what he said, or he will say he’s sorry and expect everything to be fine, and for me to just forgive him.

He always promises me that he will cut down on his spending, and his liberal ways, but he always ends up hurting us anyway. I keep waiting for him to grow up, but I am beginning to change instead. I realize now that ‘change’ and ‘hope’ begins first with me.”

This is the story of the American people, under the Obama administration. It is sad, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Quite simply, the American people have “enabled” President Obama, the Democrats in Washington, and the bigger government crowd to threaten our liberties, mask American exceptionalism, and further bankrupt our country. Now it is time for an “intervention”.

Sure, Obama’s hurried speech to the joint-session of Congress right after Labor Day was full of the same-ol’-same-ol’ promises of change. But to get something that you haven’t got, you have to do something you haven’t done. And while Americans may not be much older, they are much wiser, than they were in 2008. Yes, we understand that America’s problems were not created overnight. We understand that there is not just one “magic bullet” that Obama can use to make everything better right away.

But this is not a time for Americans to be understanding nor patient, nor “enabling” of destructive behavior, in any way. Millions of Americans have “been there, done that.” We need change. Not promises. It’s time for an “intervention” to end this liberal addiction and return America back to the clean and sober nation that still, for 235 years now, makes it the envy of all the world.

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