It doesn’t take much to get “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical “A” Team, to embark on a demented journey into Obama Derangement Territory. Ablow is well known for his schizoid rants attacking the President and finding common ground with fellow nutcases like domestic terrorist Ted Kazcynski (I’m not kidding. See Romancing The Unabomber).
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In his most recent outing on Fox, Ablow was supposedly brought on to discuss an inspiring story in which a subway passenger fell onto the tracks and nearby witnesses bravely jumped down to help him back onto the platform and safety. It didn’t take long for Ablow to dive into his own personal obsession and divert the segment into an Obama bashing circus of stupid. This is the exchange with host Martha MacCallum that dominated the segment that was supposed to be about a heroic rescue by ordinary citizens:
MacCallum: You say [heroism] can be taught. How?
Ablow: It can be taught by example and by people talking about it. […] Now I know it’s not gonna be popular with all viewers, but I gotta tell you, the culture of dependency that’s being created by this administration, which is a favorite psychological topic of mine, that is the enemy of these moments of autonomy and heroism.
There you have it. The culture of dependency, by which right-wing crackpots like Ablow mean Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, etc., is the enemy of heroism. So according to Ablow, people who receive such benefits are cowardly no-accounts who cannot be relied upon in a crisis. Of course, Ablow made no attempt to find out whether any of the heroes in the subway were the sort of government moochers he is insulting. The exchange continued…
MacCallum: Why? How so?
Ablow: Because you gotta be a person. You have to have a self. You have to feel confident about you and your capacity to change the world for yourself and for others in order to hop down past that third rail and rescue someone. Otherwise, if you can’t have intention, if you can’t believe in your own power, you can’t do those things. And to the extent we create a culture of dependency, we are not going to have people that have the wherewithal to act heroically.
Remember, Ablow is a psychiatrist (although he is no longer a member of the American Psychiatric Association over a dispute wherein he was violating their standards), and he is asserting that Social Security recipients, who worked their whole lives to earn their benefits, are not “persons.” He says they lack the confidence, intention, and belief in themselves to be heroes. And the same is true, in his view, for low-income parents working two or more jobs to provide for their families if they accept any type of temporary aid for food or housing. Perhaps they would be more heroic if they were homeless and their children starved. He goes on…
MacCallum: So you’re suggesting that if we rely on government, rely on programs all the time, that we’re just sort of part of a mass and we lose that kind of independent spirit and confidence and self-esteem? Is that the suggestion?
Ablow: That is the risk. It’s the risk in towns, it’s the risk in families, it’s the risk on the world stage as to the American character and the character of Americans. We have to choose whether we want people to be autonomous, and do we want people to emulate these people who rescued someone, or do we want people who are always looking to some amorphous entity called the government to say “Well the government can be heroic, but I can’t because I’ve never had that experience in my life.”
Ablow is now elevating this absence of heroism from the individual to the world. He thinks the entire nation is made up of drones who have no autonomy or self-direction. They cannot think for themselves or act independently once they have been tainted by the group-think of what he calls an “amorphous entity” that usurps their free will. Actually, he may have something there. It sounds very much like the elitist, Koch-sponsored, Tea Party movement that thrives on ignorance and fear mongering. Ironically, it was Ablow who once presented a recipe for building a terrorist that also seemed more like a recipe for building a Tea Party. There is an odd and disturbing consistency in his dementia.
There are few people on Fox News who are more repulsive than Keith Ablow. He repeatedly violates the standards of his alleged profession and of decency. And this abhorrent episode is further evidence of his disdain for ordinary people who valiantly struggle to get by in the face of adversity. Contrary to Ablow’s derogatory point of view, it is these people who are the true heroes, and they have to prove it every day as they strive to improve the lives of their families, their communities and their country.