The online reference site Wikipedia defines the study of Political Psychology as “an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to understanding politics, politicians and political behavior from a psychological perspective.”
Could a political psychologist have a field day in Volusia County or what?
Look, I’m no Sigmund Freud, but my layman’s psychoanalysis of our current crop of elected and appointed officials on the Dais of Power in DeLand finds a contagious psychosis at work – a virulent disorder that ensures malleability, lock-step conformity and a pathological ability to compromise themselves in their pursuit of power.
A shared illness that renders its victim’s completely devoid of independent thought or strategic vision.
When you expose those afflicted to an entrenched system that beats square pegs into round holes to protect the status quo, the disease spreads like a pandemic to other similarly situated local politicians.
The malady – let’s call it “Volusia Dysfunction Syndrome” – is marked by small-minded authoritarian personalities with enormous egos, a low ability for critical thinking and a voracious appetite for tax dollars.
Unfortunately, over time, these feeble victims of VDS are exploited and controlled, becoming drone-like servants to an insatiable machine which takes public funds and transforms them into private profits.
Just my weird diagnosis. But is there another explanation?
Perhaps it’s just good old-fashioned greed at work.
In his 2017 work in Politico, “The Boomtown that Shouldn’t Exist,” Michael Gunwald described Florida as a, “. . .precarious civilization engineered out of a watery wilderness, a bewildering dreamscape forged by greed, flimflam and absurdly grandiose visions that somehow stumbled into heavily populated realities.”
From its earliest days, the Sunshine State has been wholly controlled by uber-wealthy and incredibly influential political insiders who use large sums of cold cash to manipulate policy and ensure their direct access to an unlimited stream of public funds.
The examples are legendary – from big sugar to mega-developers – the width and breadth of this fragile paradise we call home has been environmentally and financially stripped by ravenous bastards driven by overweening greed in a never-ending pursuit of personal wealth and political power.
If you can’t see that pathology at play in Volusia County politics – you need new spectacles.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.
Our system of governance in Volusia County no longer bears any resemblance to a representative democracy – replaced by a weird camarilla of “Rich & Powerful” panjandrums who have turned our local elections into livestock auctions.
Now, there is a rumor circulating among well-informed people in our community that the Star Chamber at the Volusia CEO Business Alliance is strongly considering pulling the much-touted half-cent sales tax referendum off the November ballot – citing an increasing negative perception of this shameless money grab among Volusia residents – and a cramped slate which includes constitutional amendments, local seats and myriad other issues.
In my view, if true, this confirms once and for all the incredible power and influence a small group of ingrained political insiders, working totally outside the transparency and oversight of government processes, have on the direction of public policy even to the point of determining when We, The People can vote on important matters that effect our lives and livelihoods here on the Fun Coast.
I can’t think of anything less democratic – or more frightening.