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Ask Dr. Helen: Does a Father-Free Home Breed Success — Or Just Power-Hungry Politicians?

Even on Father's Day, some think dads are not just unimportant — they can even impede your drive to succeed.

by
Helen Smith

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June 21, 2009 - 5:12 am
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First off, I can’t understand how the above politician is leading a “successful” life. Now I’m starting to understand why so many of our politicians are so darn screwed up and narcissistic. I don’t know about you but this really doesn’t sound like success to me — rather, it sounds like this man is driven by a need to keep himself occupied 24/7 to avoid reflecting on what he most missed. Note that he is worried about his own advancement, not that of the people he is serving.

Perhaps this is why so many politicians get off on being power-hungry. Without dads to teach them about power, boundaries, and love, they resort to wielding power over others in an effort to control the father or punish the father that they never had. Or, in reverse, they may imagine their father as something more than he was or in order to win his love, try to use his or her position to further what he or she thinks an imaginary father would want.

Also, I wonder if fatherless politicians are part of what is driving the anger against men in our society. The residual anger many of them feel towards men perhaps makes many more likely to try and control and dominate other men as a way to make up for the most important man in their lives not wanting anything to do with them. The lack of a father might also shape the way they write laws or wield their power over others. If they felt more secure and loved, perhaps they wouldn’t have such a drive to control others and think of their own needs and wants first, above the people they are serving.

Perhaps fatherless men and women feel more of a need to go into politics or other areas that allow them to influence others, but I can’t help but wonder if this psychological dynamic of a lack of father figures is good for the country or if it simply gives these men and women a larger stage to act out their inner-most demons. Perhaps neither, perhaps both. It probably depends on whether the person has successfully resolved the psychological issues of what not having a father meant for them.

I will turn it over to readers. What do you think: Do fatherless homes really breed “success”? Or do they just lead to some politicians who make decisions based on their own need to “succeed” rather than focusing on what is best for the country?

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Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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