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Battered Voter Syndrome

How can liberals continue to support this president?

Bonnie Ramthun


November 4, 2013 - 7:20 am

I know the answer to the questions conservatives have about the devotion of President Obama’s supporters. How can liberals give such overwhelming, blind support to a political leader who lies to them time and time again? How can they ignore the evidence of economic disaster, the loss of personal freedom, an incompetent foreign policy, and the government healthcare debacle that is Obamacare?

How can liberals continue to support this president?

I know why, and you might be surprised at the answer. The answer is love. Love, the most wonderful and terrible of human emotions. I came to understand the terrible side of love when I worked in a battered women’s shelter when I was in college. People who are in an abusive relationship (there are men, too) love their abuser and desperately hope that things will get better. They cling more fiercely to their beliefs the more they are battered, until there is a snapping point.

This snapping point can take a terrible turn when a battered woman murders her spouse. “Battered woman syndrome” is a known disorder and can be used in court as a mitigating factor in a trial. More often, sadly, the battered woman ends up dead in a domestic violence incident that police officers hate more than almost any other call. Some women end their abusive relationship the right way by leaving and seeking help with a women’s shelter like the Safehouse I worked phones for in Wyoming.


The Safehouse organization offers support and services to anyone impacted by domestic violence. One of the most important services it provides is a shelter for victims. The Safehouse shelter location is a secret. I spoke to countless men on the phone who were desperate, despondent, and heartbroken. An abusive man would promise me anything if I would just let him speak to his beloved wife so he could convince her to come home. Their voices were so compelling, so sincere, that you’d have to have a heart of stone to resist them.

I resisted. I saw the broken bones, the double black eyes, and the bruises on the women they loved. And it was in my training for answering the phone that I learned an interesting psychology: The abuser isn’t allowed to talk to his victim at the shelter because if he does, more often than not he’ll talk her into coming home. A woman whose jaw was broken and wired shut would embrace the man who’d broken it and go back home with him. She’d end up in the shelter again, even more battered, or we’d get the news that she was in the morgue. The Safehouse counselors, wise as they are, know the desperate desire of human beings to believe they made the right choice, that their love is requited, that they didn’t make a mistake.

Here is where I learned to understand liberals who cling passionately to their political leaders, no matter how much they are lied to and abused. Liberals, unlike conservatives, fall in love. They swoon over their president, they faint at rallies, they create artworks of devotion. They don’t just admire their politicians; they adore them. They practically worship them.


Ask yourself when conservatives worshipped a political leader. The very thought brings a laugh. We regard our political leaders with constant suspicion, give them our grudging support and holding their feet to the fire if they betray their promises. Even Ronald Reagan, now lionized in conservative popular culture, was constantly scrutinized while in office

How confusing it is for a conservative to understand that liberals think of their politicians as though they are married to them. Their passion for their leader is as difficult to break as the bond a battered woman feels for her husband. She’s pledged herself to him, and no matter how he’s hurt her she knows in her heart she is loved by him, she is supported by him, and she can’t abandon him. When you ask liberals how they can support Obama in the midst of his lies, you’re asking them to admit that not only is their choice of political leader flawed, but that they made a mistake in falling for him in the first place. This is a difficult pill for anyone to swallow.

The Safehouse works hard to free victims from abuse, and the first task is to free the mind from the trap they’ve built for themselves. Once a battering victim understands that she is not loved, was never loved, and never will be loved, the revelation is amazing. Like a light going on inside a darkened room, everything that was hidden becomes revealed. The next step is to free her from the guilt she feels for being so blind for so long. That part is sometimes the hardest of all.

When I interact with a liberal now, I remember the moment a battered woman realizes that her abuse will only stop when she frees herself. I hope for that moment for them. I try to lead them to enlightenment, and rein back my frustration when I can. They committed to loving this person, in some cases actually worshipping this person, and admitting they made a terrible mistake is almost an impossible thing to do.


You might be wondering why I worked at the Safehouse as a college girl. Was I an abused and battered woman? No. I answered phones because I answered my apartment doorbell one morning to a woman who’d called the hotline for help after her husband had left for work. They asked her to find someone to stay with until they got there to pick her up, but she knew no one. She was a college student herself, she was from Cameroon, Africa, and she was all alone. I let her in my door and fixed her tea and watched the bruises bloom and grow in purplish patches on her skin. Two of her fingers were broken and she held them stiffly away from her cup, as though she were a little girl at a tea party. She didn’t cry. I didn’t, either, not then, not until she’d left with the Safehouse volunteers.

That night her husband came knocking, which I should have expected but did not. I opened my door to a tiny man from Cameroon, Africa, who might have weighed ninety pounds soaking wet. This small man in spectacles had battered the woman I fixed tea for that morning, broken her fingers, pulled out patches of her hair. His eyes were wet, desperate, and pleading, as he begged me to tell him where his wife had gone.

“She’s gone,” I told him. “I don’t know where.” I closed the door on him, and the next week I started answering phones for the Safehouse. Six months later, I saw her on campus, healed, whole, a smile blooming gloriously on her face as she embraced me and chatted with me. She’d never gone back to him. She’s free.

It can happen to liberals, too. Just keep trying, and try to be as wise as the Safehouse volunteers I met who never judged and never berated. Most of all, be like a Safehouse volunteer, and never give up.


image courtesy shutterstock / motorolka

Bonnie Ramthun lives in Colorado with her husband and children. She's the author of mysteries and thrillers for adults and children. Her middle grade mystery "The White Gates' was a Junior Library Guild premiere selection and was a finalist for the Missouri Truman award. All her novels are available on Amazon.

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Top Rated Comments   
"How can liberals continue to support this president?'

Because they're Liberals. No need to overthink it with a 4 page article.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
You might be right. But I have a feeling it's more like this: Progressives don't love presidents, they love progressivism. They stick with Obama because he succeeds in making bits of the Progressive dream into reality. To them, Obamacare is a step in the right direction. A faltering step, to be sure, but that doesn't matter. Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither is Utopia.

These people are in it for the long haul. They don't get hung up on individuals. Individuals come and go. It's the goal that counts.

Think of it this way: Some spouses will stay married to people they loathe because they're in it for something other than love - say, a cushy lifestyle. Or a political cause. Liberals will stay married to Obama as long as they get what they want out of the arrangement.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They swoon over their President, they faint at rallies, they create artworks of devotion. They don’t just admire their politicians; they adore them. They practically worship them."
--What happens when you replace the one, true God with whatever's handy.

38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (40)
All Comments   (40)
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This rings true to me. I get constant emails from the DNC and OFA asking me to "Sign Barack/Michelle/Ted Kennedy[when he was alive]'s birthday card." Chances to meet them are auctioned off like trophies. They're treated like celebrities and I get the feeling that they expect me to get weak-kneed at the opportunity to shake their hands. Of course, every email also includes requests for money to help the Obamas or our "team."

I never get emails from Republicans like this. No Republican campaign organization has ever tried to get me weak-kneed and squealing over the opportunity to me Bush, McCain, Ryan, Paul, etc. Not even Palin, and lord knows there are enough red-blooded men who'd enjoy meeting her.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"How can liberals continue to support this president?"

Even more to the point, how can conservatives continue to support the Republicans when they consistently nominate ineffective losers as candidates, and refuse to call the Democrats on obviously fraudulent elections?

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I couldn't help but notice the "progressive" safe-house you worked in. I couldn't help but notice the god like artwork of Obama coming out of the water. Was that your personal choice? Could it be you're progressive? I'm not certain what the point of this article is other than to underscore the child like adoration of anyone that agrees with your world view. I don't mean to mock you but hadn't you best grow up?
Here you are making excuses for the stupidity of people. Beaten wives go back to their husbands. Tortured souls that they are the husbands promise not to do it again. Until the next time. How many promises have you had broken by Obama and you're still in his camp making excuses for him? Get real, lady.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not so much about love of 0bama as it is the Progressive (leftists) love of the Socialist State, something they've been dreaming about and working toward since the turn of the 20th century. 0bama just so happens to be the latest manifestation of the liberal dream but if not 0bama it could have been any other leftist. Anything that threatens to destroy their dream, their goal of a Socialist State is vilified or demonized and even if the charges brought against that person is an out and out lie as long as the press and the TV talking heads are behind them, and they repeat the lie over and over and over they will win over the soft hearted, the easily swayed, the dedicated and determined Progressives and anyone else who feels threatened by having to make his own decisions.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think there's much in your thesis and I applaud you for your work with battered women. A case can also be made that the people who worship Obama and other cult-like political figures are like abused children. More often than not children of abuse feel intense love for their abusive parent because, having been denied the normal love of parent for child, they assume responsibility for its absence. They feel that somehow someday the parent will love them, all they have to do is be good and wait. Many - probably most - continue this pathology all through their lives and recreate it in other relationships. With Obama, they always hope that eventually he will stop treating them with contempt and will show them some love.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liberal think:

"He's not doing too bad for an inexperienced black man."
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is the classic "bad boyfriend". It's true.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a reasonable theory, but I suspect the truth is this syndrome only accounts for a small fraction of Obama's, and other leftist Democrats' supporters.

They more or less divide into two major groups. One are the diehards, the True Believers of leftist ideology. These do not care about the lies. The lies are part of the program - if their leaders told the truth, they would never get elected except in liberal enclaves, and these devotees understand this.

The bigger group are the drones. They are those on public assistance and others who follow blindly, and who are either too stupid to realize the lies or care only about their own gravy train continuing.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The worst thing is, that same woman, if she gets free of that abusive man, will often go find another man to abuse her. Even if the man is not prone to abuse her, she will push and prod him toward it, then he will treat her like that, because she demands it. It makes her happy.

Why? Because the emotional high of the make-up is an unbelievable high for her. He professes his love for her in the most devoted way. It's like getting proposed to every week.

Same thing with politics. Even if this guy fails her, all they have to do is peddle the dream to her again, either with the same guy or the next guy. They woo her with the same old crap, and she falls for it every time, because it is absolutely intoxicating to her. They push her emotional buttons, they giver her her drug of choice, and she falls right into line.

Facts have nothing to do with it. They are junkies, and they will never change until they hit absolute rock-bottom.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it is that abused women seek out men with certain traits. There is a reason the "bad boys" tend to get the girls, men in prison have women they never met writing them love letters, etc. Women are programmed to desire alpha males, and in certain circles male violence = alpha.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a single commentator here understands the prog mind. The progs are taught a philosophy which is consistent from metaphysics to esthetics, from beginning to end. By accepting the fundamentals of their philosophy, all else follows. The key to their beliefs is the MORALITY they accept, and it is the downfall of all who accept it, including the "conservatives". Their morality is Altruism, as stated by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher. "An action is not moral unless you derive no benefit from it whatsoever". He wrote that in his book "Critique of Pure Reason", (written in 1776) and it is the moral code of all collectivists. Christians cannot fight it, because of Christ's bon mots. It would require a complete reassessment of morality to get a prog to admit what they are doing is wrong. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF IT IS IMPRACTICAL, IMPOSSIBLE, DESTRUCTIVE OR A FAIRY TALE - SACRIFICE OF YOUR SELF FOR YOUR FELLOW MAN IS THE ONLY MORAL WAY TO LIVE!!! If you accept this moral code, then you are unable to practice it (it cannot be practiced or you would die), then you feel guilty; guilty for being too "selfish" to do something that is anti-life, anti-reason, anti-man. IF you accept it. Guilty people are easy to sway and easy to rule.
In order to define a moral code you have to ask yourself 2 questions: 1) What are values? 2) Who should be the beneficiary of YOUR values? A value is that which you act to gain or keep. Values improve your life. Without values life is impossible or destructive. Virtue is the action of attaining values which support and enhance your life. The supreme value IS your life. The primary Values required to sustain your life are: Reason, Purpose, and Self-esteem. The Virtues required to attain these values are: Independence, Rationality, Integrity, Honesty, Justice, Productiveness, and Pride. All positive Values flow from these Virtues.
Progs answer the two questions by IGNORING the first question and answering the second: "Anybody but yourself" should be the beneficiaries of YOUR values. Notice the inversion of morality. If you want to be good, and sacrifice yourself to feel good about yourself then you are not moral (You gained a value); you must sacrifice yourself out of DUTY. And worse; a prog can lie, cheat, steal and kill as long as his goal is the sacrifice of people to others. Do you wonder why collectivists have killed over 100 million people in the last century. It is not for being immoral that this happened, but because of their MORAL CODE and those who have accepted it! Do you wonder at the smug superiority of the progs? It is because they are "enlightened" with a philosophy which is consistent from beginning to end and whose moral code is the "shining path".
It is ideas which rule the world and it is only by better (i.e. more consistent and better) ideas which will turn the tide. And the tide is turning, but it took over 135 years for THEIR ideas to take over some countries (and another 100 years to batter down this country -but they knew what they were fighting for), and our better philosophy has only been in existence for 65 years, those better philosophical ideas of someone who grew up in the middle of the Russian Revolution - Ayn Rand. She is the only one who saw, from the first, how anti-rational, anti-life the Altruist morality is. She is the only philosopher who fought to preserve the US Constitution; the first document in history which implicitly protects the smallest minority of all: The Individual!
Sure, some progs are just venal and do it for themselves; some do it out of love, there are always charlatans in every movement. But ALL of them believe in the Morality of Altruism.
Take the pledge: "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never be a slave to another man, nor allow another man to be a slave to me."
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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