Alan Flashman

Some thoughts for a darkening time

A smart lie is completing its conquest of reason and humanity. It is a lie because it is a half-truth. It is smart for the same reason. Its message is simple, “Freedom for me, for us.”

This is freedom of a certain kind. It is freedom in every aspect of life. Personal freedom to walk around with weapons proven dangerous – even to “us.” Economic freedom to lie, cheat exploit, abuse the economic system by use of the legal system. Sexual freedom to apply male dominance to women’s bodies. White freedom to discriminate and oppress Blacks. Freedom of speech that includes incitement and falsehoods against “not us.” Freedom of thought to deny obvious and clear-cut science and continue to justify the destruction of the planet. Freedom of “our” belief to deny freedom to any other belief. Political freedom to exclude any “non-us” from residence. Freedom to make “US” great “again.”

We cannot fight a smart lie with another smart lie, something about “deplorables.” Resistance begins in our lives, not in our words. It begins with a true freedom, one that includes the true “us”, – all of us. A war against “gun nuts” “plunderers” “chauvinists” “racists” “liars” “too dumb for science” “fundamentalists” “anti – immigrant fascists” has brought us to where we are. Exclusion does not cure exclusion.

Resistance to Trumpism requires the only truly democratic process, that of opening the door to his disappointed and surprised supporters. We cannot do that if we do not recognize our closeness to them; that in our world we are all awakening and struggling to become free of racism, chauvinism, plunder, exploitation  – and exclusion. That must be the message of the “alternative” inaugural; not whom“we” do not accept, but what a broader “we” embrace. That includes embracing each other.

About the Author
Alan Flashman was born in Foxborough, MA, and gained his BA from Columbia, MD from NYU, Pediatrics, Adult and Child Psychiatry specialties at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Bronx, NY. He has practiced in Beer Sheba since 1983, and taught mental health at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. Alan has edited readers on Therapeutic Communication with Children (2002) and Adolescents (2005) in Hebrew, translated Buber's I and Thou anew into Hebrew, and authored Losing It, an autobiography, and From Protection to Passover. He recently published two summary works of his clinical experience (both 2022) Family Therapies for the 21st Century and Mental Health in Pediatrics.