Friday, February 14, 2014

Daddy Issues Revisited

Long-time readers may remember that FLG wrote this a few years ago:
FLG has a long-standing theory that ambitious men are, with few exceptions, the offspring of abusive or absent fathers. 

A column by Peggy Noonan about Diane Blair's notes about the Clintons reminded him of his theory, not that he forgot it per se, but it just hasn't been at the forefront of his mind lately:
 the Blair papers remind us that in the past quarter-century the office of the presidency has become everyone's psychotherapy. There is an emphasis on the personality, nature, character and charisma of the president. He gets into dramas. He survives them. He is working out his issues. He is avenging childhood feelings of powerlessness. He is working through his ambivalence at certain power dynamics. He will show dad.

 FLG really needs to sit down and write a post looking at the Father-Son relationship of every president.


The Ancient said...

Lincoln's the benchmark, of course, but it strikes me how little we really know about Thomas Lincoln. Apart from Billy Herndon (second-hand, from AL) and one of Lincoln's Indiana cousins, there's almost nothing.

(But it is faintly chilling that AL didn't attend his father's funeral.)

FLG said...


This passage is the wikipedia entry for Franklin Pierce was particularly striking:
According to a popular anecdote he walked twelve miles back to his home one Sunday; his father fed him dinner and drove him part of the distance back to school before kicking him out of the carriage and ordering him to walk the rest of the way in a thunderstorm. Pierce learned from the experience, later citing this moment as "the turning-point in my life"

The Ancient said...

Pierce learned from the experience, later citing this moment as "the turning-point in my life"

"For it was on that day I resolved to become a drunkard."

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