top of page

Healing the Dysfunctional Family of American Government

 Whether you are dealing with a family, a neighborhood, a municipality, a state a country, or a business, communities should be governed by principles that optimize the functionality and satisfaction of the community and the individual.  The larger the group of people, the more complex and confusing it can become to create that optimal functionality and satisfaction.  However, there are naturally existing principles and roles that exist in family functionality, which may be forgotten as the community becomes larger and more complex.   


In a family, the roles that parents play make them essentially the government for the family community.  Parents take care of their children’s basic needs, protect them, try to motivate their children to produce at their highest level to advance themselves and the family, and motivate them to live in a way which is not damaging to themselves or others in the community.  In municipalities, states and countries, government serves the role of elected parents.  Governments take care of the citizens’ basic needs, protect them through laws, military and police forces, try to motivate citizens to produce at their highest level for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the broader community and provide laws and law enforcement so citizens don’t harm themselves or others in the community.     


Governments’ (parents’) greatest struggle is how to create this optimal functionality and satisfaction in the citizens (children) and community (family).  For families, the motive behind parents’ governing practices is love of the child and of the family.  For government, the motive behind governing citizens and the community should also be love.  A functional definition of governmental (parental) love is that they don’t just give citizens (children) what they want or think they need.  A functional definition of governmental (parental) love means their treatment of citizens (children) influences the citizens (children) and community to be more functional and satisfied. 


In America we have two different philosophies or sets of principles, Republican and Democratic, which are seen as opposing forces yet are actually legitimate models to produce individual and community functionality and satisfaction.  These philosophies or sets of principles are actually naturally occurring, valid approaches to creating optimal functionality and satisfaction for individuals and communities.  These two philosophies naturally co-exist in most families and although there may be some conflict around their differences, their simultaneous presence in most families is perceived as a familiar and acceptable balancing process. 

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

By Dr. Patrick Quirk

By Dr. Patrick Quirk

By Dr. Patrick Quirk

 Below is a point-counterpoint listing of the primary tenets of each of these philosophies as they apply to government or parenting, their goals, the potential problems when one is practiced to the exclusion of the other and the more severe problems that can develop when they polarize in response to each other.  



A. Anticipate and meet citizens’ (children’s) needs 


B. Unlimited availability and support 



C. Encourage acceptance and  interdependence  


D. Promote sensitivity and compassion 


E. Stereotypical mom 





A. Have expectations 



B. Limit reliance on government (parents)  


C. Encourage self-reliance and achievement for personal gain. 


D. Promote toughness and resiliency 


E. Stereotypical dad 


 Democrat's Goals 


  1. Citizens (children) feel accepted and accepting of all others in their community (family) and join with them for mutual advancement and advancement of the community (family). 



When practiced exclusively  


  1. Citizens (children) can become entitled and under achieving.   




When parties (parents) polarize 


  1. Democratic leadership (mom) tells citizens (children) that they have been victimized by Republicans’ (dad’s) requirements and not only deserve more, but should be incensed about unfair treatment.  Citizens become entitled and disrespectful of the government (dad).   


  Republicans Goals 


  1. Citizens (children) become self- reliant and highly productive to enhance their own circumstances and provide work for others or inspire others to achieve highly themselves.  To join with others around similar values and goals for mutual benefit.   


When practiced exclusively 


  1. Citizens (children) can become, primarily self-serving and insensitive to the needs of other individuals or the community (family). 



When parties (parents) polarize 


  1. Republican leadership (dad) tells higher achieving citizens (children) that lower achieving citizens (children) don’t deserve help, higher achieving citizens feel invited to be intolerant of lower achieving citizens (children) and lower achieving citizens (children) feel betrayed by their government (parents). 

Application to ongoing political practice: 


  1. The same way that the naturally occurring stereotypical philosophies for parenting by mothers and fathers provide an interactive (yin-yang) model for successful parenting, the Democratic and Republican philosophies provide an interactive model for governing communities.  

  2. Each approach provides important benefits to the citizens (children) and the community (family). 

  3. If either approach is practiced excessively and to the exclusion of the other, harm is done to the citizens (children) and the community (family). 

  4. If the two parties polarize and undermine the others’ influence, profound damage is done to the citizens (children) and to the community (family).       

bottom of page