WASHINGTON, DC—A team of leading historians and psychiatrists issued a report Wednesday claiming that the United States was likely the victim of abuse by its founding fathers and motherland when it was a young colony.
"In its adulthood, the U.S. displays all the classic tendencies of a nation that was repeatedly mistreated in its infancy—difficulty forming lasting foreign relationships, viewing everyone as a potential enemy, and employing a pattern of assault and intimidation to assert its power," said Dr. Howard Drexel, the report's lead author. "Because of trust issues stemming from the abuse, America has become withdrawn, has not made an ally in years, and often resents the few nations that are willing to lend support—most countries outgrow this kind of behavior after 230 years."
According to Drexel, nations that act out in selfish, self-destructive ways in statehood were usually granted too much independence at an early age, especially if the motherland had other newly annexed lands to care for.
According to Yale University psychology professor John Bauffman, while some rebellious behavior in a nation's adolescence is common, and sometimes healthy, America's historically stormy relationship with mother country Great Britain points to a deep need for acceptance.
"The U.S. is characteristic of an abused nation in that, even decades after noisily pushing away from Britain, it still maintained close contact with the motherland, took care of it, even giving it financial aid—all the while fearing disapproval even though the parent country is now old, decrepit, and powerless," said Bauffman, a prominent contributor to the fourth edition of the Democratic Symptoms Of Maltreatment handbook, or DSM-IV. "On the other hand, Canada, which was raised in the very same continent by the same mother country, only exercised small-scale resistance, remaining loyal well into its maturity. Though some see Canada as cold and remote, it has, unlike the U.S., managed to lead a peaceful, reasonably healthy existence."
Bauffman pointed to another telltale sign of abuse in the U.S.'s tendency to bully, torture, and persecute less powerful, vulnerable creatures, such as buffalo, passenger pigeons, forests, and Native Americans.
Although the American nation appeared to be on the road to recovery by the early 1990s, watershed events such as the open discussion of sexual issues, a protracted custody battle in the closing months of 2000, and a series of threats and physical attacks from enemy nations triggered centuries of repressed memories and set off a recurring pattern of violent outbursts and emotional volatility.
"America compensated for early mistreatment by taking out this pent-up aggression on other nations—getting involved in aggressive conflicts seemingly just for the thrill of it, starting arguments and wars that can't be won, suspecting that everyone is out to get them," Drexel said. "This nation needs help, but by its very nature, refuses to accept it."
Drexel defended the study's findings amid claims that America's current condition can be attributed to a much wider variety of factors.
"Granted, part of America's problems may stem from the fact that it was burdened with a false sense of responsibility at a young age because of the unrealistic expectations of the country's forefathers, and there is certainly something to be said about America having been part of a broken homeland for a four-year period in the mid-19th century," Drexel said. "Even though the U.S. is over 200 years old, emotionally it's younger than Lithuania."
Added Drexel: "But we must remember that the country also idealized the forefathers in a classic victim–abuser relationship."
The report recommended that the United Nations Security Council once again renew its efforts to organize an international intervention to help the U.S. get the counseling it needs. Prior attempts have failed to move beyond the planning stage, however, with many countries saying they are afraid that the U.S. may lash out.