Further Reading


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, July 3, 2019

Addicted Parents as Presidents

Can people with twisted relationships with their children run the country?

President Donald Trump has been meeting world leaders at the G20 (the meeting of the world’s most powerful country’s leaders). He isn’t accompanied by his wife, but by the oldest of his five children with his three wives, Ivanka.

At G20, Ivanka has appeared in official pictures with world leaders and the president. She participates in private meetings with these leaders. Observers find this arrangement bizarre — a “take your daughter to work and rule the world” day.

For his part, Trump has repeatedly said that — if she wasn’t his daughter — he’d like to date Ivanka.

Joe Biden is leading the Democratic field of candidates for the nomination to run for President against Trump (and, one might say, his daughter).

Biden is famous for his devotion to his family, as well as for the tragedies that have befallen it.

These tragedies include the death of his wife and baby daughter in a car accident in 1972, in which Joe’s two sons, Hunter, age 2, and his older brother, Beau, not yet 4, were injured. (Beau Biden was actually Joseph Biden, III.)

The New Yorker has published an article centered on surviving son Hunter Biden’s wild run through life — financially, politically, sexually, in love — that centers on a bizarre connection with his father, Joe.

Beau had been, to all appearances, a remarkable success — a military officer and Attorney General of the Biden’s home state, Delaware, who was expected to run for higher office. But he died from brain cancer at age 46 in May, 2015. Joe decided not to run for President at the time out of his grief over Beau.

Hunter, who is now 49, has had a long history of substance use disorders and a string of treatment stints across America, was likewise deeply affected.

Much of the lengthy New Yorker article is about Hunter’s international lobbying entanglements, which are potentially extremely damaging to his father’s presidential campaign, against which Joe seems to feel helpless. This began when Joe was Vice President: Hunter’s behavior invited questions about whether he “was leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn’t done in that (President Obama’s) White House.”

When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. . . they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, “got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It’s like you’ve hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.” (My emphasis.)

Hunter, Kathleen, and Hallie — and Joe

Beau was married to Hallie; Hunter to Kathleen. The New Yorker details how Hunter ended up with Hallie, briefly.

In July 2015, he and his wife Kathleen separated after he drank a bottle of vodka following a marriage counseling session.

In August 2015 he began to spend most nights at Hallie’s home in Delaware.

In the fall, Hunter was involved in a long odyssey involving a retreat center, crack, and Hallie. He finally ended up at the Grace Grove Lifestyle Center, a wellness retreat in Sedona, AZ.

After spending a week at Grace Grove, Biden called Hallie to meet him at a resort spa, where they officially become a couple. Hunter said that Hallie was “the only person who understood my loss.”

Kathleen Biden filed for divorce in December 2016.

Hunter needed Joe’s stamp of approval for switching wives:

“I said, ‘Dad, Dad, you have to.’ He said, ‘Hunter, I don’t know if I should. But I’ll do whatever you want me to do.’ I said, ‘Dad, if people find out, but they think you’re not approving of this, it makes it seem wrong. The kids have to know, Dad, that there’s nothing wrong with this, and the one person who can tell them that is you,’” Biden said.

A former aide said Joe Biden released a statement on the relationship because he was worried about his son’s well-being.

“We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. … They have mine and Jill’s (Joe’s second wife) full and complete support and we are happy for them,” the statement said.

Hunter and Hallie moved in together with Beau’s two children in August 2017, but they ended their relationship within a few months. “All we got was shit from everybody, all the time. It was really hard. And I realized that I’m not helping anybody by sticking around.”

Hunter Gets Married — With Joe’s Approval

The article ends with Hunter marrying a woman Hunter had known for less than a week — with a Joe’s approval.

In early May, Hunter met a thirty-two-year-old South African woman named Melissa Cohen. . . A few days after their first date, Hunter had the word “shalom” tattooed in Hebrew letters on the inside of his left bicep, to match a tattoo that Cohen has in the same spot. On May 15th, less than a week after they met, he proposed. The next morning, she accepted, and he bought the simplest gold wedding bands he could find, then called a marriage service, which sent over an officiant.

Is marrying a woman he has known for a week after a series of emotionally grueling events, substance use problems, and marital and love entanglements the kind of thing a father welcomes for his son? Joe did (or was emotionally blackmailed into doing):

Hunter recalled that, after the ceremony, “I called my dad and said that we just got married. He was on speaker, and he said to her, ‘Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again.’ ” Hunter paused, his eyes filling with tears. “And he said to me, ‘Honey, I knew that when you found love again that I’d get you back.’ ” Cohen rubbed his shoulders. He went on, “And my reply was, I said, ‘Dad, I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see it was the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me.’ ”

Summary — Our Leading Presidential Contenders Don’t Allow Their Children Independent Existences

Hunter is a love junkie, but whether towards the women in his life or his father, we cannot tell.

And Donald Trump loves his daughter — what could be wrong with that?

In each case, a parent is incapable of allowing their child (Hunter and Ivanka are both parents) to differentiate themselves so as to form a secure independent identity.

Can people so emotionally limited as these parents are really run a country?