Thursday, October 9, 2008

Republicanism Explained

In psychology, the term projection refers to a defense mechanism whereby one assigns one’s own unacceptable thoughts, motivations, desires, or even behaviors, to others. Projection reduces feelings of guilt and anxiety by allowing the expression of the unacceptable subconscious impulses while shielding the ego from their existence, keeping them hidden from conscious awareness. Projection is related to and dependent upon denial, arguably the only defense mechanism more primitive than projection.

An extremely simplistic example: Two young children are playing in the house. While mom's back is turned, her younger child knocks a flowerpot onto the floor, making a mess. When mom turns around and sees it, the younger child points to the older child and says "He did it!" Denial, and projection.

An example that is almost as simple, but much more annoying and dangerous: A Republican presidential campaign runs TV ads containing shockingly tasteless, misleading distortions and outright lies about the Democratic opponent. They then accuse the Democrats of running the most shockingly tasteless and misleading campaign in history.

Of course, the Republicans do this every election, so there's a chance that they are, in fact, fully aware of what they're doing and so are purposefully shitty human beings.

But seeing as how they've taken almost all their plays from famously sinister historical precedents, I could see how they might need to employ any defense mechanism available, no matter how primitive, to squash a shitload of collective guilt, just so that they can face another day on this earth, or another long night of what should, by right, be a sleepless, demon-haunted torment.

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