They are Projecting

They are Projecting

I came to a realization the other day.  The GOP are projecting onto the Democrats their fears about themselves.  It would explain a whole lot.  For those of you who are Republican, I apologize for this in advance, but the GOP as a party is behaving weirdly. They are accusing Democrats of doing what they themselves are proposing to do. Except that in their world, they are the defenders of the very things they are attacking and the Democrats are the evil others who are doing all the harm. It’s really bizarre.

The problem has gotten so bad that psychologists have been trying to figure out what is going on. The divorce from reality has been growing and getting more common. It is no longer fringe in the Republican Party – the leadership are engaging, not just in spin, but outright lies and they seem to actually believe them. The psychologists hey have found some interesting differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives and yes, we do indeed think different. But I realized the other day that a lot of what we are seeing could simply be psychological projecting.

According to Wikipedia: “According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one "projects" one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. ‘Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are "split out" and then felt as being outside the ego…perceived in another person’. It is a common process.”

I am not a psychologist and I don’t pretend to be but it would explain the viciousness of the attacks and the out there nature of the attacks against Democrats. It would also explain the demonizing of the Democratic Party as not simply people with policy differences to be debated, but as people who are out to destroy all that we love about America.  It would explain why Republicans are attacking Dems for trying to destroy Medicare when it’s actually the Republicans who are trying to make it a voucher program and defund it. It would explain why they think Democrats are anti-freedom when it’s the Republicans who keep trying to pass legislation restricting our rights and our freedoms. I could go on, you get the idea.

I think they are projecting and most of the attacks are actually projections rather than substantive. If that is the case, they must be thinking some really horrid thoughts. So… what are your thoughts on this? Do you think they are projecting?

I know that as a Humanists, I am aware of my own ability to project at times. One of the reasons I think freethought and critical thinking and self questioning is so important is because whenever I get angry with someone else, I ask myself why. Why am I mad? Is the problem with my issues or not? Often, I am the one who is projecting. We all do it. Does freethought help us avoid it or recognize it so that we can correct ourselves when we find ourselves doing it? I think so. What about you?

Image: “Psychiatrist Examining A Female Patient” by Ambro