through the conservative looking glass

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I've long puzzled over the amount of blatant projection among the wingnuts--Ann Coulter being the most obvious, and most consistent, example--and Sara at Orcinus has recognized their rhetoric as an unintentional "looking glass" into their psyches:

When conservatives tell us that we need constant surveillance to make us secure, what they're telling us is that they themselves are prone to criminal behavior if they think nobody else is watching. The fear of exposure is the only force keeping them on the right side of the law -- and that's why it's the only form of "security" they understand. Bear this in mind if you decide to do business with them.

When they tell us that our future depends on supporting a military that's bigger than the rest of the world's fighting forces combined, what they're telling us is that they can't handle chaos, complexity, change, or being out of control. The whole world is a threat; the only solution is a bigger gun. Bear this in mind if you find yourself in conflict with them.

When they tell us diplomacy isn't an option, they're telling us that it's not an option they understand. Words, agreements, treaties, and contracts mean nothing to them. Brute force is the only option they comprehend...or are likely to respond to themselves. Bear this in mind before you negotiate with them.

When they tell us that homosexuality is a threat to American families, what they're telling us is that homosexuality is a threat to their families. As in: if they ever dared to admit their own sexual interest in other men, their wives would leave them, and take the kids. Bear this in mind when they hold themselves up as moral paragons.

When they tell us the Islamofascists are a threat to our way of life, they are quite correctly pointing out that there are fascists threatening our way of life. They're just deflecting their own intentions on to brown people far away. Bear this in mind before assuming they share your belief in constitutional democracy.

When they accuse reality-based folks of promoting "junk science," they're telling us they basically think all science is junk. Bear this in mind before attempting to present them with convincing evidence of anything.

When they tell us to support the troops, what they're really saying is: You better, because we won't. Bear this in mind when you evaluate the real costs of the war.

When they tell us the government can't be trusted, they're telling us they can't be trusted to govern. Bear this in mind every time you step into a voting booth.


update (3:37pm):
When I revisited some of my notes on Ann Coulter, practically a poster child for projection, this gem stood out:

"...you could tell what [liberals] were up to by what they accused conservatives of. Liberals can't help projecting their own malevolence onto others." (Treason, p. 201)


update 2 (8:59pm):
Sara responded to my Coulter quote: "That simply takes my breath away. It's just so...so...recursive!"

Indeed. Coulter's projection is often so blatant that I wonder how she--or her minions--can be oblivious to it.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 18, 2007 3:21 PM.

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