I have been reporting on several fires burning within the state of Arizona that have threatened several communities and causing an incredible amount of damage in a state that is already reeling from a huge budget deficit, the recession and piss poor management.  A couple of days ago Sen. John McCain in his usual heavy handed fashion decided to make political hay out of the wildfires and stir up the racists base of the GOP by making the following statement.

There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally

Without citing a shred of evidence, this declaration was accepted by all the GOP supporters in the state, because misfortune is always the fault of someone else and those brown, poor people are such easy scapegoats.  Of course activists from the left were quick to jump his shit about it, as they should have done.  Demanding the so-called proof they did not receive an answer, nor did they expect one from Sen. McCan’t.  The only thing that law enforcement knows is that the three major fires burning in Arizona right now (Wallow, Monument, and Horseshoe 2) were human caused.  Beyond that they don’t have a clue yet.  So there is no substantial evidence.

When challenged on this, Sen. Get Off My Lawn McCan’t issued a joint statement with his GOP lockstep buddies Sen. Jon Kyle and Rep. Paul Gosar who claimed that anyone criticizing the statement were trying to take advantage of the tragedy for political gain. That, my friends, is some serious projection they’ve got going on.

It’s true that someone is trying to gain a political advantage from the fires, but sure as hell ain’t the liberal activists calling Sen. McCan’t out on his bullshit.  Meanwhile Arizona still burns, idiotic GOP supporters think that Sen. McCain actually serves the state well and everyone continues to suffer.

  1. I appreciate your reference to psychological projection in these blog posts. I have thought for a long time that pointing this out as clearly as possible would be a useful thing to do first and foremost because it woud give liberals and anyone else with ears to hear and eyes to see a chance to question their own shadow side. My guess is that the observation of psychological projection is a double edged sword when used in politics. My guess is that everyone without exception projects to some degree since it seems to come with the territory of being human.

    I can’t tell you how amused I am listening to Rush Limbaugh these days. They guy is brilliant in that he gives voice to so many aspects of very own as yet unarticulated views of the conservative right. Since the finger of projection points back at me, I can only be grateful for the lesson in psychological counseling I am getting. Who would have thought?

    Since I cannot deny the fact that I have a shadow side and probably project it all the time, I have come to the conclusion that as I voice my opinions it would behoove me to have some evidence in hand or at least look for some compelling evidence if I realize that I do not have such so that I do a bit of reality checking for the sake of my own sanity. What is really interesting is to listen to Rush and company make assertions without stating any evidence beyond the mere assertion. I marvel at how vulnerably naive I am when I think that it is not crystal clear to those with understanding that I am merely projecting when I am in fact doing so. Dare I project that naiveté onto Mr. Limbaugh and large segments of the conservative right? What the hell, I think there is plenty of evidence of it on a daily basis. Let that two edged sword do its work come what may.

    I think we liberals should start using the charge of “psychological projection” far more than we currently do to the point that the right starts using the same charge on us. Can you imagine the fun that will generate? At least it would spread the idea of the denied shadow far and wide which could only be a good thing for the sanity of all our brothers and sisters. And isn’t this suggestion a piece of projection itself? Arrgh!

    • drangedinaz says:

      Thanks for posting. Your comment is very insightful and much appreciated. I would agree that it is human nature to project our shadow onto the “other”. Anecdotally I have seen this in action where an individual with an obvious character default such as lying invariably thinks everyone around him or her is lying too. But its not just the shadow that gets projected. There are people that project good behavior onto others unconsciously because they themselves engage in those behaviors. I have been burnt by this…I try very, very hard to be honest and I used to assume that everyone else was doing the same. But learned the hard way that isnt true. I don’t know if there is a Jungian concept for this (I mean something beyond the simplistic concept of naïveté.)

      And your point about liberals fighting back with the phrasing is important. I often hear liberals saying they would love to just debate the Republicans on the facts because “reality has a liberal bias” and sounds like you are of the same opinion (I am too). Unfortunately many GOP leaders, including Limbaugh, know this and focus on the issues in a way that triggers many of the rank and file to actually engage in projection. Doesn’t the conscious use of non-factually based arguments in order to influence others thinking and behavior automatically preclude it from being “projection”? In which your final point about your suggestion being projection is unwarranted. Simply by engaging in introspection and asking the question, ‘am I guilty of the same thing?’ means that you aren’t. It’s the lack of introspection and conscious awareness that is the key. In truth I don’t know if McCain believes the crap he peddles and is actually projecting or if he is cynically playing on the fears of voters, either way it is dead wrong and only the facts can dispel such BS.

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