Saturday, July 25, 2015

Projection

I have been reading conservatives who insist that the left is eating its own, the conflicts among the coalition parts is just too enormous to continue, the center cannot hold...

I think I have been hearing this for a long time.  the closest thing to it actually happening was Ralph Nader in 2000 likely costing Al Gore the election by drawing 2% of the vote. Republicans think this level of hostility must signal imminent breakup, because among them, it would.  This much accusation, and someone's going third party. Maybe 2016 will be the year it happens to Democrats again, but I'm suspicious. They do this all the time.

On the other side, Democrats assume that whenever Republicans oppose redistribution, it can only be because of greed and selfishness.  After all, if Democrats opposed any such program it would be for that reason, so that must be true for others.  That we might not be getting a lot of bang for or buck, or that there were unfortunate unintended consequences does not occur to them, therefore, it cannot be occurring to their opponents.

3 comments:

Texan99 said...

I'm always befuddled by the idea that it's greed and selfishness to keep one's own money, but not greed or selfishness to want to grab someone else's.

There are certainly signs of the identity-politics players eating their own young, but I'd hesitate to predict that it will undermine them in national elections. It's mostly a fringe activity. I don't see it as peculiar to the right or left, though I suppose it's funnier to me when it's done by a wing with which I have less sympathy. The equivalent activity on the right would be witch-hunts, wouldn't it? Purges of the impure, in which no one can be safe. The HUAC wasn't very funny. But I'm sure we've all heard the joke about how the different congregations get along in Heaven, the punchline being some sect (Church of Christ in the version told to me by a member of that church) that can be heard loudly singing behind a high wall, in the belief that "they're the only ones here."

james said...

I suppose it is easier to understand other people by reference to one's own values and motives and secret sins. And I suppose it makes sense that secret sins should correlate well with political leanings; virtues probably correlate also.

Edith Hook said...

In tandem with Texan99's comment, I wish I had a dollar for all the histrionic and hyperbolic predictions of the right that never pan out. Although projection is, in and of itself, just human, political ideologues do seem to ramp it up. Why? Maybe they lack the capacity to actually walk in someone else's shoes?