Political psychology got its start with Theodore Adorno’s attempt to identify conservatives as a psychological type, as measured on his F-scale (F stands for fascist). Today, as his ideas have trickled down and pop psychology has caught on, we see the common conflation of “anti-illegal-immigration” and “anti-immigrant,” the belief that welfare reform was essentially anti-black, and the reduction of concerns about Islamism to a kind of phobia. Conservatives’ ostensible reasons and supporting facts are dismissed without consideration, because it is presumed that those reasons and facts aren’t what really motivate them. And when one lacks, in postmodern fashion, a belief that reasoning can lead to truth, questions of political motivation become preeminent. Conservative ideas are investigated as psychological phenomena — evaluated for the mental health or pathology they suggest — rather than as philosophical propositions — evaluated for the truth or falsehood they contain. The Left seems every day less concerned with substantive reasons for policies, and focuses more intellectual energy on trying to discover the invisible psychopathologies of its opponents.
When you combine the conceit that political ideas are merely manifestations of subconscious impulses with a habit of viewing people through racial and other group taxonomies, it’s easy to buy into Blow’s belief that Tea Partiers are so anti-government because of our president’s racial background. Indeed, given all that, it’s easy to understand how Blow’s columns have at times become streams of assertions about the revolting bigotry of Republicans and conservatives.
They’re not elite, they’re just credentialed.
I think this is in fact just one more of many examples of psychological projection by the Left. There’s a whole book to be written about that. It would drive them (even more) nuts. In fact, I want to start gathering up chapter titles, with a little help from my commenters.
Imposers of Morality
I’m sure there are more.
[Late afternoon update]
The hate of the left. Yes, of course. If you’re in favor of limited government, you’re just like a Nazi. Oooooohhhh, those scary libertarians. They’re going to take over the government and [discordant organ sound, thundercrack, horses neighing] leave us alone.
When I was young and stupid, I thought that Rob Reiner was smart.
[Tuesday morning update]
More leftist projection, from Robert Reich:
…isn’t there something funny about Reich claiming that the GOP is full of authoritarian personalities, even as the Democrats have just enacted a law that orders Americans to buy health care? Which party is asking that government do a whole lot less and which is asking it do a whole lot more? Which party wants the government to boss people around more? Which party is more likely to attract people who find this sort of thing compelling? Which party wants to get rid of the union secret ballot? Which party wants to restore the “fairness” doctrine? Which party wants the government to be able to ban smoking, regulate salt, and ban political speech? Which party attracts people who like campus speech codes? Which party attracts movie stars who vow to be servants of Obama? Or educators who expect likewise of their students?
As I said, classic projection.