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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/20/10

Mistaking the symptom for the disease

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Message Ed Martin
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Incredibly, Christine O'Donnell won the Republican primary in Delaware. The thing to keep in mind is that she couldn't have done that all by herself. She has only one vote. She had to have a lot of help. There are a lot of people who, inexplicably, voted for her because they like her and are like her. Just think, there are 30,000 Christine O'Donnells running around in Delaware.

Likewise, there are 70,000 Sharon Angles running around in Nevada and 187,000 Michele Bachmanns running round in Minnesota. It really is hard to believe that there are that many people, in just three states, who share their perverse rejection of any attempt to understand how the world works.

Those are only three examples of the pustules on the posterior of our country. These pustulant eruptions are only the symptoms of a pervasive disease. That disease manifests itself with the recrudescence of the Republicans. The disease is proudly confident, blithely unaware ignorance.

These three, along with many other Republicans, have in common various obsessions. Christine O'Donnell is obsessed with homosexuality and masturbation, to name just two. What these Republicans are so vociferously against have one unifying characteristic. They are things that have absolutely no effect on them or anyone else.

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There are gay people going about their lives and there are people masturbating all over the world. There always have been and there always will be. As far as any effect it has on me or anyone else, there is none. Things that have no effect on me are the same as things that didn't happen.

How to explain Christine O'Donnell's obsession with two harmless, common human qualities? O'Donnell, in her hilarity of oblivious obsession, is looking for someone to blame for gay people and masturbation. And, Glenn Beck, another pustule, in his obsession with Nazis and Bill O'Reilly with his obsession with demonizing people of races other than his own are unwittingly revealing more about themselves than they are able to know.

Stan Gooch, a psychological researcher and author of several books on the subject, writes that, "The defense mechanism of projection involves seeing in the world around you that which in reality is only in yourself."

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There in one concise sentence we have the accurate description of why these people are so very obsessed with what other people are and what they are doing. The impetus for O'Donnell's obsession with gay people and masturbation, Beck's obsession with Nazis and O'Reilly's obsession with people different from himself all comes from within themselves. This reveals that they have these qualities themselves. That's all they can think about, while ordinary, normal people rarely ever think about it and if they do, it's dismissively because they realize that it's no concern of theirs.

Why are they, and the millions who agree with them, that way? It's ignorance. O'Donnell's ignorance that her obsession with her inner gay person and inclination to masturbation is no consquence to her or anyone else. Beck's ignorance that his inner Nazi is not to be found in the people he projects it onto. O'Reilly's ignorance that his inner racial bigot is only a fear of himself.

Unfortunately, liberal/progressive Democrats are just as guilty of this projection of inner qualities on to other people as the conservative Republicans. Liberals are guilty of this projection particularly onto conservatives. Liberals have the mistaken idea that the use of sweet reason and the acceptance of truth they find within themselves will magically transform ignorant, delusional, obsessed Republicans into some semblance of a human being.

Doesn't work. Presenting Republicans with reason and truth just makes them retrench further into their delusions, and blame you for being evil for pointing out the obvious.

The effect the people mentioned above have on the voting public is, from looking at voting records, unpredictable. This may be due to the fact that the voting public shares the same biases, prejudices and bigotry about these people as these people have about them. We like to think that the pre-election hoopla, lies, distortions and outright fraud has some influence on how the public will vote. But the records show that when the voters go to the polls, that underlying disease, ignorance, takes over and the voting outcome is pretty much due to random selection.

Obama's margin of the popular vote was 7.3%. The average margin in the last 56 presidential elections was about 8%. This means that the remaining 92% split evenly, 46% Democrat, 46% Republican, with only 8% being the deciding margin. That's about what you would get with random selection.

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Of the last 44 presidential elections, 23 went to Republicans and 21 went to Democrats. That's a 4.5% margin, within the range of random selection.

The last 45 presidential terms, in sequence and including two Whigs went like this:


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Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
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