Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Political Mind Games: The Kavanaugh File

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Roy Eidelson       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   15 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 9/25/18

Author 4827
Become a Fan
  (10 fans)

(Image by U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee)   Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
When it comes to preserving their extraordinary wealth and power, the 1% count on manipulating the public's understanding of what's happening, what's right, and what's possible. My research shows that their favorite "mind games" often target our doubts and concerns in five domains: vulnerability (Are we safe?), injustice (Are we being treated fairly?), distrust (Who can we trust?), superiority (Are we good enough?), and helplessness (Can we control what happens to us?).

One-percenters are most accustomed to using deceitful yet psychologically persuasive appeals to control the narrative about big-picture issues ranging from domestic policy to national security. But in recent days, we've seen them turn to the same playbook in an effort to quell the controversy generated by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's credible allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Let's consider several examples.

Vulnerability. The 1%'s "It's a False Alarm" mind game is typically used to downplay the societal harms caused by their self-serving priorities. Regardless of the evidence, they insist that adverse events--such as the ravages of climate change--are greatly exaggerated. So too in the Kavanaugh context. For instance, GOP operative Gina Sosa dismissively argued, "Tell me, what boy hasn't done this in high school?" Similarly, conservative evangelist Franklin Graham claimed, even if the allegations are true, "There wasn't a crime that was committed."

Injustice. With the "We're the Victims" mind game, one-percenters assert that they're targets of mistreatment rather than perpetrators of wrongdoing. This artful role-reversal is witnessed whenever economic inequality takes center stage. That's when they complain about receiving unfair criticism for billionaire tax cuts and no appreciation for the hard work that supposedly made them so wealthy. GOP Senators have employed this turnabout tactic in their defense of Kavanaugh. Lindsey Graham referred to the allegations as "a drive-by shooting" and Bob Corker lamented, "I can't imagine the horror of being accused of something like this."

Distrust. Another recurring mind game of the 1% is "They're Devious and Dishonest." Here, they assert that those who oppose their agenda--low-wage workers, prison reformers, anti-war activists--are deceitful and unworthy of the public's trust. Their efforts to discredit Kavanaugh's accuser are no different. Senator Orrin Hatch claimed that Dr. Ford's allegation "reeks of opportunism"and President Trump tweeted: "If the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents."

- Advertisement -

Superiority. In this domain, a favorite mind game of one-percenters is "Pursuing a Higher Purpose." They insist that tainted actions--such as the torture of war-on-terror prisoners--must be evaluated within the context of the greater good and America's enduring exceptionalism. In similar fashion, Kavanaugh's defenders insist that his behavior from decades ago should be taken in stride. Conservative columnist Dennis Prager contended that the charges should be ignored because he's "led a life of decency, integrity, commitment to family, and commitment to community that few Americans can match." And Senator Hatch argued,"I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today" Is this judge a really good man? ...By any measure he is."

Helplessness. Finally, with the "Resistance Is Futile" mind game, the 1% send a clear message to friend and foe alike: We're in charge and that's never going to change. Sometimes they drive this point home with threats; at other times, they turn to naked assertions of authority. Powerful defenders of the status quo regularly rely on this appeal when their policies--or their preferred candidates--are challenged. So it's no surprise that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell offered this reassurance to a Values Voters Summit audience: "In the very near future Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court"Don't get rattled by all of this. We're going to plow right through it."

Other manipulative mind games also tap into issues of vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. But these five examples should be sufficient to demonstrate a key point. There are striking and disturbing parallels between the 1%'s broad, ongoing assault on our democracy and their targeted maneuvers aimed at overcoming serious, legitimate questions about Brett Kavanaugh's suitability for the Supreme Court. In both the war and the battle, they know that psychologically compelling appeals to our core concerns can carry the day--even when they're as flimsy as a conman's promises. That is, unless we're ready for them.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Roy Eidelson is a psychologist who studies, writes about, and consults on the role of psychological issues in political, organizational, and group conflict settings. He is a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, a member of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Four Psychologists at the Gates of Hell

The DCCC's Mind Games and the Ballad of Roy Moore

Psychologists' Collusion in Ongoing Illegal Detentions

New Evidence Links CIA to APA's "War on Terror" Ethics

Psychology's Newest Joke: Not Very Funny

Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA's Latest Wrong Turn

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

9 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments


Michael Droy

Become a Fan
Author 503094

(Member since Jul 18, 2015), 2 fans, 34 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

1. there are no credible sex allegations - the first is just delaying to testify, the second should never have even been published given that 6 out of 6 of her claimed witnesses all have denied any knowledge of the event.


2. What makes you think the Republicans represent the 1% and not the Democrats?

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 4:08:37 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (6+)
Help
 
Indent

John Zwiebel

Become a Fan
Author 509185

(Member since Jun 19, 2017), 2 fans, 151 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Michael Droy:   New Content

FWIW, the author only said 1%. He did not say "Republicans" or "Democrats".


While I agree that there is something about the charges against Kavanaugh that kind of "stink", I would like to point out that these are the same dirty tactics that the Republicans have been using against Democrats for years now. I would like to see more honesty being practiced by both parties, but I also do not want to see Kavanaugh confirmed after what happened to Garland. (Who I didn't support anyway.)

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 10:11:34 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

pablo mayhew

Become a Fan
Author 95209

(Member since Aug 14, 2014), 10 fans, 7 articles, 1448 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Just read where Christine Ford missed this morning's 10 a.m. deadline to submit the paperwork necessary for her to testify on Thursday.

Further proof that this woman is not a serious defendant and never was one. If Ms. Ford fails to testify, Brett Kavanaugh should file suit against her for defamation of character.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 5:04:05 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (5+)
Help
 
Indent

John Zwiebel

Become a Fan
Author 509185

(Member since Jun 19, 2017), 2 fans, 151 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content

I cannot find a link to support your allegation.


I read a couple of articles saying that Kavanaugh would have any attempts at suing Ford would be thrown out. I don't provide links because it isn't all that important to this discussion and is nothing more than opinion that may or may not be true. There was nothing about those articles that had any hard facts that "proved" anything.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 10:51:11 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Jerry Kelley

Become a Fan
Author 29093

(Member since Jan 16, 2009), 1 fan, 330 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

The difference is the repubs care nothing about anybody other than their selves and how much money they can get. The dems only a little less so. I'm getting mighty sick of both of them.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 5:08:06 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (3+)
Help
 

Eric Arnow

Become a Fan
Author 503158

(Member since Jul 27, 2015), 6 fans, 461 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Fact: Lots of men in positions of power abuse others, women in particular. But 30 year old charges are....30 years old. Had the Dems any integrity, they would challenge his reactionary ideas and prior rulings. But the Dems are closet reactionaries, so they create this theatre.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 5:29:43 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (6+)
Help
 
Indent

BFalcon

Become a Fan
Author 28059

(Member since Dec 20, 2008), 21 fans, 3 articles, 15877 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Eric Arnow:   New Content

Can't challenge his odious ideas, they are the reason why Trump and Republicans want him and they have the majority.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 1:03:13 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

John Zwiebel

Become a Fan
Author 509185

(Member since Jun 19, 2017), 2 fans, 151 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

The use of the term "the 1%" needs to be retired. Depending on the metric chosen, I am a member of "the 1%" because I have a networth over $800,000 and a retirement income of over $32,000 if we use the world-wide standard. click here Using just the USA for the comparison, I'm not in the 1%. But this article is not talking about the "1%". It is talking about right-wing conservative thought, perhaps best exemplified by the Koch brothers. The eight richest men in the world have a net worth equal to that of 1/2 of the world's population. Read their names. Do actually accuse these men of participation in the dastardly deeds described? Note that the Koch brothers are not in this list. click here I have used the term "oligarch" as a label for the political thought this article is trying to address, but that no longer works for the same reason 1% doesn't work. It is quite obvious that income inequality is destroying the societies of the world. And it should be addressed and the 1% and oligarchs held responsible for their actions in furthering that inequality. But it is not helpful to conclude that they are the only ones who control American (or world) politics.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 at 9:40:11 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

John Jonik

Become a Fan
Author 10030

(Member since Jan 16, 2008), 14 fans, 38 articles, 1958 comments, 6 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

It's not just JUSTICE that has to be evident....there must be the APPEARANCE of Justice. That's impossible with Kavanaugh, or, for that matter, any Trump-approved official...not to mention Trump himself.


What will happen if/when a critical mass of US People reject/ignore/laugh at the Supreme Court as decider of critical issues? We, The People, will have to take things into our own hands...as if an actual democracy.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 4:11:51 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

pablo mayhew

Become a Fan
Author 95209

(Member since Aug 14, 2014), 10 fans, 7 articles, 1448 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

The plot thickens...

click here

rnewswire.com/christine-blasey-ford-abortion-pills/

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 6:55:19 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Ms Nan

Become a Fan
Author 28898

(Member since Jan 12, 2009), 12 fans, 501 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Copyrighted Image? DMCA

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 10:19:38 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Ms Nan

Become a Fan
Author 28898

(Member since Jan 12, 2009), 12 fans, 501 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Predictable.


Deborah Ramirez and her attorneys announced on Tuesday she will not speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath and she will not provide a sworn legal statement.


Here.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 10:47:15 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
Indent

pablo mayhew

Become a Fan
Author 95209

(Member since Aug 14, 2014), 10 fans, 7 articles, 1448 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Ms Nan:   New Content

No worries, Ms Nan, slimy Deep State porn lawyer and attention-craving shill Michael Avenatti just conjured convenient victim 3.0...

click here

No police report on this one, either. Just a 35-year spell of amnesia that mysteriously ended in time to thwart a judge with an impeccable record from ascending to the Supreme Court.

Welcome to Post-Truth America, where diversity of thought is subordinate to diversity of preference. Anything goes now--anything at all (so long as neoliberal globalists vet it first; and if they don't like it, you're SOL...and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.)

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 4:31:49 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

pablo mayhew

Become a Fan
Author 95209

(Member since Aug 14, 2014), 10 fans, 7 articles, 1448 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content

Here's the punchline, Ms Nan. Are you ready?

click here

Right. Any questions about why Michael Avenatti is turning over every rock he can find in search of someone--anyone--he can parade before the media to divert the news cycle away from the truth that billionaire Rothschild puppet Georgy "George Soros" Schwartz--who gave up Hungarian Jews to the Nazis during World War II in order to save his own skin--was intimately involved in the globalist Deep State attempt to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overthrow the duly elected government of the United States, in 2016 and beyond.

Now, that's a news story. Watch the corporate mainstream media completely suppress it, though.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 5:10:18 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 14, 2006), 39 fans, 438 articles, 319 quicklinks, 702 comments, 11 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

What's the difference between a "drive-by shooting" and a "high-tech lynching"?

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 11:44:58 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment