Can You Say “Projection”?

I feel a rant coming on. An MP belonging to ACT (New Zealand’s most right-wing political party), an MP who’s claim to fame is proposing a draconian “three strikes and then we lock you up for as long as we can” sentencing policy similar to that introduced (with often unhappy results) in California has just had his own misdemeanors exposed. He was convicted of assault in Tonga a few years ago, and once stole the ID of a dead baby and used it to get a passport. Yes, really, he stole a dead baby’s identity.

What is it with right-wing politicians and their predilection for coming on all holier than thou while indulging in the very behaviour they work so hard to stop the rest of us indulging in? Look at all those gay baiting Republicans in the States fulminating against homosexual perversion while snorting cocaine with male prostitutes or going on holiday with a so-called (I want to say bag handler but that’s a bit unfortunate) luggage carrier who’s paid by the hour and who was hired from an escort agency. And here in New Zealand, we have a law and order nutjob who seems positively gleeful about locking people up, and who suggested that people who are “unfit” to have children should be sterilized, but who turns out to have a rather baroque legal past himself.

My assumption is that many of these fervid moralists are so fervid because they’re trying to excise their own unacknowledged impulses and desires by pushing them out onto other people and then attacking the “other’ they’ve created. Although that doesn’t explain how it’s possible to maintain the double-think necessary to at once indulge your urges and attack other people for acting on those very same urges. The cognitive dissonance would make my head explode.

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