Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fag Politics

Emasculation in Republican Psychological Warfare, And Why It Works

"The racist lynchings of the 19th and 20th centuries featured castration as a central component of those ritualized assaults. The same appears to be true of contemporary rhetorical lynchings visible in the right wing media-scape. First aired on April 23 of this year as a news item, the latest ad by the Grand Dragon of GOP character assassins, Floyd Brown, is only the most recent example. Brown, who succeeded in turning Black rapist murderer Willie Horton into Michael Dukakis's running mate, is now going after the testicular credibility of Barack Obama. The ad cited a vote Obama cast as an Illinois state senator against a bill mandating the death penalty for gang-related murders -- a bill the state's Republican governor later vetoed for being overly broad, vague, discriminatory, and for lacking any deterrent effect. The spot's narrator concludes, "When the time came to get tough, Obama chose to be weak. So, the question is: can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?" The closing shot is that of the rubble at New York's post-9/11 ground zero.

Not surprisingly, found it to be a mendacious hodgepodge of distortions and misrepresentations. Of course, what Brown is after is not veracity but the generation of emotion in his audience, principally anxiety. As he had successfully done with Dukakis, the aim is to emasculate Obama and thus to induce in the electorate a fear that the Democratic nominee will be unable to function as a manly protector.

Some might think that this strategy is targeted at the so-called "Security Mom" demographic -- women supposedly so frightened by the terrorist bogy man that they will forsake all other concerns, like reproductive choice and health care, and vote Republican. This was certainly George W. Bush's 2004 answer to the gender gap, which since 1980 consistently disadvantaged the GOP among female voters. Unfortunately for McCain, the most recent (June 11) NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Obama with a 19% lead among women overall, and a seven-point advantage among white women in particular.

The primary audience, I would argue, is the other side of the gender gap, the "Insecurity Men," male voters unconsciously anxious about their masculinity, and who are generally well disposed toward Republican candidates. (Wednesday's poll showed McCain with a 20% lead among white men.) Men as a group tend to be much more troubled than are women over the possibility that they might have traits of the other gender. The more central that male domination is to a social order, the more anxious they are about this. In fact, in such a world, the most important thing about being a man is not being a woman. As I described in my last post, the findings of my own research and that of others have shown that conservative men are much more likely to suffer from the fear that they might be "feminine," than are liberal males. One way this femiphobia gets managed is through projection -- by hating, denigrating, and attacking other men whose masculinity is imagined as somehow deficient.

This is where Republican psy-ops masters like Brown work their crude but effective rhetorical necromancy. They know that most voters don't support typical conservative positions on issues. Many among the electorate might recoil at the liberal label (because of successful framing by conservatives), but when asked on survey after survey, people tend to embrace liberal positions. That means the burden of getting right-wing presidential candidates into office falls largely on the GOP's psychological warfare team, not the platform committee. Their most tried and true method has been to feminize their male political opponents."

I don't think one can stress the importance of the rethug projection syndrome. It's positively core to their psyche and a bedrock of their politics. They take their fears and frailties and paint the world with them. This psychological condition is the driving force behind their politics and is one huge reason why our society is being destroyed. You can see it in everything the rethugs do - from fear mongering about terror to homophobia. How many republicans have been outed as gay, especially the most vocally anti gay? Lots. They've especially gone after Obama because, you know, black men have such large penes. When it comes to war they have to appear the most butch by making others appear weak and innefectual by comparison. It's a cancer that they want to spread, hoping that the derangement in other people will validate their own insecurities and fears.


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