Friday, August 28, 2009

Glenn Beck is Projecting, and the Violence Will Escalate Because Of It

Unfortunately, it was a stunt, but he does not realize what he has done.

I can't recall a clip or quote of Glenn Beck's in which he hasn't called someone something vile. Fascist, racist (President Obama), ... or suggested that people trying to help this country were in fact trying to harm it.

It's one thing to have differences of opinion. That's fine. But Beck is either delusional or disingenuous. And by the way. It's not name calling to simply point out the truth.

When Obama legitimately won the election, Beck called for revolution. He claimed that the 2nd Amendment was under attack and incited fear to the point that 3 police officers were killed in Pittsburgh (the shooter claimed that he acted because of the ban on guns that Obama was planning, according to Beck). He stated that he hated 9/11 victim families and started a 9/12 movement (or tried). He suggested that FEMA was setting up concentration camps so President Obama (who he nightly called either socialist, Marxist, or fascist) could round up Americans in order to create his Totalitarianist society--something that he did not bother to "debunk" until weeks later. Beck joked about poisoning Speaker Pelosi, going so far as to set up a skit with a staffer in which Beck encouraged 'her' to drink poison-laced wine as he giggled at the camera. And on, and on, and on.

So he brings on this psychiatrist to help us average people learn how to handle name calling. How to deal with the stress. How to cope.

What the psychiatrist should have talked to Glenn Beck about is something called projection.

Projection is when thoughts and feelings you are unable to acknowledge about yourself are assigned to someone else. Feel guilty about cheating on your significant other? You believe they are cheating on you. Think someone doesn't like you? You don't like them. There are different forms of projection; neurotic, complementary, and complimentary.

Neurotic projection involves your projecting what you (unconsciously) least like about yourself onto others.

Complementary projection occurs when you believe that everyone thinks and believes as you do.

Complimentary projection assumes that everyone else can do things as well as you can.

This last is socially helpful as social psychology teaches us that we typically think the best of people who are most like us so if we are around people and can project that they are like us, we are more likely to like them, and thus get along (the false consensus effect). People who organize the Tea Party events and the Town Hall protests are very aware of social psychology, as are , I'm sure, the people behind Glenn Beck.

Projection is of interest to psychologists and counselors, as it prevents real connection between people and interferes with the therapeutic process. Projection tends to occur in paranoia as they project their negative attributes onto others and believe that nobody likes them. Projection enables us to turn neurotic anxiety into reality anxiety and takes our internal locus of control (a position of strength) to an external, and thus weak, locus of control.

It's much easier to be anxious of something out there than have to deal with internal neuroses and moral ambiguities. If it is the government, or immigrants, or minorities who are at fault for everything that is wrong in your life, then you have absolutely nothing to do to fix your problems. The locus of control is external. It is out of your control.

Projections makes behavior about someone else, not about you. It's not your fault, it's theirs. If you respond with violence, you're entitled to protect yourself. They're out to get you. It feeds on itself and when the Glenn Becks of the world are given a national media platform assuring you that you are absolutely correct in this view, then the paranoia deepens, the projection widens, the behavior worsens. He has validated their beliefs. By adding a psychiatrist to his show to help his listeners (and no, dealing with every person and situation as you would with a drug addict is beyond ridiculous - it's called a one-note-wonder) he validated my belief that this man is just another extreme- right-wing operative, laughing all the way to the bank.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting observations. It provided me with a new dimension to Beck's behaviour.

    Thank you.