Projecting (Double OpEd?)

Nebraska’s weather has finally started to be conducive to outdoors walking. With that in mind, my old friend Jorge said he had been cooped up in his truck all day and wanted to go for a stroll to Johnson Park via Norfolk’s new trail. Jorge said he wanted to blow off some emotional steam and walking seemed like a good way to do that.

We hadn’t even reached the trail-head when Jorge began grousing about Mike Pence, our moralistic Vice President. “I’ve done my best to keep quiet about ‘Mr. Sanctimonious’, but he just keeps bad-mouthing our community.”

I asked, “Now what has he done?”

“He made another one of his speeches to some sort of ‘moral committee’–I don’t know which one–but it just got to me. Kinda like the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“I know what you mean. It seems like Pence would like to throw us all in prison or religious conversion therapy if he ever gets his way. I try not to think about him too much.”

“I’m convinced that he is doing a whole lot of projecting of his own hidden inner fears onto the LGBT community.”

I replied, “I know the word ‘projection’ is big in pop-psychology and is probably misused a lot, but I think you’re onto something, Jorge.”

“A lot of folks believe that Pence isn’t entirely straight and maybe his sexual feelings really bother him, so he’s got to put on the public face of being this big, gruff, morally straight guy. Well, Pence is a very powerful, influential guy with a strong network of like-minded, influential people. He’s pretty scary.”

“I don’t know whether or not Pence is one of us or is just acting mean-spirited, but this projection idea needs to be explored by psychological experts.”

“Yes, I’m curious about what they might have to say about his extremely negative opinions about people like us.”

My friend appeared to have calmed down considerably. Maybe talking about his worry with a like-minded pal helped. Anyway, we continued walking in peaceful silence for a few minutes. Then, Jorge spoke up again.

“I know Pence is a sore spot for both of us, but I’ve been thinking about him and projection a lot. Trucking gives me a lot of time to do that. Anyway, if it turns out that Pence isn’t queer, maybe he’s just afraid of life, in general.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“It looks like he holds a lot of himself back and uses moralizing as a smokescreen to distract people. Maybe he sees how our community has empowered itself over the past several years by loving ourselves. Instead of being happy for us, maybe he feels very threatened by us for some reason.”

“So, are you saying his anti-gay political opinions might be projections of his fear about people who are unafraid of their true natures and life?”


“I’ve thought about my own observations about others and myself. It seems like what we say and do is a projection of our so-called realities. People who are in positions of power, who haven’t done the hard work of introspection can inflict their own insecurities onto their underlings and cause a lot of misery.”

“Exactamento! There are a lot of over-paid people, who seem to have serious morality issues, making decisions that affect everybody else.”

“That’s pretty much the entire history of global politics. I’d say a lot of them are in a state of constant existential crisis mode and take it out on the rest of us.”

“…and greed.”

“Yes, public existential crises and greed are a dangerous combination. Maybe that will be my new pet theory about moralism and politics.”

My friend replied, “For a long time, I’ve thought that a lot of the people who become professional politicians manifest a boatload of personal insecurities and control issues. They find a sticky insecurity that bothers them and many others then project it onto scapegoats. There seems to be almost complete disrespect of people…the politicians’ fellow-travelers and the scapegoats.”

“Jorge, I couldn’t have said it better.”

The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders something from the neoshamanistic Toltec spiritualist Miguel Angel Ruiz. “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Controversy, Friendship, Politics, religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Projecting (Double OpEd?)

  1. Doug says:

    And, don’t forget the religious leaders. Me thinks they protest too loudly.

    • swabby429 says:

      Oh yes. One of my main worries about Pence is that he has placed himself as a leader in the religious right political movement. By any measure, Pence is dangerous because he sees nothing wrong with theocracy. Indeed, he is aligned with the radicals who want their particular brand of Christianity to rule the country and the world.

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