Friday, November 4, 2011

Cases in Projection - Sometimes those ringing the alarm bells are the cause for alarm.

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.

   I have encountered people online as well as one coworker who call themselves "Constitutionalists." One of my major issues with them is that they often seem to cherry-pick through the Constitution and/or interpret it in whatever way they see fit. (I.e, "The First Amendment only applies to Christians, but not Muslims.") However, the thing that bothers me the most is that (and this one is inspired by my coworker) they will say things along the lines "You have to know your rights before they are taken away!" The other thing worth noting is that these people have a tendency to support conservative (Republican) policies. Therefore, they are probably worried about liberals coming for their guns!!!

   This story, however, shows who we should really be worried about. (Emphasis mine.)
The teacher who heads up New Smyrna Beach High School's student government association could face thousands of dollars in fines. Her transgression? Helping students register to vote.

Prepping 17-year-olds for the privileges and responsibilities of voting in a democracy is nothing new for civics teachers, but when Jill Cicciarelli organized a drive at the start of the school year to get students pre-registered, she ran afoul of Florida's new and controversial election law.

Among other things, the new rules require that third parties who sign up new voters register with the state and that they submit applications within 48 hours. The law also reduces the time for early voting from 14 days to eight and requires voters who want to give a new address at the polls to use a provisional ballot.

Republican lawmakers who backed the rules said they were necessary to reduce voter fraud. Critics -- including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who testified before a congressional committee -- said the law would suppress voter participation.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit to block implementation of the law. The most controversial elements are under review in federal court before they can be implemented in five counties.

Fear of violating the new rules prompted the League of Women Voters to suspend voter registration efforts in Florida. Local political activists in both parties have been similarly stymied, Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall said.

"It's bizarre," McFall said of the law. "I haven't found one person who likes this law."

   It's not the liberals coming for your guns that you have to worry about; it's the people sounding the alarm bells that you have to worry about.

   This certainly isn't the first case of this in the history of the world. Take 1930's Germany. During that time, there was a group of people who called themselves Nazis that were sounding alarm bells, alerting people of the threat the Jews posed on the country. Who turned out to be the real threat to Germany? Yeah, it was the Nazis themselves.

   Within about the last decade, the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks were blamed on people who were trying to take away our freedoms (because they were jealous of them) by the Presidential administration. Later, this administration administered warentless wiretapping against the country's own citizens. Turns out it was really the administration that was after our freedoms.

   Likewise, the latest Presidential administration has now launced a predator drone strike against and killing a U.S. citizen living abroud who was allegedly guilty, but never tried in a court of law, of being connected to terrorist activities since 9/11. Think about that - if you are a U.S. citizen living abroud, and the U.S. government even suspects that you are a terrorist, they've granted themselves permission to kill you without a trial. And while this happened under a supposedly Democratic President, I have only heard liberals complain about this killing being unjust.

   It's almost like pickpocketers and their signs. I've heard that sometimes pickpocketers are the ones who put up these signs. Why? Because when someone sees the sign, often the first thing they do is check to see if they still have their wallet, revealing its location to the pickpocketer who is watching the area. Pickpocketers also like to use distraction techniques. They need their victim focused on something so that the victim doesn't notice the pickpocketer going for the wallet.

   Something similar seems to be in play with politics. The "the liberals are coming for your guns!" or "the terrorists want to take away your freedom!"or "voter fraud has run amuck!" warnings really just seems to be a distraction the politician uses to create fear and paranoia while he or she slowly takes away people's rights.

   Now, where it gets to be projection is that the rights of those helping to sound the alarms are not necessarilty impacted (or at least to a less obvious extent). In the case of more strict voter regisration, the people who are impacted most tend to be more liberal voters - minority groups, poor people, and college students - though the one exception to this is with the elderly. As to why such groups get harmed so much, I don't know the exact answer to that. I suspect poverty is a factor, as well as, in the case of college students, unfamiliarity with the process.

 &nsbsp; In short, the next time someone is sounding the alarm bells, don't investigate the people he/she tells you is the problem. Investigate him/her!

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