Dr. Sanity has a great post examining the extreme Right and Lefts' psychological convergence regarding the war:
The tools of the politically paranoid--i.e., the paranoid style of the extreme right or left -- are denial, distortion, and projection. These psychological tools are almost always pathological when used to cope with the real world. For the user these three primitive psychological defenses permit a rearrangement of external reality (so that actual reality may be avoided); for the beholder, the users of these mechanisms frequently appear crazy or insane. These are known as the "psychotic" defenses, common in overt psychosis, in dreams, and throughout childhood.I have a friend of a friend in the throws of delusion. A member of a cult that has gotten progressively insular and far more paranoid, not to mention delusional, he has lost his rationality. He has lost his mind. The way this and other groups maintain control is by projecting their authoritarian, controlling and despotic nature on the world around them. While not killing people literally, this group and others like it are vicious to their own to protect their special knowledge and place with God. Wouldn't want to be sullied by anyone "less than". It is hardly a loving environment. It is fear-based. Dr. Sanity has more to say:
These immature psychological manipulations work together to keep a person or a group insulated from reality. And it is reality that always has the ultimate say. Transiently avoiding reality may work for a time, but eventually, objective reality will defeat any attempt to pretend it doesn't exist.
Let's be honest. Sheehan's people are not really "antiwar". They do not stage protests about the killing of innocent people by Al Qaeda's or Hamas or Hezbollah. They never demonstrated against the 100 million or more people murdered by communism in the last century--they cozy up to 21st century communists. They do not express their rage at the mass graves of Saddam, instead, they reserve that rage for Saddam's execution, which they can blame on the US.I remember Daniel Goleman saying in his book Primal Leadership that the most important trait for any leader is Self-Awareness. When one's life is consumed with a certain dogma and limited socially by people who believe exactly the same or when surrounded only by preening sycophants, self-awareness is nearly impossible. The pain of isolation must eventually trump the security and self-esteem enhancing notion that special knowledge is held exclusively by only the enlightened few.
As for the religiously "righteous" protestors at soldier's funeral or the anti-semitism of a David Duke; or any of those who feel their belief in God--or Allah for that matter-- justifies uncivilized and even barbaric behavior on their part. Let us be equally honest about this variation of the paranoid style: their behavior serves to camouflage the unacceptable feelings of within that must be externalized to keep their own souls "holy" and "pure". You will notice that they also reserve their rage for America and its values and ideals.
And that summarizes the "root cause" underlying the behaviors of the two supposedly politically opposite groups. Both are rabidly, vehemently and unapologetically anti-American, and believe that America and its values are the source of all evil in the world.
But if they really wanted to understand the origins of human evil, all they need to do is look within; an extremely frightening proposition, requiring a degree of self-awareness, courage and honesty that is unlikely to be found in any who embrace the paranoid style.