Sunday, September 14, 2008

Confronting our shadow side

Deepak Chopra writes on how Palin embodies the shadow side of our national psyche:
Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.

She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and turning negativity into a cause for pride. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision


Read it all here

4 comments:

FranIAm said...

Thank you!

Марко said...

I have hope that the debates will make a difference for Obama and reveal McCain's and Palin's inadequacies. Neither Palin nor McCain does well in these unscripted settings. The current Gallup Poll has McCain at 47% and Obama at 45%. If the debates don't make a difference, I have a real fear that the shadow side will win yet another round in American politics. I sometimes wonder about polling, if it is and can be all that accurate. One good sign, I think, is that Obama continually has raised more money than McCain. Maybe the level of political donations are a good barometer of where a candidate stands?

David said...

God help me, but I've been thinking that if the American electorate loses its collective mind (and conscience) and elects McCain/Palin, then we have a great chance of an economic collapse being laid right in the laps of the Republicans. If the economy really craters with them on watch, they might not get a majority again for a generation.

And I pray I'm wrong about both the election and the economy...

JCF said...

Is this the article that StandFirm tried to spin into being "Chopra endorses Palin"? :-0 [Natch, I wasn't going to go to SitLimp to check it out for myself! ;-/]