Psychological projection is a defense mechanism that involves denying the existence of an impulse or characteristic in one’s self and attributing it to someone else. For example, when a bully tortures a victim for being “stupid” it’s likely a projection of how the bully feels about their self, in actuality, the bully feels tortured for feeling stupid but they act outwards rather than inwards because that reality is too ugly to face.
Donald Trump has used this defense mechanism numerous times since he started campaigning. He has lashed out at anyone who dares bruise his giant ego and calls them names or accuses them of doing what he’s being accused of. He’s done this to Hillary Clinton for over a year, and her campaign has compiled nine sound examples of Trump projecting, which shows on the inside he’s just a tortured little bully.
From Clinton’s website, the first example of projection:
Trump kicked off his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and criminals—and has spent his time on the trail doing and saying things that have earned him the endorsement of white supremacist leaders like the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke. Everyone knows this. So it was rich when, after Hillary announced she would give a speech about Trump’s link to ‘alt-right’ extremists, Trump responded by calling her a bigot: ‘Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color, only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.'”
In Clinton’s second example, she points out the time she put out a book of the policies she vows to fight for if she makes it into office. That very same day, Trump said, “she never talks about policy.” But the reverse is true. Clinton has 38 detailed policies, while Trump has only put out nine pages of policy on his website — two of those pages outline his plans for the giant wall Mexico is supposedly going to pay for. In contrast, Clinton has written 112,735 words on policy while Trump has only written 9,000 words. Projection, my dear Watson.
In another classic “nuh-uh YOU ARE” moment, when Clinton cited an article by a former head of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center claiming Donald Trump’s bigoted rhetoric was being used as a recruitment tool by ISIS, Trump, despite not having any evidence whatsoever, claimed that ISIS “dream[s] of having her as president.”
In another example:
After it was revealed that Trump’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has close ties to a pro-Kremlin political party—and after months of Trump praising Vladimir Putin as a great leader—Trump tried to take down Hillary for her (nonexistent) ties to Russian oligarchs: ‘The fact is she’s the one involved with Russia,’ he lied.”
He lies so casually, as if we don’t have months of videotape of him cozying up to the Russian leader and asking Russian hackers to breach a former government official’s email system. It’s absolutely maddening.
In the fifth example, Clinton recounts the time she made the case that Trump was “temperamentally unfit” to be the President. Immediately, Trump came out and basically said, “NUH-UH YOU’RE TEMPERAMENTALLY UNFIT.” It’s a classic example of Trump still playing the “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you” game that kids play.
When Clinton accused Trump of being the kind of person “you can bait with a Tweet,” Trump started calling Clinton “trigger happy.”
Trump, who has nine pages of policy that are all basically centered around fear and has incited his supporters to react violently to dissent, urged voters to “reject Hillary Clinton’s policies of fear.” The Republican nominee has also accused Clinton of having “low stamina” and “low energy” when the opposite is true — Clinton claims she traveled nearly one million miles to 112 countries while Secretary of State. Maybe it’s Trump who is starting to feel a bit burned out?
And the last example:
Trump accused the Clinton Foundation of being a ‘vast criminal enterprise’ and called for it to be ‘shut down immediately.’ Turns out, Trump has used his own foundation to buy political influence, and is now under investigation by the New York attorney general for illegal contributions. The Clinton Foundation, on the other the hand, has helped 11.5 million people in the developing world get access to AIDS treatment.
If this isn’t projection, I’ll eat my hat. Others have started to notice too:
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) August 26, 2016
Here are some examples from his Twitter feed:
Just watched recap of #CrookedHillary's speech. Very short and lies. She is the only one fear-mongering!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2016
Crooked Hillary is flooding the airwaves with false and misleading ads – all paid for by her bosses on Wall Street. Media is protecting her!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2016
Trump is nothing but a school-age bully.
Featured Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images