Sigmund Freud had a concept he called “projection, which has been defined as a defense where the ego deals with unacceptable impulses and/or terrifying anxieties by attributing them to someone in the external world.
In many ways I think that explains the behavior of the media’s current patron saint, Cindy Sheehan, whose hate rhetoric aimed at President Bush is really meant for someone else who she can’t admit even to herself is her real target. To do so would represent one of those “unacceptable impulses” Dr. Freud was talking about.
In this case it could well be that Cindy Sheehan is projecting her rage at George Bush when the one she really despises is her late son Casey, who died as a hero in Iraq, precisely because he did die a hero in Iraq.
The more I listen to Cindy Sheehan and consider her past actions and her past words, it occurs to me she has always been a liberal, she’s always been anti-military, and she’s always been anti-Republican. It appears that she raised Casey in such an environment, yet despite that what does he do? He not only joins the military engaged in a war she bitterly opposes, but to add insult to injury when his enlistment runs out, he re-enlists although he knew that by so doing it meant he would be sent to Iraq where a war his mother despises is being fought.
Think about that. What Casey did was to reject not by words but by deeds his mother’s most closely-held beliefs.
Then, to make matter worse in her eyes, this son volunteers to go on a dangerous mission even his superiors warned him against, and dies as a result. Casey Sheehan’s sergeant asked for volunteers. Sheehan had just returned from Mass. After Sheehan volunteered once, the sergeant asked Sheehan again if he wanted to go on the mission. According to many reports (and according to his own mother) Casey responded, “Where my chief goes, I go.”
He went, and it cost him his life. You can almost hear her saying to his spirit, “How dare you spurn me and turn your back on me? How dare you go join the military, and then how dare you volunteer to fight against the innocent Iraqi freedom fighters and get yourself killed?”
Casey Sheehan’s heroic action has embittered Cindy Sheehan. And her actions have embittered her family who bitterly resent her exploitation of her son’s heroic death in behalf of her political extremism. Here’s what they wrote to Matt Drudge:
“The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our president, silently, with prayer and respect.”
Cindy Sheehan says she wants to ask the president, “Why did you kill my son?” She knows that George Bush did not kill her son. The butchers she supports with her far-out liberal activism killed Casey Sheehan and that activism is now resulting in the deaths of other young Americans because she is giving aid and comfort to our enemies and encouraging them to persist in their terrorism, giving them hope that if her views prevail the U.S. will lose its will and pull out. And so the fight goes on, and more Casey Sheehans die as a result.
And she says of her son, “He died for oil. He died to make your friends,” Bush’s friends, “richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East.”
How dare he?
Cindy Sheehan doesn’t need to talk to the president. A talk with a therapist would be more appropriate.
©2005 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561