How Borderline Personality Disorder helps explain the left

By Brad Lyles, M.D.

One way of understanding the increasingly outlandish beliefs and behaviors of the left is through the lens of Borderline Personality Disorder. The Borderline diagnosis is among the most infamous diagnoses in psychiatry. It is the diagnosis that keeps therapists up at night, covered in sweat, fearful of every encounter with this sort of patient.

Understanding the long-researched processes driving Borderline Disorder provides unique insights into the processes driving the more extreme politics of the left. The Borderline model explains not only the often inexplicable behaviors of the left – but also why the left is so legitimately dangerous.

The most dangerous feature of the Borderline model – and the process most dangerous in our politics – is “psychological” projection – as distinct from the “political” variety.

Psychological projection hardens a patient’s mere belief or suspicion that the other (person, organization) is bad into a conviction the other person is bad. In particular the patient knows the other person is bad.

On the contrary, political projection – “accusing the other guy of what you are doing” – is merely a strategy. A prominent – and execrable – example would include the three years Democrats accused President Trump of “colluding with the Russians” while they themselves were in fact colluding with the Russians.

Psychological projection is not a strategy. It is a threat.

With psychological projection there are no gray areas in the belief structure: The other person is all bad. There is no circumstance in which a person (or political party) is understood to possess a combination of both good and bad features.

Psychological projection is also an unconscious process. It is not a choice. It is not subject to self-reflection (other than in therapy). The belief “just is.” Like air.

A patient believes his or her own accusations – no matter how ridiculous they may be. Similarly, many Democrats do not merely “claim” MAGA Republicans are domestic terrorists; they are not merely “convinced” they are; they know they are. And they project this unchallenged belief upon Republicans without doubt or misgiving.

Since many Democrats know MAGA supporters are the evil, racist, scheming, gun-loving, white-supremacist yokels they believe them to be, they also know that a spontaneous rag-tag mob of Trump supporters bumbling through the Capitol on Jan. 6 was not a one-off incident of fired-up rabble but instead a full-fledged insurrection and “the greatest assault on our Capitol and democracy since the Civil War.”

And since Democrats know this to be the true nature of the occasion, they know they are justified – compelled – to mete out harsh justice to these traitors; for they know our democracy might fail if they do not.

Consequently, they are unmoved by the suffering of many hundreds of otherwise unremarkable American citizens – Trump supporters who have been arrested and jailed, kept in pretrial detention for months, often locked down in isolation cells 23 hours per day, abused by guards, denied medical care or visitation, families hundreds of miles away, despised by their far-left “public defender” attorneys and sentenced more harshly than violent felons by activist judges – when/if they go to trial.

Even Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, inquired of President Biden, “How is this different than anything you accuse us Russians of doing?”

Without understanding the process of psychological projection, it is impossible to understand how some everyday Americans could treat other everyday Americans so despicably – and with such conviction and self-righteousness. Moreover, it would be hard to understand how many everyday Americans could otherwise justify to themselves endorsing such treatment of other Americans.

Before it is too late Republicans must quickly come to understand that based on the workings of psychological projection, much of the left knows Republicans are evil, knows Republicans are an existential threat to all they hold dear, knows that Republicans are somehow less than human, knows Republicans must therefore be crushed or exterminated and knows they are compelled by honor to any means necessary to achieve this end.

It is no longer about rhetoric or political gamesmanship.

It is about survival.

Brad Lyles, M.D., DFAPA, is a retired psychiatrist and activist. His writing has appeared in Canada Free Press and professional journals.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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