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Trump’s Bitch

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I’ve said and written for years that Lindsay Graham—“Auntie Lindsay”–is gay but is afraid to come out of the closet because he represents one of the most Christian and conservative states in the country—South Carolina—where people hate homosexuals. (Note: in this post, I refer to Graham both as “he” and “she.”)

My thesis has long been that Auntie Lindsay’s bizarre defense of Trump, which seems so illogical on the surface, can be explained psychologically. Because Auntie Lindsay is ashamed and frightened by her own queerness, she is “identifying with the aggressor.” This is a well-known defense mechanism, explored by Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalyst daughter Anna. It describes a mechanism by which people who are ashamed of what they are (such as Auntie Lindsay) develop “psychological strategies that are unconsciously used to protect a person from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts or feelings.”

According to the theory, Graham represses his awareness of his own sexual orientation, a defense that is unsuccessful since it is based on untruth. This heightens Graham’s sense of anxiety: not only is he “evil” by virtue of being gay, his response to the outer world is twisted and distorted. This creates extreme unrest in Auntie Lindsay; she cannot be comfortable in her own skin, and so she seeks to take shelter in the presence of someone else—someone strong, who projects the image of that which Auntie Lindsay cannot be: straight. In Auntie Lindsay’s case, this strong, straight presence is Donald Trump. Graham not only “identifies” with him, but draws sustenance from the fact that straight men such as trump are the historic aggressors of gay men. By identifying with trump, Graham “borrows” some of his strength; and because trump himself is homophobic, Graham is able to convince himself that by protecting trump, he is in fact protecting himself. It’s all very strange, but there it is: and it explains why Graham goes out of her way to excuse trump’s racism, lies and bullying. 

Recently, the Broadway actress, Patti Lupone, found herself in trouble on social media for a tweet in which she said: “Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace. On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”

The rightwing criticisms on Twitter followed fast. Some accused Lupone of having a “double standard…Imagine a conservative tweeting this at Anderson Cooper. It would be national news.” (Never mind that (a) Anderson Cooper came out of the closet voluntarily years ago, and (b) Lupone wasn’t criticizing Graham for being gay, but for lying about it.) Other Graham/Trump supporters called Lupone “a snowflake,” screamed “YOU are the disgrace,” and insisted, “We love Senator Graham! And his lifestyle is nobody’s business. Focus on helping all the loons on the left. That’ll keep you busy to infinity.”

Others defended Lupone. “Everyone knows that Lindsey Graham is gay, he even has a code name on Capitol Hill. I have no beef with that. What I do have a problem with, is his bad policies that hurt Americans. DRAG HIM PATTI! DRAG HIM!”

It’s fine for Auntie Lindsay’s supporters to “love” him even though he’s gay. I have no problem with that. What I, and many others, have a problem with is Graham’s homophobia (as exemplified in his anti-gay stance, including being against gay marriage), and his support of, and connections with, the most extreme homophobes of the so-called “Christian” right. Poor Auntie Lindsay suffers from a mental imbalance that he doesn’t even know he has. Most people with the self-loathing of Lindsay Graham would seek out psychotherapy (if they could afford it, and Graham can), in order to heal themselves and be better human beings. But in order to seek help, you have to be aware that you have a problem—and Auntie Lindsay apparently isn’t.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the biggest problem with trump isn’t his policies (as cruel and stupid as they are). It’s the content of his character: trump suffers from numerous mental illnesses, ranging from narcissism and megalomania to a sociopathic personality that is unable to empathize with human suffering; there’s also, to judge from his behavior, a streak of sadism. It’s a huge problem for America (and for the world) when the President of the United States is mentally ill. Other mentally ill people gravitate to trump because he helps them feel better. They’re not the losers they think they are: how can they be, when the most powerful, successful man in the world is just as sick as they are? This is why the El Paso shooter revered trump. It’s why Auntie Lindsay reveres trump. Graham has been called “trump’s greatest supporter in the Senate.” I call her something else: trump’s Bitch.

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