A reader writes:
As a cognitive-behavioral psychologist, I dismiss much of Freud's psychoanalytic theory. However, Freud's concept of reaction formation is a perfect fit for the Craig scenario, and you're right, it's probably not conscious hypocrisy.
Reaction formation, according to Freud, occurs when an action or feeling that results in unconscious anxiety produces the opposite reaction in consciousness. A man who is afraid he is weak spends hours at the gym and wears nothing but tank tops when he goes out. A person who is aroused by porn joins a community effort to block the opening of an adult video store. A man who is terrified by the prospect of being gay consistently votes in an anti-gay pattern. In reaction formation, the declaration of the public persona is excessive, and the person is obsessed with making sure the public view is known to everyone. "Of course I am not gay! I have never been gay! I am innocent!" Freud would argue that Larry Craig actually believes this.
One recalls the astonishing scene in Schindler's List where we see the sexual attraction of a Nazi for a Jew.
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