Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Views & Voices

Self-loathing and lemmings: how voting Republican is just ‘nucking futz’

Sunday, September 2, 2012

About fifteen years ago I was one of three people on a panel discussion about the Holocaust at Loyola University Chicago. I’d spoken publicly before, and have spoken publicly since, and experience has taught me that speaking truthfully about the Holocaust often attracts Holocaust deniers and other loonies.

On this occasion, however, none of the predictable crazies showed up and the presentation proved uneventful… except for the most unexpected of all possibilities: a Jewish man who took me aside to explain how the Nazis were driven over the moral cliff because, according to him, the Jews were such a “hard people to like.”

This poor guy wanted me to go easier on the Nazis.

Huh? Say what?

There was no historical accuracy to his argument and his ignorance of the history of European Jewry was stunning, not to mention that being “unlikeable” is hardly a justification for genocide.

It didn’t take long to deduce the man was seriously deranged. The more we spoke the more it became abundantly clear he was tormented by demons I had no power to exorcise.

That gentleman explained his parents were Holocaust survivors and he told me about the nightmares that plagued him throughout his life – terrible nightmares about how he would try to survive when “the Nazis come to America.” His terror was palpable and on many levels understandable; he broke my heart.

I could offer him no comfort. Repeatedly he said “but they couldn’t be all bad… yes, yes, you know some Nazis were nice…”

A Ph.D. candidate in psychology overheard our conversation and offered his take on it; he said “the guy’s terrified; fear has made him insane.”

He explained the pathetic man was making a psychotic deal with the devil so that if the devil returned he might be able to survive.

He also suggested the man’s determination to find redeeming qualities in the Nazis or blame the Jews for the Nazis’ behavior helped him staunch his terror: if he could make them “normal” in his mind or justify their behavior then he might be able to find a common bond, even form a friendship for his own security.

I wonder if I’m not actually seeing a manifestation of the same pathologically deranged behavior among women and people in the gay community who support the GOP.

Maybe I can’t explain their bizarre support for the GOP by using a psychiatric model of derangement and shouldn’t try.

My strength is in history and perhaps that’s where I should remain and if so then there’s a model I might be able to use as a historian. This model was given us by the historian Barbara Tuchman who coined the phrase “policy contrary to self interest” in her classic “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam.”

In “The March of Folly” Tuchman selects dramatic examples of folly in history: the fall of Troy, the Protestant secession from Rome, the British forfeiture of the American colonies, and America’s own experience in Vietnam.

She defines folly as “the pursuit of policy contrary to the self-interest of the constituency or the state involved” and her key criteria are that (1) the policy must have been perceived as counter-productive in its own time and (2) a feasible alternative course of action was available.

Another criterion is that the policy in question should be that of a group (of rulers or entire societies) and not of single individuals.

It’s that third criterion that’s the rub: can I lump Republican woman and members of the gay community who support the GOP into an “entire society” of their own? Or must I think of them as individuals? Can Tuchman’s historical model explaining government folly be retooled to explain individual behavior?

Probably not — so let me turn to a biological model.

You’ve all heard the expression “like lemmings to the sea,” right?

Recent research indicates suicidal lemmings are utter nonsense, pure myth. Maybe so, maybe not; I’m certainly no expert on those little buggers.

However, I know this: women and gays who vote Republican are nucking futz to vote Republican; there’s something not quite right about their thinking… they are just as crazy as a Jew defending Nazis, a nation determined to exercise pure folly, or those funny little rats marching to the sea…

© Maureen Gill.
For more by Maureen Gill, click here, and visit her blog Windy City Author.
Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: Views & Voices

17 more reader comments:

  1. i call it educated people who vote democrate year after year beliveing their lies are the lemmings but then as Himmler said you tell a lie often enough and people belive its the truth

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:21am
  2. as the proud mother of a gay son, I found this absolutely reprehensible. To equate the GOP with Nazis? I cannot believe she would push this on the American people and as a woman I explained to my son, the social issues will come, but not every woman believes it ok to kill their unborn children.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:25am
  3. I’m sick of this stuff. One thing I can’t stand about a lot of gay rights people/groups/whatever (btw I am gay) is that they want everyone to be open minded about them but can’t bring themselves to be openminded about people that disagree with them. I might be voting Republican this november and I don’t want my own community to shun me for it because of my economic views

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:26am
  4. You want me to embrace who you are and accept you, then turn around and call me a lemming. Really???

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:29am
  5. Amen guys … I’m a log cabin republican .. how dare you call me names for doing my given right and voting for the party I believe would best help the country … I’m not a one issue voter

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:46am
  6. If the shoe fits…if your ‘economic views’ lead you to vote for someone who sees you as a second-class citizen because you are a woman AND are gay, so be it. I’ll not be voting for the men who think rape babies are ‘blessings’ and make off-hand comments about kidnapping my children.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:47am
  7. women and gays who vote for Republicrips are a bunch of Self Loathers that deserve their place in hell bunch of Bigots for the Republicrips.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9:53am
  8. Can no one understand an analogy anymore? She did not directly equate the GOP with Nazis. Rather she equated the thought process of people who are LGBTQ who agree with, and vote for, Republicans with Jews trying to defend the Nazis and their actions. I have to agree with her. If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, a woman, or someone who cares about the LGBTQ person or women in your life and you vote Republican you are doing yourself and those you love no favors. All the progress the LGBTQ community has made under the Obama administration will be gone under Romney and don’t get me started on medicare/caid, the middle class and women’s rights. Need birth control for a medical condition like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome? Kiss it goodbye under Romney! Go Ahead and vote for Romney though, if that is your inclination. When this country goes down the proverbial toilet because of that nut and he’s declared LGBTQ people a threat to national security like some of his ilk have stated they would do, don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:01am
  9. I’m sorry Republican women, its not just abortion issues, its contraception for health reasons and your voice that they are trying to take away. Also, what gay rights issues do these Republicans support? Republicans put us in the deficit.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:03am
  10. Devin, you are a one issue guy. If not, you would be fighting for your rights and not the rights of corporations. Maybe you are a CEO? That would explain it, or you are a COO of an oil company??? A Bush relative??

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:06am
  11. Voting in general is stupid. Quit supporting a system that is corrupt.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:10am
  12. Bush like had a family grudge with those people and involved the whole world

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:27am
  13. and caused financial hardship for the u.s.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:28am
  14. I think that the Republican “party” is very hypocritical. They claim to want “government out of our lives”, yet conveniently stick government into our lives if we’re LGBT or a woman that makes a personal choice to have or not have certain medical procedures.

    Then they pander to the religious extremists by promising to force their single religious beliefs “Christianity” down everyone throats. Whether that American is Christian or not, we will all have to live under their Christian based beliefs. Even though some of us aren’t Christians!

    So, what happened to “true” personal freedom, Republicans?

    Don’t believe in abortion = Don’t have one!
    Don’t believe in same-sex marriage = Don’t marry someone of the same gender as you.

    These are “true” freedoms which the Republican party does not support.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:43am
  15. Obama in 2012. Yes, I think he can win again. The debate will be telling.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:52am
  16. I do not care much for either one. Should have been Hillary.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 2:17pm
  17. Wow, great article. *sarcasm* Social justice will come in good time, like it always does. We need to vote based on the economy, and at the moment it is a shit hole.

    Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 3:45pm