Why did the elections turn out the way they did?  Not only this election season, but also . . . why do elections in general turn out the way they do?
Race? Incapability? Wrong direction? Lies and mudslinging? Corruption? Greed?  Hunger for power? Change? Plain ole human nature?
Whatever you think . . . there is a deeper reason than most people know. 

It is called transference.
In psychology – the psych part of PoliPsych – there is a dynamic called transference.
Boiled down to its essence, Transference is when you transfer onto someone or something in your life today a thought/belief/decision, feeling, sense, experience/memory, perception/interpretation  based on an experience you had long, long ago in your childhood. . . particularly with people in your childhood who you experienced as authority figures. That could include your parents, the adults in your extended family, older siblings, adult or older neighbors, teachers, clergy people, etc.

People often think of transference as happening only in the therapy room. But the truth is . . .
we transfer onto others unconsciously and so very frequently, that we would be amazed to become conscious of when.

What in the world does this have to do with elections? 

Just this:
We also transfer onto our leaders. Not just our educational and spiritual leaders, but also our political and governmental leaders.
We may transfer onto them negatively . . . thinking they are horrible people and leaders and not wanting them to lead us ever, let alone anymore.
Thinking they’re going to do terrible things that will hurt us, while pretending they’re doing things for our own good . . . like Mom or Dad did when we were little.  We may be seeing them as Mom, who coddled us but didn’t teach us how to function in the world. We may perceive them like Dad, who pretended he and Mom were doing without and they were being generous with us, while he was really being stingy with us and hoarding things for Mom and him. We may feel they are like Grandpa, who lied to us and got our family into trouble; or Uncle Jim who was mean to the children but nice to the grown ups; or our older sister, who bullied us and lied to our parents to get us in trouble; or the teacher who punished us unfairly and played favorites with others. All of these early experiences may be transferred onto our leaders . . . and limitless others, too!

We may transfer onto them positively, or in an idealized fashion … thinking they are wonderful and can do no wrong, and will always take care of us well . . . blind to who they really are and what they are really doing, just like we were as tiny children with our parents.

In this past election . . . at the root of the situation was a deep, unconscious transference.  The people elected in 2008 were seen, transferentially, as the good parents who would get us out of trouble .  . . quickly . . . like with the wave of a magic wand.  Since that wasn’t possible, and wouldn’t have been for any leader . . . on the young, transferential level, those same people are now experienced as the bad parents who didn’t do it right.  And now the children are looking for new parents to take care of them. 

How do we tell the difference between when we’re in transference with a leader and when our assessment of him or her is accurate?
To tell the difference to the core and in truth . . . we need to do our inner work with our own transference.
We need to find out if we’re transferring onto the specific leader and if so, who and what we’re transferring.
And then we need to do the work to resolve, dissolve, and heal the transference and the wound beneath it that drives it.
Only with the transference healed, will we be able to see clearly to choose and vote for leaders with clear seeing and knowing.
And only with the transference healed, will we be able to heal the whole process we have set up for choosing and electing our leaders.

We have a lot of work to do.
But it is so worthwhile to do it – for ourselves individually, for everyone in our lives that we affect, for our country, and for our world!* 

© Judith Barr, 2010

*If you’d like help to explore your own transference, please feel free to email me at JudithBarr@PowerAbusedPowerHealed.com  to explore the possibility of a consultation…and  if you know others who would also like to explore theirs, I would gladly explore creating a workshop or group in which to do that.


Leave a Reply