Anger and resentment appear to be playing an increasingly important role in politics, as evidenced by the vociferous opposition to welfare, abortion, and immigrants, and by the rise of the radical Religious Right. The Politics of Denial presents a compelling explanation of these phenomena, providing solid empirical evidence for the role of rigid, harsh childrearing practices in the creation of punitive, authoritarian adult political attitudes. The authors show how political processes in the United States are distorted by the unresolved negative emotions (such as fear, anger, and helplessness) that remain from punitive parenting, and by the politicians and conservative religious leaders who exploit those emotions. Among the many public figures discussed are Patrick Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, and Billy Graham.
"Milburn and Conrad have written a very interesting book about the force of denial in our lives and our politics. They range over their field of study, from war to child rearing, offering new and often compelling insights into the role of denial in the way we see and understand ourselves." —Marvin Kalb