Why Democrats Accuse Us of What They Do

Many of us are on to their trick: Democrats (aka the American Neo-Communists) accuse us of what they’re doing.

Examples abound. They accuse us of racism while they relentlessly obsess over skin color and inject racial tension, division, and hatred into every possible conversation. They accuse us of spreading “misinformation” while they are practically the Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon of misinformation. They accuse us of absurdities like a “war on women” (remember that?) while they deliberately work to eradicate the very idea of gender. They try to cancel us, fire us, exclude us, and silence us while claiming we’re “intolerant.” (The irony of this seems completely lost on most of them.) They accuse us of being “threats to democracy” while they work to kill free speech, arrest and jail political opponents, monopolize all media, and fabricate narratives. They accuse us of “fascism” while they scapegoat us, stage dangerous political stunts, imprison political opponents, and declare authoritarian mandates while ignoring law and our basic rights. They accuse America of “colonialism” and “systematic” corruption while they have seized control of nearly all cultural institutions (education, media, entertainment, Big Tech, etc.) and rigged them against conservatives. And so on. This list could keep going for quite a while.

But why?

Why do they accuse us of doing precisely what they’re guilty of?

Our side often explains it with a simple answer: “projection.”

“Projection” is a psychological defense mechanism where an individual is unable or unwilling to face some of his own traits or impulses, and so instead—through an unconscious trick of the mind—perceives them in others.

The reality, however, seems to be much more sinister.

It’s a tactic.

This tactic is called “mirror politics,” or “accusation in a mirror.”

“Accuse your enemy of what you are doing, as you are doing it to create confusion.”

The above quote has been attributed to both Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky. Whether one, the other, or both said it ultimately isn’t all that important. Nearly everyone on the left today is a disciple and intellectual descendant of both. (Hilary Clinton, for example, wrote her college thesis on Alinsky.)

This tactic was also admired by Joseph Goebbels, chief propagandist for the Nazi party: “The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing…” (from his speech to the 1934 Nuremberg Rally)1 The methods of both communists and fascists can sometimes seem strangely similar.

Mirror politics has been characterized as a “genocidal speech technique.”

The formal definition: “‘Accusation in a mirror’ is a genocidal speech technique that entails accusing the victim of a plan to commit the identical offenses that the actual perpetrator seeks to commit or has already committed,” according to Gregory S. Gordon.2

Image: The face in the mirror by freepik (edited).

But this tactic has a history. It’s been used to justify and instigate mass murder: it “has been commonly used in atrocities committed by Nazis, Serbs, and Hutus, among others…”3

For example, it played a role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where roughly one million people were murdered, many with machetes.

An infamous document was discovered in the wake of the Rwandan Genocide that was apparently left behind by one of its propagandist instigators. As Alison Des Forges described, it drew from both Goebbels and Vladimir Lenin in describing how “the party which is using terror will accuse the enemy of using terror,” and will “persuade listeners and ‘honest people’ that they are being attacked and are justified in taking whatever measures are necessary ‘for legitimate [self-]defense.’” It described how “…colleagues should impute to enemies exactly what they and their own party are planning to do…”4

Genocidaire Leon Mugesera used this technique in his infamous 1992 speech in which he accused Tutsi—whom he referred to as the “inyenzi” (“cockroaches”)—of plotting to perpetrate genocide against the Hutus.

These people…are now on their way to attack us…I am telling you, and I am not lying…they only want to exterminate us. They only want to exterminate us: they have no other aim. Are we really waiting till they come to exterminate us?” 5

To be clear: the words above were those of a man who was ultimately convicted of incitement to genocide. Roughly two years later, the exact reverse of what was describing happened: the Hutus committed genocide against the Tutsi.

How does this tactic work?

In addition to creating confusion, as Marx and/or Alinsky noted, it also provides the perfect cover: it’s the criminal who pretends to be the detective; the fox who pretends to “guard” the chickens. This kind of multi-layered web of deception isn’t easy to unwind. Untangling it can take time and effort, and sometimes it isn’t undone until it’s too late.

The tactic also tries to draw validity from the right of self-defense, as Susan Benesch describes. Just as self-defense is a defense for individual homicide, mirror politics invokes collective self-defense.6

Benesch also noted that dehumanization “makes genocide seem acceptable” while accusation in a mirror makes it seem necessary.7

Kenneth Marcus further noted how this represents a perversion of the Golden Rule: “…before one’s enemies accuse one truthfully, one accuses them falsely of the same misdeed.”8

Accusation in a mirror “serves at least five other functions, both in genocidal and non-genocidal contexts: to shock, to silence, to threaten to insulate, and finally, to motivate or incite.” 9

For these reasons and others, accusation in a mirror “has historically been an almost invariable harbinger of genocide.”10

So, what can we learn from this?

Leftists today aren’t openly calling for literal genocide against political opponents. That said, they are clearly not fooling around. Many Republican leaders are still acting as if it’s still good old American politics-as-usual. Yet the game has changed. If the above sketches are even roughly on track, today’s Democrats are knowingly and deliberately using tactics that have a historical track record of leading to genocide.

Even more: despite the events of the past several years, many Americans still seem fast asleep, or at least alarmingly complacent. Decades of relative peace and prosperity seem to have made far too many Americans oblivious to how close we are to the brink.

Today, the left is routinely accusing us of being fascists. They’re accusing us of plotting to steal elections. They’re accusing us of being “threats to democracy itself.”

Of course, these accusations seem absurd to us. We fit none of their ridiculous, delusional caricatures.

But if they’re accusing us of what they’re doing themselves, this should tell us much of what we need to know.

They’re revealing a great deal about themselves.



1. German Propaganda Archive, Goebbels at Nuremberg – 1934. https://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb59.htm

2. Gordon, Gregory S. Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition. Oxford University Press. 2017, p. 287.

3. ibid, pp. 288-289.

4. Des Forges, Alison. Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch, International Federation of Human Rights. March 1999, pp. 65-66.

5. Mugesera v. Canada, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 100, 2005 SCC 40 appp. III ¶ 18 as cited in Gordon, Gregory S. Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition. Oxford University Press. 2017, p. 288.

6 (Benesch, Susan (2008). “Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: Defining Incitement to Genocide”. Virginia Journal of International Law. 48 (3). SSRN 1121926 | https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1121926)

7. Benesch, Susan (2008). “Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: Defining Incitement to Genocide”. Virginia Journal of International Law. 48 (3). SSRN 1121926 as cited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incitement_to_genocide

8. Kenneth L. Marcus, Accusation in a Mirror, 43 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 359 (2012). https://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/law/students/publications/llj/pdfs/marcus_mirror_accusation.pdf

9. Gordon, Gregory S. Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition. Oxford University Press. 2017, p. 289.

10. ibid, pp. 288.

Steve Rose is a pseudonym.

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