On the Front Row of a Public Hanging: How “Jokes” Betray Personality

The Danger of Stupid

Recently, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican candidate for Senate from Mississippi stepped in a wee cow paddy not once, not twice, but three times! First came the lynching comment, which she tried to brush off as a joke. Then the whole I put out a statement yesterday, and I stand by that statement fiasco. And, then the making it just a little more difficult for liberals to vote joke.

Cheesus, Harry, and Josephine, when will liberals grow themselves a sense of humor? Can’t a senate candidate cut loose and have a little fun on the campaign trail once in a while?

Sure she can, but we will also parse her “jokes” for insight into her personality, values, and beliefs using science! But, before we do, let’s have some fun by reviewing the “jokes” in greater detail!

The “Jokes” of Cindy Hyde-Smith

Is it a Public Hanging or a Lynching?

The first cow paddy was stepped in when she thanked a cattle rancher — they have cattle ranchers in Mississippi? Who knew? — in that old timey wholesome way that we all do sometimes by saying, If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.

Libtards and other assorted riffraff used it as an excuse to accuse her of racism! To imply that she was referring to LYNCHINGS! Lynchings? Her? A good Southern woman? Clutch my pearls and fetch the smelling salts, Mammy! How on earth could anyone…? It is beyond reason!

I mean, Ms Hyde-Smith is ambitious that’s why she wants to be senator, so, of course, she wants to sit on the front row of any performance she attends. Nothing but the best for her! You’d think the Femi-Nazis on the left would understand and appreciate that. And, if the crusty old rancher wants to support her, what’s the harm in a little flirtatious response? 

Talk about motivated reasoning! Liberals will stop at nothing to twist innocent words to their own nefarious purposes these days. They just don’t play fair. But, Ms Hyde-Smith does! She went the extra mile and put out a statement. A. STATE. MENT. Explaining that she was just using an exaggerated expression of regard that anyone of any refinement would understand, and those of us who have tried to turn it into something unseemly must have ulterior motives.

Who doesn’t miss the refinement of public hangings? And obviously she was using hyperbole since there are no public hangings any more… at least none officially sanctioned by the state.

The Statement and Assorted Fiascos

Well, the “joke” was uttered on 2 November, and the STATEMENT put out on 4 November. The fiasco took place on 5 November when the right good Governor Bryant was introducing her, some of the fake news reporters insisted on asking her about the “joke” and insisting that she respond beyond her very illuminating and clarifying statement, so she showed them! She said, repeatedly, as in over and over, about five excruciating times that she had put out a statement yesterday, and she stood by the statement, and she wouldn’t be saying anything more on the matter, so don’t bother asking again, but they did! Talk about a Puddintain moment! She showed them who was boss!

Voter Suppression… JK!

Once she had finally put that whole artificial kerfuffle to rest and turned the turd into a blossom, some other fake news reporter got hold of a video recording of her making a joke out of voter suppression. Seriously, all she said was, there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. So, I think that’s a great idea. It’s not like she was serious or anything. What was she going to do? Whip up some voter suppression out of thin air like that wasscally Brian Kemp did over in Georgia?

Revealing Personality

As Freud so famously opined, all humor is based in repressed sexuality and thinly veiled aggression. And, there is the old saying that behind every joke is a grain of truth. We all know that Freud was off the mark by a good bit — though, he was a great reflection of the id and superego of the Victorian Age and remarkably accurate for someone who was working off of introspection and observation — but it is true that many of our unconscious actions, statements, behaviors, and habits betray our personality and what makes us unique, so why not our jokes?


The GOP, the ACA, & No Empathy
The OCEAN of Trump’s & Clinton’s Personalities

According to Sam Gosling (author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You, a guide to make you into Sherlock Holmes), people cannot help but leave their clues to themselves in their personal spaces that they occupy everyday. While we all have exquisite control of our appearance and can manage the short bursts of exposure that come from meeting and talking to someone, we cannot maintain a false front in our everyday spaces. Our personality will win out in the way we keep them. It’s sort of like knowing how to answer the question, What’s your greatest weaknesses? at a job interview. The person who answers honestly doesn’t get the job; the person who knows how to hide their greatest weakness while talking about a strength, gets the job. But, over time on the job your weaknesses begin to become apparent.

Gosling has spent twenty-plus years developing his codex for interpreting the clues that someone leaves in their personal space. It’s really a matter of correlating the clues to personality traits. He uses the Big Five Personality Inventory because they have been fairly well established as universal personality characteristics meaning that every culture has them. And, then testing his conclusions concerning a person’s personality as evidenced by their personal space against the opinions of family and friends and the results of personality inventories.

It seems that people decorate their spaces with a combination of things that serve as identity claims and feeling regulators. Identity claims are the decorations that the decorator puts up hoping that others will take away the intended conclusion about them. Things like the bumper sticker, You can take my gun when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.  You know the driver wants you to know that they are a second amendment supporter. That person is trying to create an impression.

Feeling regulators are likely to be things that only the decorator sees. Those would be things that are designed to create a specific emotional response in that person. The picture of someone’s family on their desk that faces the occupier of the desk and not the visitor would serve as a reminder of the love and care that they get from their family.

Cindy Hyde-Smith: Racist Authoritarian or Authoritarian Racist?

What Lynching Says About Your Personality

We have two questions here: (1) Are Cindy Hyde-Smith’s “jokes” really windows into her soul? And (2) was she trying to use them as identity claims or feeling regulators? She made both of her “jokes” in the course of public appearances when she was either talking to a small gathering or having a conversation in a public place. In that sense, she was trying to make an identity claim, especially the public hanging “joke.” She was addressing a gathering of supporters and she was trying to say that she was one of them. She was trying to find a way of saying that she liked her donor and appreciated his values and beliefs. She obviously thought that public hangings fit the bill.

Whether she was consciously aware of the connection to lynching or not is immaterial. In the larger social context her listeners knew that the few public hangings that are available are those held by private citizens and the only people being hung are those being lynched. The State of Mississippi does not hold public hangings, but it is the record-holder for most lynching in any state with over 581! Well, ain’t that special? And Ms. Hyde-Smith wanted to make damn sure that her listeners all knew she was all for jacking that number even higher. She jus thought no one would know, but racists. 

In that way, her public hangings comment is the perfect example of a dog whistle, meaning a phrase that conjures the image, feeling, and meaning of racism without explicitly referencing it. You know, like Reagan choosing his first campaign event in Neshoba County, Mississippi after being nominated. At the fairgrounds about seven miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi where the Freedom Riders, Chaney,  Goodman, and Schwerner were murdered in 1964.

It is all well and good that she so strenuously denies the association between public hanging and lynching and essentially accuses her listeners who come to such a conclusion of having “dirty minds,” but it is clear that she has betrayed her sympathies by making such a peculiar and awkward comment.

What Voter Suppression Says About Your Personality

GOP Authoritarian Party

Her second “joke” about suppressing the votes of university students because they are likely to be more liberal falls into the realm of disparagement humor. According Thomas Ford, when a person with racist tendencies overhears someone telling a racist joke, they are more likely to discriminate against a PoC at their next opportunity because they feel understood, accepted, and encouraged by the joke teller. People with racist tendencies are also likely to tolerate and accept prejudiced behavior around them. It normalizes the behavior.

This “joke” about denying liberal college student’s their Constitutional right to vote didn’t occur because she was just fishing for something funny to say. It occurred because disenfranchising likely liberal voters has been normalized in Repube circles. It has made it more acceptable to deny groups of people based on their race, creed, skin color, and religion their right to vote. That this idea resonated enough with her to prompt her to make the joke reveals her true inner self.

Yes, we may conclude from these two “jokes” that Cindy Hyde-Smith is a racist vote suppressor. She may cloak herself in a democratic facade but inside beats an authoritarian racist heart. These comments didn’t occur in a vacuum but rather in a social context that give words and phrases their meaning and within a common culture that helps us interpret them the way they are intended.

Friday 23 November 2018:

Since the torturous journey this blog post took from conception to publishing — including an ominous detour to Dali, Yunnan, China where the air is clean that the Internet access weak — more fun Cindy Hyde-Smith news has been faked!

Back in 2014, she posted a photo of herself commemorating a memorable visit to that great president’s library, Jefferson Beauregard Davis, posing with Confederate soldier paraphernalia writing on her Facebook page:

I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi. This is a must see. Currently on display are artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons. Mississippi history at its best!

Cindy Hyde-Smith, 2014

And just to add a little second amendment icing to her racist authoritarian cake, she went and sponsored a bill in the Senate that would prohibit the federales from collecting any information about gun purchases because keeping records on guns would be a liberal tranny! But, don’t worry kids, Shannon Watts is gonna kick her ass like she’s been kicking the NRA’s!

Well, bless her heart! She just can’t keep from punching herself in the tit, can she?

7 replies »

  1. How often do we hear someone who is accused of making an offensive or inappropriate utterance try to have it dismissed and ignored by saying it was a joke? And, how often do they pretend to be shocked and offended when that doesn’t work, when reversing perpetrator and victim fails?

    It used to be much easier for politicians and other public persons to keep private what they say to small, friendly audiences. That is becoming more difficult, which is probably a good thing.

    Oh, then there’s that picture of Cindy Hyde-Smith with a rifle and Confederate hat. I think that counts as a dead give away.

    In a related vein, I notice that DJT has said he might attend the White House Correspondents Dinner next year if there will be no comedians and roasts. If he thinks that will protect him from having his narcissistic snowflake feelings triggered somehow, he deludes himself. The announced host plans to speak in defense of the First Amendment. OOPS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      That’s one of my pet peeves about “jokes:” I was just joking. Christ what a lame cop out. That and, “Don’t blame me, so-and-so told me the joke. It’s one of hers!” Well, you made the decision to re-tell it, so there’s that. Jokes have long been used to ease the sting of criticism and cloak real meaning.

      While Hyde-Smith was elected, she sure made a good run at blowing it, didn’t she? But in the end the clearly evident dog whistle worked for her.

      Trump truly cannot work with anyone. He is incapable of making a positive contribution. He cannot work with anyone. He can only fight. He can only exist in chaos. Whatever form the WHCD takes, whoever is there, and whatever is said, he’ll find a way to fight with it.


      Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          Right after the election, I wrote a post stating that the only thing he could is fight and predicted he would fight with everyone from opponents to allies to neutrals. Pretty much true. As long as everything is enveloped in the fog of war, no one can clearly see his incompetence — he has a ready made excuse for doing nothing — and no one can hold him accountable if he can couch everything in terms of a fight — they’re just making those baseless accusations to get back at me. Unfortunately, it has worked for him most of his life. It might work with a third of the electorate, but it won’t work in a federal court.


          Liked by 1 person

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