Students of Freud are familiar with his theories on personality development, specifically the stages through which children evolve. We’ve all heard about the ‘id’, the ‘ego’ and ‘libido’. Freud further describes stages of development that we all go through: the oral, the anal, the genital and the latent stage.
Freud asserts that if the child successfully completes all stages of personality development, the result will be a healthy and balanced adult. If, on the other hand, certain childhood issues are not resolved, the adult will be obsessed with specific areas of behavior. Those who do not resolve ‘oral’ issues, for example, may become fixated on smoking, drinking or over-eating.
Individuals who have difficulties with the ‘anal’ stage of development become fixated on bowel and bladder movements. They become focused on toilet and elimination issues and may have problems with excretory control. An anal-retentive or anal-explosive personality may be the result of this thwarted development.
The recent NH GOP’s obsession with bathroom and toileting matters may best be explained by reference to Freud’s theories. This seems the clearest explanationfor the party’s obsessive behavior.