GOP Attack dogs Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz — What are they afraid of?

Mark Goulston
3 min readMar 28, 2022


Do you know what fearful aggression is?

It’s the way many animals act aggressively on the outside when what it fueling it is fear. It is something that needs to be trained out of purebred dogs or thoroughbred race horses, because if they acted aggressively they would never win “best in show” or a Kentucky Derby.

It is also the way Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz appear to be have acted regarding the Senate confirmation hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson, although one might say that it has been a long time since either Graham or Cruz demonstrated a thoroughbred nature or conducted themselves according to the values and principles they once had.

But what is there about Ketanji Brown Jackson that might strike fear in either of those Senators?

Might it be that whenever they were or are involved in questioning Jackson, three things were readily apparent:

1. Graham and Cruz knew that they long ago compromised their values and principles for political expediency.

2. Jackson knew that Graham and Cruz long ago compromised their values and principles for political expediency.

3. Graham and Cruz knew that Jackson knew that they long ago compromised their values and principles for political expediency.

Because the above were so readily visible to Graham, Cruz, Jackson and anyone watching the confirmation hearings, might that have caused Graham and Cruz to try to provoke Jackson from showing the calm and poised demeanor that she demonstrated?

Their too obvious miscalculation was the principle that whoever has more to hide has more to fear. And when you apply that principle to Graham, Cruz and Jackson, there is no contest to whoever has more to fear.

As I watched and watch the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson, a number of other words come to mind. Passionate, adamant, opinion, opinionated, respect and disrespect.

In these highly divisive times where a difference of opinion can lead to either a Cancel Culture from the extreme left or a January 6 from the extreme right, we don’t need to add fuel to the fire.

What do being adamant and being opinionated have in common? In both cases not merely believing they are right is sufficient, but such people also have a need to make and prove others wrong and then treat them with disrespect.

On the other hand regarding being passionate and having an opinion, as much as such people believe in their point of view and that they are right in having it, they don’t have a need to make someone with a different point of view wrong and furthermore treat them with respect.

Which category best describes you?

What would the people who know you, believe in you and care about you say?

What would be the best way to produce a world where people are passionate and have opinions, but don’t have a need to be adamant, opinionated and make people who merely see the world differently wrong?

P.S: Regarding another phenomena that is also on display called gender bias, do you think that there is general bias towards women that if they become emotional they will be unable to pull their thoughts together and become rational and impartial and that men are better able to compartmentalize after becoming or acting emotionally and then flip a switch and go back to being rational and impartial?



Mark Goulston

Dr. Goulston is the world's #1 listening coach and author of "Just Listen" which became the top book on listening in the world