"Reaction formation" is a defense mechanism in which unacceptable impulses are hidden by exaggeration of the directly opposing tendency. Where reaction-formation takes place, the original impulse does not vanish, but persists, unconscious, in its original infantile form. Thus, where love is experienced as a reaction formation against hate, that love is not actually substituted for hate, because the original aggressive feelings still exist underneath the affectionate exterior which merely masks the hate to hide it from awareness.

"Reactive love" protests too much; it is overdone, extravagant, showy, and affected. It is counterfeit, and is usually easily detected.

Another feature of a reaction formation is its compulsiveness. A person who is defending himself against anxiety cannot deviate from expressing the opposite of what he really feels. His love, for instance, is not flexible. It cannot adapt itself to changing circumstances as genuine emotions do; rather it must be constantly on display as if any failure to exhibit it would cause the contrary feeling to come to the surface.

Reaction formation is sometimes described as one of the most difficult defenses for lay people to understand; this testifies not merely to its effectiveness as a disguise, but also to its ubiquity and flexibility as a defense that can be utilized in many forms. For example, solicitude may be a reaction-formation against cruelty, cleanliness against coprophilia (look it up - you'll laugh!).

Yeah, that's says it all, doesn't it? Pretend to be celebrating "values" while you're shitting all over the place, including on the U.S. Constitution and genuine decency.

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