By Valerie Rice | November 12, 2020
I bet that, by now, you have heard of gaslighting. You have probably also heard this term used incorrectly and ihope you are not doing so yourself. Because that does not help. Gaslighting is an emotional and psychological form of abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves. And yeah, the U.S. is a victim. How can I be so sure? Well, not only have I been trained to recognize it, but I have watched it unfold. And so have you, if not actively than passively. And you may be a victim yourself.
This is a big one, and the easiest to pull off the top of my head. Do you remember when he said Mexico is sending rapists and murderers? We all do, because we were supposed to. It was intended to strike fear into the population so that we would back his xenophobic plays. Well, it worked for some and backfired for others. It was an intentional manipulation. And total crap. In fact, Mexico sends relief efforts in our time of need, and so much more. So, WTF? Well, we do have illegal immigration. So does everybody. And we have a drug problem. But it isn’t what you were told. I will go into that later.
How many times have you heard “I never said that” come out of 45’s mouth? Think about it. He said it All. The. Time. And each time a video of him saying whatever it was would go viral. Seriously guys? Seriously? Such blatant lies and denial. Well, that just shows how far into this abuse we have fallen. It is sad, and terrible, and dangerous considering the office he holds. Gaslighting makes it so you can’t possibly believe the evidence right in front of you. That’s why it is so terrifying. And abusers love it.
Now this is a fan favorite of the administration and those under its spell. How many times have you confronted something 45 has done only to hear “but her emails” or something else completely unrelated? Also, all the damn time. Who cares? That matter has nothing to do with what is going on. This technique is designed to make you feel inferior and unreliable, and it works. Once you question yourself you can’t possibly question your abuser. You are also busy chasing shadows the abuser can continue his behavior unhindered.
This is when someone refuses to engage. Examples of this are storming out of press conferences and interviews because he doesn’t want to answer the questions. He might also pretend he doesn’t know or understand what the other person is talking about and simply not answer the question. Now, all over the internet this has been called a tantrum, but in reality this is psychological abuse. And it works. His supporters are drawn deep into this web of lies and hate so that he controls them completely. How? Well, they don’t see it so dissected, do they? They do not experience separate paragraphs. Just hang on, we will get there.
Oh, those tweets. If you follow them. Covid has hit us all hard and increased the homeless population. Trump has managed to tweet the equivalent of IDGAF over and over, trivializing the pain of the citizens and the outcry of America, because he really doesn’t care. The worst part is that his supporters won’t condemn him for this because they probably believe the now homeless deserve it. Why? Because they have been conditioned to believe as such. Besides, so many of those are in blue states, his “enemies” and not red. The funny thing? Most blue states pay more in federal taxes than they get in federal aid, so….rude…
This is huge. This is NOW. This is Trump asking if we are sure, can we count? We can’t think straight anyway. This is Trump forcing hand counts of ballots. And this is people questioning enough to agree. There is ZERO evidence of voter fraud, there is no legal grounds for recounts, but so many are buying into it anyway. This is a calculated coup. Armed citizens showing up to where ballots are being counted demanding they stop because Biden is winning is a dystopian nightmare. Never in our history has this been okay. And yet, the cult of Trump is totally cool with it. The self proclaimed patriots. They stomp on our laws because their abuser told them too. Is anybody else suddenly living in fear? Yeah, thought so.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Alright, I promised. How did this happen? Once upon a time we had a president who was named Obama. Lots of people hated him; because he was Black, because he was progressive, because lies have been spread for decades, and because this country was built on systemic racism and white privilege. So they felt safe with Trump. And because of that they wanted to believe the lies, the manipulation and the hate reflected theirs. It was much more comfortable to blame someone else than to look inside and realize we needed change. Change hurts, it is uncomfortable, it requires effort. Most people don’t like it. And so they blame and soak up lies, and become indoctrinated into the cult of 45. But we can fight back.
NOT THE END, BUT..
The world cheered and danced in the streets when Biden won the election. We wept with joy and slept for a full night after we praised whatever creator we believed in because hop had broken through the clouds. But we are not done yet. The other side needs to heal, as does the nation. Hopefully understanding that these people were victims will help, but the underlying conditions need to be addressed. But I hope that we will be victorious in changing the attitudes and behaviors of our peoples so that ours is a culture of inclusion instead of isolation; we unify instead of divide, and love instead of hate. Until next time, be well.