In the past week there’s been so much going on in several different topics, it’s hard to concentrate on just one. So today I’m going to go a bit “meta” and go with a common theme that seems to pervade the Trump administration. Specifically – how so many different political subjects seem to be handled by the administration by a technique called “gaslighting”
If you’re not familiar with the term you can look it up here. It comes from the plot of a 1938 play and 1944 film “Gas Light”. The short version is when someone tries to convince someone else that reality is something other than what it is. In the movie, the husband tries to mentally destabilize his wife by turning down the gas lights and insisting that only she is the one seeing less light. An example I once heard from a comedian is a husband caught cheating by his wife because she saw him coming out of another woman’s apartment and his defense is “It wasn’t me”. It doesn’t matter that she saw him, recognized him and in every way caught him red-handed. He’ll try to “gaslight” his wife into believing it wasn’t him.
I’ve noticed this gaslighting of the country by Trump and his supporters on a scale I’ve never seen before. This list will be, by no means, complete. It would take an incredible amount of time to catalog the stuff he said on the campaign trail, so I’ll skip that for now. But what about after the election?
- Trump claims he won by an historic landslide. Reality says “No, it was historically narrow and he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes”.
- Trump says he did not mock a disabled reporter. Your own eyes will tell you differently, but Trump says the Hollywood elite made you THINK you did.
- Trump claimed he saved a factory. Reality says the factory wasn’t moving.
- Trump says that the media falsely portrays him as supporting Wikileaks head Julian Assange. Reality – and Trump – says otherwise.
- Trump says he likes the intelligence community. Reality – and Trump – again, say otherwise.
- Trump says it’s a disgrace that his cabinet hasn’t been seated and that it’s the longest delay in history. Reality says that even Obama did get his cabinet completed April 28, 2009 – 99 days into his term. We’re at three weeks in Trump’s term.
- Trump claims he saved over a half billion dollars on the F-35 program. Reality says Lockheed-Martin was already looking at cost reductions before the election. Heck, I work for the Air Force, though nowhere near the F-35 program, and I knew this was in the works.
- Trump claims that any negative polls are “fake news” stories. Usually, it’s a despot or banana republic dictator that makes those claims. Reality says otherwise – by a large margin.
- Trump’s Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly was loaded with gaslights. He actually said that California voted for him when it was actually 61.5% to 31.5% for Clinton. THAT is a landslide.
- Trump says crime is rising to record heights. This is perhaps one of the more disgusting lies. The fact is, it’s been going down for quite some time.
- Trump regurgitated his voter fraud claim – this time claiming he would have won New Hampshire (my home state) and Kelly Ayotte would have been re-elected except for all the buses with illegal voters coming form Massachusetts. Problem is, the Federal Elections Commission takes these types of accusations seriously. It’s kind of their “thing”. So the FEC Commissioner is asking for proof. For the record, I live in New Hampshire. I voted here. There were no buses that I could see. Nobody reported any buses anywhere in the state.
- Trump’s Muslim ban caught a lot of flak. Trump tried to defend it by using a debunked story from Facebook claiming Kuwait has the same ban. Of course, Kuwait doesn’t and said as much.
- Trump claimed that Iran was on it’s “last legs” before we “gave” them $150B. Reality says otherwise – as it seems to always do. Iran had assets unfrozen and that included a much smaller amount of cash.
- Of course, Trump (through his Press Secretary Sean Spice) also claimed that Iran attacked a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of Yemen. Reality says it was actually Houthi rebels attacking a Saudi frigate.
Think about that last one there. That’s how shooting wars are started. That’s how we upped our involvement in Vietnam – the Gulf of Tonkin incident. And for those of you who think that Trump is particularly fascist, World War Two started with Operation Himmler – where the Nazis staged false raids and made fake claims over the radio to make it look like Poland was mistreating or attacking ethnic Germans. This is how they justified their blitzkrieg.
This is just a short list. This is by NO means comprehensive. There’s a lot more out there, but it gets depressing to document lie after lie after lie.
So why is this all happening? One can only speculate. But why would someone put out such easily provable lies? Well, the source of “The Big Lie” is none other than Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister. If you get enough people believing it – because it’s too outlandish to NOT be true, you can convince people to do horrible things.
So today they tell us our cities are hellholes, despite all evidence to the contrary. They tell us we’re being inundate with dangerous immigrants, despite all evidence to the contrary. They even want us to be scared of refugees from bombed out countries. But we’ve heard this before – we turned away Jewish refugees during WWII for fear they were spies. This is one of our nation’s great shames.
I just can’t let this stuff go without stating my opposition to it….