“One of the most insidious things about gaslighting is the denial of reality. Being denied what you have seen. Being denied what you have experienced and know to be true. It can make you feel like you are crazy. But you are not crazy.”
By Ariel Leve
The Guardian (3/16/17)
Right now, many Americans listening to their president are experiencing what I experienced frequently a child. Nothing means anything, and reality is being canceled. There is confusion, there is chaos, everything is upside down and inside out. When facts and truth are being discredited, how is it possible to know what to believe, especially when it comes from someone we expect to embody both ethics and etiquette?
It’s obvious to those already initiated. To those new to the phenomena: the president and the current administration are gaslighting us. It’s a term we are hearing a lot of right now.
With gaslighting, it feels as though the ground is always shifting beneath you. There is no center of gravity. And while we’re being told up is down and black is white, the only way to make sense of it is to remain resolute. Let people have their alternative facts. You’ll stick to reality.
The term “gaslighting” refers to when someone manipulates you into questioning and second-guessing your reality. It derives from a 1944 movie – and the play and another film that preceded it – in which this happens to the heroine. What perhaps people don’t understand is how to manage and cope with it. For me, all it’s very familiar. I know this behavior well and I know how to navigate it.
As a child, I was experiencing a world where there was no emotional safety while being consistently told that I had a beautiful and happy childhood and that I was ungrateful. What was I complaining about? Yet what I was exposed to caused me to feel unsafe. And those feelings had a verifiable origin. Whether it was witnessing violent arguments or being on the receiving end of inappropriate behavior, when I confronted my mother with the truth, it was denied; my reality was disavowed and asserting it would only instigate conflict. I was told that what I saw with my own eyes hadn’t happened. …
Donald Trump Is Gas Lighting America
By Lauren Duca
Teen Vogue (12/10/16)
The CIA officially determined that Russia intervened in our election, and President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the story as if it were a piece of fake news. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” his transition team wrote in a statement. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again’.”
It wasn’t one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history, so presumably that’s another red-herring lie to distract from Trump treating the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States like it is some rogue blogger to be cast to the trolls. A foreign government’s interference in our election is a threat to our freedom, and the President-elect’s attempt to undermine the American people’s access to that information undermines the very foundation upon which this country was built. It’s also nothing new.
Trump won the Presidency by gas light. His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalizing deception. Civil rights are now on trial, though before we can fight to reassert the march toward equality, we must regain control of the truth. If that seems melodramatic, I would encourage you to dump a bucket of ice over your head while listening to “Duel of the Fates.” Donald Trump is our President now; it’s time to wake up.
“Gas lighting” is a buzzy name for a terrifying strategy currently being used to weaken and blind the American electorate. We are collectively being treated like Bella Manningham in the 1938 Victorian thriller from which the term “gas light” takes its name. …
Republicans Call Killing Off Healthcare For Millions ‘freedom’? That’s Gas Lighting
By Adam Gaffney
The Guardian (3/14/17)
Paul Ryan is promoting Trumpcare as if it were some sort of medical Magna Carta – a brave declaration of healthcare freedom. “We’re not going to make an American do what they don’t want to do. You get it [healthcare] if you want it. That’s freedom” he recently said on Face the Nation. Freedom to die uninsured, that is.
It’s not that House Republicans are proposing some libertarian healthcare promised land wherein open heart surgeries and rounds of chemo are bartered and traded like tubes of toothpaste – far from it. Instead, the bill largely relies on Obamacare’s blueprint, although it mangles its details for the benefit of the rich while stripping coverage from a staggering 24 million people by 2026 (according to Monday’s estimates from the Congressional Budget Office).
Ryan’s healthcare bill would, like the Obamacare, provide subsidies (or tax credits) for the purchase of private insurance policies. Yet these tax credits would be comparatively more regressive and less generous than those in the Affordable Care Act (ACA); many Americans would thus be freed from having affordable premiums.
The Republican bill also discards Obamacare’s cost sharing subsidies for low-income individuals, who would henceforth have the freedom to pay higher copayments and deductibles. Additionally, it prevents tax credits from being used for the purchase of plans that cover abortion, freeing more women from control over their own reproductive systems.
The bill would also punish those with low incomes by squeezing federal funding of Medicaid beginning in 2020, effectively emancipating millions of poor people from the ranks of the insured. …
More Republican Gas Lighting: Trump’s Budget Director Insists Cutting Meals for Poor Seniors Is Compassionate
Democracy Now! (3/17/17)
President Trump has unveiled his 2018 budget proposal to Congress, which calls for an unprecedented $54 billion increase in military spending while slashing environmental, housing, diplomatic and educational programs, and calling for the outright elimination of 19 agencies. The budget would also cut spending for the State Department and USAID by 28 percent, and slash billions of dollars in funding for the United Nations. The Office of Management and Budget director describes Trump’s proposal as an America First budget, even though numerous programs to help the poor are on the chopping block, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps the poor pay for heat during the winter, the Legal Services Corporation, which funds free legal aid nationwide, and the Community Development Block Grant program, which partially funds Meals on Wheels to feed the elderly, poor, veterans and disabled. When asked about the cuts, OMB head Mick Mulvaney said they were “about as compassionate as you can get.”
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )