Editor’s Desk

13 June 2017

Dear Intrepid Reader,

Have you heard? Did you read? These are the questions we’re all being asked, asking ourselves. I now know the names of more members (and former members) of Mr. Trump’s cabinet and close circle of advisors than of the last administration’s. Ever since the election, when I couldn’t bring myself to watch the results being returned, and went to bed early and didn’t look at the news for nearly 24 hours, things have felt surreal. I’ve been having a hard time coping with the actions of this administration and the people propping it up. And yet, there are lots of voices saying things like “Give him a chance, it might not be so bad.” “He hasn’t actually done anything illegal.” “”Nothing he promised will actually happen.”

To help me and others like me deal with the current political climate, I want to point out that what’s going on is that we’re being gaslighted on a huge scale. I’m using an article from Psychology Today to talk about what this administration is doing to gaslight us, and how to fight back.

1. Gaslighters lie.

Trump’s mendacious history is well-documented, both in his former career as a businessman and now as the man occupying the White House. No one seems to dispute the fact that what comes out of Trump’s mouth is at odds with demonstrable reality. The part that’s most upsetting to those victimized by his policies is that the people around him either support his lies or pretend that the things he lies about don’t matter.

2. They deny things they’ve said in the past.

Trump’s use of social media is unprecedented, and he loves to give interviews to those he thinks are friendly to his message. But he does have a tendency to say something today because it sounds good, and then deny it. I think that we’re well aware of and used to the phenomenon of campaign promises, but those normally stop once the campaign has been won.

3. They use personal things as ammunition against you.

One of the most surprising things about Trump have been his personal attacks on people. From his mocking of a disabled reporter to his weird supposition that a debate moderator must have been menstruating, his use of very personal remarks is used solely to keep people off balance, so that they’re outraged at his inappropriate comments, and forget about the rest of the content of his speech.

4. They wear you down over time.

At this point, most of the people I know are hitting the wall. It’s just not possible to keep up the level of outrage Trump’s behavior deserves. And yet, he continues to make headlines practically daily.

5. Their actions don’t match their words.

How many times has Trump said one thing, but done something else? While we hear his words constantly, many of his actions take place behind closed doors. However, there have been enough leaks to create a picture that’s pretty consistent with the rest of what we know if Trump’s character.

6. They will occasionally praise you to keep you off balance.

Trump is not above giving credit to people he perceives as his enemies, but that’s part of gaslighting. Although I don’t think I’ve ever heard him give praise that sounded sincere to me.

7. They cultivate confusion.

Like a magician directing your eye at his waving hand while the other palms the coin, Trump gets up in front of people and says things that make headlines while behind the scenes, Republican lawmakers are using that distraction to quietly pass legislation that hurts millions.

8. They project.

From calling Obama “inexperienced” to calling Hillary Clinton “a nasty woman,” Trump hurls insults at everyone around him that sound an awful lot like the things the voices in his head are saying about him.

9. They turn people against you.

Israel, Qatar, Germany, France – many of America’s allies are turning away from Trump’s abusive rhetoric, ham-handed communications, and loose handling of intelligence.

10. They tell you that everyone else is lying.

Need we say more?

How can we fight back?

1. Pay attention to details. Not just what Trump is saying, but what he’s actually doing. There’s a lot going on in the shadows of Congress that you should be paying attention to.

2. Trust your own judgement. It’s easy to become numb to the daily onslaught of Trump insults, slip-ups, threats, and embarrassments, but keep remembering that this is NOT NORMAL. Don’t let him re-set the bar for what we consider okay.

3. Understand his true motives. Everything Trump and his cronies do funnels more money into his own pockets. Think about how many heads of state he has hosted at Mar-a-Lago or at any of his own hotels. His family are using their connection to him to further their own businesses. This man is using what should be a position of service to strip our country of everything it has.

4. Don’t let him think you believe him. Keep calling out his lies, misstatements, omissions, etc. Let Trump know that we don’t believe what he’s trying to sell us.

5. Recognize that this is not about you. Trump ran on a platform of “Make America Great Again,” but it’s clear from his actions while in office that he couldn’t care less about America. His entire aim is to make Trump great again.

6. We may not win this fight. Even if Trump is removed from office, chances are that Pence, a man just as deceitful and manipulative, will step into his shoes. And, as has been the case his entire life, Trump is likely to walk away from this whole thing declaring victory because he wasn’t jailed.

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And if you need a break from the onslaught, catch our latest online offering, 8 Maxims for the Toys R Us Ghost, now available with audio!