The Gaslighting of America: For Your Reference

Gaslight poster

“The classic example of gaslighting is to switch something around on someone that you know they’re sure to notice, but then deny knowing anything about it, and to explain that they “must be imagining things” when they challenge these changes.” [Urban Dictionary]

And now, some reference material on Donald J. Trump and the use of gaslighting in American politics.

Nicole Hemmer, “Trump is Gaslighting America,” US News & World Report, March 15, 2016.

Melissa Jeltsen, “Donald Trump is Successfully Conning the Entire Country,” Huffington Post, March 16, 2016.

Andrea Grimes, “The GOP is Gaslighting America – On National Television,” Texas Observer, July 20, 2016.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, “A Gaslighting Codependent Circus: The Trump Train Wreck is America’s Dysfunctional Family”, Salon, August 3, 2016.

Brian Beutler, “Trump’s Racist Birther Gaslighting Strategy has Taken Over the GOP,” The New Republic, September 19, 2016.

Karoli Kuns, “Which Polls? Trump Surrogate Tries to Gaslight CNN.” Crooks and Liars, August 17, 2016.

Matt Gertz, “What To Do When The Trump Campaign is Gaslighting Your Network,” MMFA, June 8, 2016.

David Marcus, “Lewandowski Case Shows How Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,” The Federalist, March 30, 2016.

You’ve seen the numbers. 

“According to the CDC and Census data, for the first three months of of 2016 the uninsured rate is 8.6% down from 9.2% last year, and from 15.7% before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. For just the 18 -64 demographic the same study shows the uninsured rate at 11.9%, down from 13% in 2015, down from 22.3% in 2010 when the ACA was signed into law. These represent the lowest uninsured rates in over 50 years according to the studies (which are all based on census data).” [OCF]

So, when Donald Trump tells you the Affordable Care Act and Patient’s Bill of Rights is a ‘failure.’ You’re being gaslighted.

When Donald Trump tells you that inner city crime is reaching record levels, you’re being gaslighted.

“The patterns for homicide are the same as they are for violent crime generally — they have been declining since the early-to-mid 1990s.

The same pattern holds for the subset of the nation’s very largest cities — those of 1 million or more residents. In 2014, the violent crime rate in these largest cities was 658.7 per 100,000 residents, a significant decline from 868.9 in 2006 (and even higher in earlier years). Over the same period, the murder rate in these cities fell from 12.3 per 100,000 residents to 7.4 per 100,000 residents.

A cursory look at a few specific cities shows that the number of murders, even at their somewhat elevated rate today, are well below their peaks in the 1990s.” [Politifact]

When Donald Trump tells you that Stop and Frisk was successful in reducing crime, you’re being gaslighted.

“Trump praises stop-and-frisk policies under former New York City mayor Rudolph Guliani. But it’s debatable whether the stop-and-frisk policies had such a direct impact on crime, as Trump suggests. Crime is affected by many factors, and New York’s decline in crime mirrored the decline in many other major cities at the time. Moreover, crime was declining for four years before Giuliani took office, and it continued to decline for 14 years after he left.” [WaPo]

On these, and several other issues, Mr. Trump is flickering the lights, hiding the watch, pocketing the brooch, and moving the picture.  And, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.

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