By Daniel Bobinski
People watching network or cable news have seen gaslighting in action, but whether they've recognized it depends on how well they trust their own senses. Gaslighting occurs when false information is presented for the purpose of getting people to not believe their own observations or experiences. Unfortunately, many in the media – and in politics – have become experts at the practice.
The simple truth is this: Americans have been gaslighted like crazy since Donald Trump announced he was running for President, and the gaslighting has only increased with the 2020 Presidential election results.
Origin of the term
The term gaslighting comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light (a US film adaptation was released in 1944). In the story, set in 1880, a husband attempts to convince his wife that she's insane by insisting she's not seeing what she’s actually seeing and not hearing what she’s actually hearing.
The play's title is derived from the gas lights dimming in the couple’s apartment when the husband sneaks into the upstairs apartment and lights the gas lights up there so he can search for jewels belonging to a woman he murdered. Since all the apartments share the same gas line, his actions cause the lights to dim just a bit in other units. When the man returns to his own apartment, his wife tells him she’s hearing footsteps upstairs in what should be an empty apartment, and that the lights got dimmer in their apartment while he was gone. This happens multiple times and she wants him to investigate, but to cover his wrongdoing, the man tells her she’s going insane.
Today the term “gaslighting” refers to manipulating people so they doubt or even disbelieve their own observations or memories, and it’s usually done to distract from malfeasance or gain control.
Gaslighting in America
America has experienced a lot of gaslighting lately, especially over the last four years. Traditional media and Deep State players have become quite adept at telling us things that run counter to discernible facts – and tragically, people believe the lies.
For example, no doubt you’ve heard the President is racist. CNN’s Don Lemon is only one of many among the media and the Democrat leadership whose face drips with both disgust and feigned sadness as he gaslights the nation with this line.
Never mind that before Trump ran for President, black leaders couldn’t wait to be seen with him. Go to any search engine and you’ll find plenty of old photos showing Donald Trump having a great time with black leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and boxing promoter Don King. And, they all appear to be having a good time, too.
Isn’t it strange that many leftists loved Donald Trump and admired his work with the black community until he ran for office as a Republican?
No doubt you’ve also heard President Trump is a liar. CNN’s Chris Cuomo practically squeals as he regularly tells America that Trump lies constantly. I’d say America has heard that line weekly if not daily for four years from the same guy who lied about staying quarantined in his basement while he claimed to be ill with a virus. Fact: Cuomo was seen MULTIPLE times outside his home when he told us he was quarantined. But I digress.
Trump was correct when he said the mainstream media would be his main “opposition party.” Consider the Washington Post’s headline: “Trump is averaging more than 50 false or misleading claims a day”
In the first half of the article, the authors provide zero examples of any lies. The only thing they provide are numbers so dramatic we begin to feel that Trump’s every sentence is a deception. The article is written with a bit of a story format, complete with an emotional line telling us that the team compiling Trump’s lies “cannot keep up.”
An unaware reader might actually get caught up and feel sorry for the Post’s overworked fact-checkers, but really, it’s gaslighting in action.
Not until more than half-way through the article do the authors provide an example of one of Trump’s lies: The US Economy today is the best in history.
Wow. Pretty damning. And the authors are compelled to tell you: “That’s not true.” Doesn’t matter that they’re defining “economy” one way while Trump is defining it another. They want you to believe that Trump lied to you.
Naturally, “50 false or misleading claims a day” sounds pretty bad, but would you like to know how they compiled their numbers? If Trump said “The US Economy today is the best in history” 25 times in a single day, the Post recorded it as 25 separate lies.
You’ll get no argument from me that Trump is famous for his hyperbole, but I don’t know any Americans who were negatively affected by Trump saying the US economy is the best in history. However, we know that millions of Americans were negatively affected by the false statement of a previous President, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan.”
Strangely, the Washington Post was silent about that one, but I suppose that’s another digression.
Here’s a dose of reality: The Marxist-friendly media wants you to believe that Trump lies nonstop, so they tell you he lies nonstop. And, because they’ve been saying that repeatedly for four years, many people who might otherwise have a neutral opinion about Donald Trump developed a negative opinion about him. It’s called gaslighting.
Remember, gaslighting means don’t believe your eyes or your ears. You could even say it also means don’t believe your pocketbook. Think back to before the arrival of a virus from China. Unemployment for minorities was at record lows and median household income nationwide was at record highs. But the media told us that “Orange Man Bad,” and some believed it – even though they were much better off under Trump than they were under Obama or Bush 43.
Gaslighting and the election
When exploring gaslighting and the election, one could start anywhere, but let me start with the emergence of a virus from China. Trump was proactive, putting travel restrictions and quarantine rules in place, but both the media and the political left (sorry for being redundant) told America that Trump was xenophobic and over-reactive. But now they’ll tell you he didn’t do enough.
In February Trump appointed a Coronavirus Task Force, and arising out of that was a Napoleonic figure named Anthony Fauci. I recall having a phone conversation with UncoverDC's Editor-in-Chief Tracy Beanz in mid-March, a day or two after Fauci recommended shutting down the economy. During that call, I predicted the political Left would extend the lockdown as long as possible to inflict as much pain as possible on the American public – and they would blame Donald Trump for it.
I shouldn’t need to remind anyone about the draconian measures put in place by Democrat governors and mayors across the country. The actions of those fear-mongering anti-Trumpers devastated many American businesses and families. But, if you’ve been listening to the news, they’re blaming it all on Trump.
Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been among the harshest and draconian in how she treated her state's citizens, so her gaslighting on Meet the Press on October 18 deserves an Academy Award.
When host Chuck Todd asked Whitmer about lockdown fatigue, out of nowhere she took a swipe at President Trump, saying “He incites additional violence against people who are just trying to save one another’s lives.”
Yes, you heard that correctly. She didn’t want you to believe your eyes. Leftists and Marxists have been inciting violence in American cities for months, but Whitmer lit up the gaslight then told us that it’s Trump inciting violence.
But it gets better. Whitmer then had the gall to say, “If you’re tired of lockdowns or you’re tired of wearing masks or you wish you were in church this morning or watching college football, or your kids were [in] in-person instruction, it is time for a change in this country, and that’s why we’ve got to elect Joe Biden.”
One must contemplate whether Whitmer has a master’s degree in deception. It was the governor herself who placed draconian restrictions on Michigan’s citizens, and she even ignored her own state’s Supreme Court ruling against her, telling her she’d crossed a line with her edicts.
The media has also done a phenomenal amount of gaslighting
Shepard Smith almost smeared his mascara as he feigned sad indignance after cutting away from President Trump telling the nation that his re-election team found evidence of election fraud. Smith told his CNBC audience, “There is not a scintilla of evidence that this is true.” Obvious gaslighting.
Evidently, Smith no longer attempts to be a journalist who investigates what people are saying. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel presented 131 affidavits and 2,800 incident reports all alleging election fraud in Michigan alone, but apparently, that isn’t enough for people like Shep.
Gaslighting on social media
Facebook and Twitter are also in the gaslighting game. On Tuesday of this week, Twitter flagged President Trump no less than 12 times as he talked about election fraud. The Left-leaning company modified the President’s tweets, saying, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Of course, it’s disputed. That’s why the President’s team is filing lawsuits. But you can bet dollars to donuts that you’ll never see Twitter slap a warning like that on any tweet saying Trump is a racist.
Facebook is also gaslighting its users. In their “Election Updates” notifications, Facebook told us, “Election officials say that voter fraud, which is historically rare, has not affected any outcome in this election.”
The next bullet point states, “They have confirmed that mail-in voting was conducted in accordance with state voting rules.”
To use one of Facebook’s favorite terms, that last bullet point is definitely “False Information.” Ten days before Facebook posted that update, the Los Angeles Times reported that a Northern California judge tentatively ruled “Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority when he issued an order in June requiring vote-by-mail ballots to be sent to the state’s 22 million registered voters.”
The US Constitution states that each states’ legislatures are charged with establishing voting procedures, not governors or the courts.
This same clause was violated in Pennsylvania as well as other states, yet Facebook is gaslighting the world by saying mail-in voting was conducted in accordance with state voting rules.
These lies must be – and will be – uncovered
If Americans are to trust their government, they must first trust the system that puts our fellow citizens in office. Thankfully, we have bold patriots exposing the truth of what's been going on.
During an interview with Lou Dobbs on November 13, Trump attorney Sidney Powell said she “can hardly wait to put forth all the evidence” showing election fraud. She stated, “We have staggering statistical evidence; we have staggering testimony from witnesses, including one who was personally in briefings when all of this was discussed and planned.”
“These are federal felonies,” Powell said. “Altering a vote or changing a ballot is a federal felony.”
When Dobbs gave Powell the last word, she said, “It’s been organized and conducted with the help of Silicon Valley – the big tech companies, the social media companies, and even the media companies. And I’m going to release the Kraken.”
This is good news. One might even look at it as patriots shining a white-hot spotlight on all the gaslighting so truth will prevail. It’s been long overdue.
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, best-selling author, corporate trainer, executive coach, and columnist. He’s also a veteran and a self-described Christian Libertarian who believes in the principles of free-market capitalism – while standing firmly against crony capitalism.