#1. The first warning sign is the occurrence of blatant lies being told, over and over. PT warns "They blatantly lie. You know it's an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they're setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you're not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal." Mr. Trump and his Administration began to engage in serving up blatant and demonstrably false claims as early as his inauguration in 2017. The lies though have continued unabated ever since. According to the Pulitzer winning fact check site, PolitiFact, Donald Trump has told over 9,000 blatant lies directly to the American Public - all without effective fact checking commentary from any broadcast media. For a complete list of his lies, see: www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/byruling/false/.
#2 "They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof." "You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs." Mr. Trump engages in this form of gaslighting every day! He says he's all for separating children at the border from their parents, then he claims he is "stopping the practice begun under Obama - yet it was Trump all along that eagerly embraced the policy...until he didn't".
(See:www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/4/9/18303439/trump-blame-obama-family-separations-debunked). He then approved a preliminary OMB budget proposal cutting all funding for Special Olympics - until he "saved the day" by reinstating the funding. Just to save us all - from his own disastrous policy initiatives. He praised Putin and slammed US Intelligence agencies while in Helsinki, and then did an about-face when told his actions were "UnAmerican" (See: www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/trump-russia-putin/565436/). Okay by now you should be getting the fact that Trump is an expert in Gaslighting our nation. But it does not end there.
#3 is "They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition." If you are a political opponent, Trump attacks your intelligence or patriotism - all which we all hold dear as Americans. The examples of these actions are overwhelming - far too many to list each here. A quick viewing of Right Wing Media will clearly reflect the use of hyperbole or labels to break down difficult and complex matters into a simplistic sound bite.
#4. "They wear you down over time. This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often...and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It's the "frog in the frying pan" analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what's happening to it." The constant messaging of "NO COLLUSION" and "Clinton loyalists unlawfully initiated the Mueller investigation" are constant reminders that Trump and the GOP care less about the truth and more about gaslighting Americans. And it surely is working.
#5. Their actions do not match their words. When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue." Trump (and the GOP) are masters at misdirection with words that force attention to stray aside while they take advantage of America. Case in point? Trump claiming all along he will release his tax returns after the election; Trump claiming he cannot release his returns because he is "under audit" (no one knows why that is a impediment to releasing his taxes). Okay, you get the hint. The rest of the Gaslighting warnings from PT?
#6 "They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you." "We're doing a fine job securing the border thanks to our great agents!"
#7. They know confusion weakens people. Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans' natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter. Trump leads these people as a form of god-like figure. This is truly sad!
#8. They project. They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter's own behavior." Trump's singling out Bill Clinton in 2016 for "raping women" and attacking Joe Biden for his need to physically embrace people he feels emotionally tied to is somehow worse than being an admitted sexual predator and assaulter (just "Locker room talk?" Not according to the women he has had extra-marital sex with - or paid off for same). Gaslighters like Trump make you ignore what is in plain sight in order to gaslight you into complete submission. Now Bill Barr, Trump's AG is putting substance to one of Trump's lies, which only serves to accentuate the gaslighting. (See: www.cbsnews.com/live-news/william-barr-testimony-attorney-general-testify-senate-appropriations-committee-today-2019-04-10/).
#9. They try to align people against you. Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, "This person knows that you're not right," or "This person knows you're useless too." Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don't know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that's exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control." This explains the cult-like fixation Trump supporters have with him and their inability to engage even a single brain cell to realize they have been duped into subservience. What proud Republican could possibly oppose our dear leader in the White House? This is a serious affliction that is causing great harm to America - and it is all part of a strategy employed by Mr. Trump to divide us so severely, we will never be able to recover. Am I over reacting? What more does one need to see the forest from the trees from Trump's constant Gaslighting?
#10. They tell you or others that you are crazy. This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it's dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It's a master technique. Isn't a form of this witnessed on social media? Everyone that has a real understanding of facts and our history, is easily labeled an "Idiot, Fucktard, UnAmerican, Uneducated, Unpatriotic or (gasp), a Socialist!" Language reaffirming this technique is used repeatedly by Fox News when they shade reality by challenging those with facts. Climate Change deniers use this as well - attack science, even though it is real because it does not fit their political narrative.
#11. They tell you everyone else is a liar. By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You've never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It's a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the "correct" information—which isn't correct information at all. The repeated mantra of "Crooked Hillary" chants led by Trump at his pathetic rallies should be enough to prove this point.
So there we have it. Donald Trump is a master Gaslighter and no one in the media seems concerned enough to point this out. The real victims? Americans. The only winners? Trump and his inner circle of grifters. This is why we must stand firm in all efforts to defeat Trump and Trumpism in 2020. Many on the Right honestly believe Trump will be easily re-elected in 2020. They also are the ones that believe having a dictator is better than ever having a democrat in the White House. And that's proof of the Gaslighting of America by the Liar-In-Chief. If President Harry S. Truman thought Nixon could never be trusted, I wonder what he would say about Donald Trump? You can bet an earful! Have a great week!