When a partisan discovers that opposition leaders engage in blatant, bald-faced lying, do you find it charming . . . or sad?
Of course we are. “The term ‘gaslighting’ refers to when someone manipulates you into questioning and second-guessing your reality,” explains The Guardian’s helpful reality guard.
By way of explanation, she discusses some vague abuse* her family directed towards her as a child, and then asserts that her mother’s denial of the issues, the “erasure of the abuse,” was, to her, “worse than the abuse.”
I can see that. But what if “your reality” — what you defend — is irreal itself?
Sure, she thinks Trump and the Republicans are “gaslighting” her. Well, welcome to the club, Ms. Leve. I thought Bush and the Republicans were gaslighting me — as were, in the previous century, the Clintons and all those Friends of Bill, and, more recently, Obama and Pelosi and the incredibly fawning media.
The problem sure looks like the proverbial protesting about the mote in the other guy’s eye while not seeing the two-by-four in one’s own. But it is worse when the lumber juts from most eyes on both sides of the partisan aisle — enough to build a McMansion with all the spare wood.
Leve advises the reader to do like she did — trust in her “version of reality. Not allowing it to be altered on demand. Resistance.”
Good advice, but only if you aren’t deluded.
And could politics be too often an avenue for wounded people to lash back at (or make up for) childhood grievances? That would explain a lot.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Ms. Leve helpfully expands upon the chaos of her childhood elsewhere. Sounds horrifying enough to me. She is convincing.