Liberattitudes

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Archive for the tag “United States”

Donald Trump: Gaslighting America

trumpAmerica is being gaslighted by Donald Trump. Since beginning his campaign last June, we have repeatedly reeled in shock at offensive comments that have come from his mouth. And when we pushed back in disgust, he met us with condescending denial and spinned the facts leaving us doubting our own perceptions of the events. These are common tactics of skillful gaslighters. What is gaslighting? Read on!

The term gaslighting stems from a 1930’s play titled Gas Light, in which a scheming husband tries to convince the wife he no longer wants that she’s losing her mind. Gaslighting is a subtle and gradual form of psychological abuse and manipulation, often used on unsuspecting spouses or personal relationships, that is characterized by 3 distinct stages affecting the targeted person:

  • Stage 1 – Disbelief. During this stage, the manipulator begins behaving in a shocking and egregious manner that sends the victim into disbelief. They will say insensitive, hurtful things that any sensible person would find offensive, and then create doubt in the victim’s mind of what really happened. This is often accompanied by righteous indignation where facts are intermixed with distortions to shame the victim and “prove” they are innocent.
  • Stage 2 – Defense. In this stage, the target begins defending herself against the gaslighter’s manipulation. She will push back and demand an apology, telling him his behavior is inappropriate and he needs to stop. Her gut instinct tells her something is wrong with the situation and she must confront it. Unfortunately, he deflects her defenses with demeaning condemnation, telling her she’s too sensitive. Or as Donald Trump asserted, America is too politically correct and he “doesn’t have time” for that.
  • Stage 3 – Depression. At this stage, the victim has surrendered to the manipulator’s tactics, feeling insecure and cut off from society. She has spent so much time fighting accusations of selfishness and sensitivity that she ends up believing the manipulator must be right, though deep inside, her gut still says something is wrong. This internal struggle between her gut and his manipulations leads her into a deep depression as she surrenders in defeat.

Now,  let us examine gaslighting further. Diminishing is the first tactic these adept manipulators use to plant doubt into their victim’s minds, such as when Trump said we took Megyn Kelly’s “blood” comment all wrong and he actually meant her ears or nose. Or when he insulted Carly Fiorna’s face then said he was talking about her persona. Diminishing is usually followed up with a blame-the-victim statement that is designed to deflect the bad behavior onto the victim and exonerate himself. In Megyn’s case, he blamed America for thinking things that only a “deviant” would have thought, that he was referring to her menstrual cycle.

According to Dr. George Simon of Counseling Resource, narcissistic and aggressive personalities will do whatever it takes to secure and maintain a position of advantage over others. Gaslighting and other tactics are used to conceal these malevolent intentions while prompting their targets to accede to their desires. Deception is the name of this game, and narcissists are adept at causing people to doubt their gut instincts. When pushed back, they will escalate their arsenal of deceit to make their victim back down, in order for them to “win” the game, and that’s what it is to them. A game. Gaslighting is an effective tactic for those with narcissistic personality disorder. In addition to lack empathy, a sense of entitlement and grandiosity, and the need for excessive admiration, people with narcissistic personality disorder are also preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power and brilliance and they will achieve this by using any and all means available.

Americans have been walking around in collective disbelief ever since Trump called Mexicans rapists and murderers.  And our allies are now trembling in fear of what may happen to them if he is actually elected. Will Muslims be banned? Will free speech and a free press be curtailed? Will he build a wall separating Mexico from its friendly northern neighbor?  Will he drop a nuclear bomb? Will he direct American troops to commit war crimes? These are all things he has promised to do with reckless abandon.

Donald Trump’s expertise in playing the gaslighting game cannot be disputed. He is undeniably a world class professional. Since June he has offended complete classes of Americans and ethnicities, and went as far as teetering on the fence of sanctioning genocides. He demeaned women in the most vile and reprehensible fashion, yet somehow escaped repercussions. He diminished a military hero’s gut-wrenching POW experience, then blew off our dislike of his behavior as a meaningless inconvenience. And in Naziesque fashion, he promised to look into rounding up people of a different faith to “get rid of them.” After every one of these shocking incidents he denied wrongdoing and deflected his behavior onto his ever-growing list of targets, never acknowledging his faults which is common with narcissists.

Apologizing is not in his nature because his over-inflated ego tells him he is never wrong. We saw this in his recent attacks against the Gold Star family of a Muslim soldier killed defending this country. His defective personality prevents him from feeling empathy for others, and provokes him to constantly declare how great and big and smart he is. In his mind everything he does is bigger, better, faster, smarter, than anything humanity has ever seen. And these thoughts enable him to take his gaslighting skills to new heights; con America into voting for him so he can fulfill this sick and twisted fantasy of global admiration and power at the expense of the rest of us.

Trump has successfully accomplished all 3 gaslighting stages during the primaries, outplaying 10 opponents to become the Republican party’s nominee. Now he’s actively reevaluating his tactics to see which ones will work for the general election. Some of the tactics he used against his primary opponents, such as name-calling, won’t work against Hillary, so he’ll try to find ones that will because gaslighting is all he knows.

You may wonder why a rich man like Donald Trump needs to resort to gaslighting to get what he wants, and you’re not alone. The reason is simple: it works. In his business and personal affairs Trump has successfully utilized gaslighting manipulation to con people, threaten people, and scare people from getting in his way. And as long as it keeps working he will keep doing it.

The election is now weeks away, and the stakes are at an all-time high, but there is still time to stop this skilful manipulator in his tracks. I believe there are enough intelligent and intuitive people on both sides of the aisle to put an end to his dangerous and destructive scheme. But, truth be told, he can only be stopped when, in his narcissistic mind, he is no longer getting the admiration, power, and attention his disorder needs to thrive. When his superego isn’t fed what it craves, he will find other ways to satisfy this need. The good news is we can expose him for what he is and when he finds his tactics are ineffective his spiraling descent will be swift and predictable.

Knowledge is power and as Americans begin understanding the psychology behind Trump’s actions, they can reclaim this political process and send him a clear message that America is not for sale and cannot be won in a dirty deal by a mentally defective con artist.

Mitt Admits His Plan Won’t Help The 47%

We’ve all seen the video.  We are all appalled.  We now know what he truly thinks of us: leaches upon the teet of society.  Lazy moochers, who believe we are “victims” who are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”  Yes, the man who is vying for our Presidency holds utter disdain and contempt for almost half of this country.

But, beyond the crude insults and undeniable arrogance, there lies the truth about his economic plan for us.  It was what he said after typecasting Obama supporters as lazy welfare moochers that caught my eye.  He stated, “Forty seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.  So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.”  He adds, “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”  He then says he needs to concentrate on the “5 to 10 percent in the center,” or the “thoughtful” voters.

In his own words, he says he’s not going to worry about half of his electorate because his message of lowering taxes doesn’t connect with us.  Why would he say that?  Why would he tell this room full of rich donors that his master plan of lowering taxes won’t connect with the 47%?  Did he actually admit that his trickle-down plan won’t really help “those people” so he will just ignore them?  My gosh, I think he did!  He finally admitted, albeit unknowingly, what we have suspected all along.  He finally admitted that his plan won’t really help the middle class like he tells us, but it will bring more wealth and prosperity to those at the highest rungs of society.  He’s not going to worry about the middle because the middle doesn’t matter to him.

We know who the 47% are.  They are the working poor, who may not pay income taxes, but certainly pay payroll taxes, which means they hold jobs.  They are the elderly who have retired from lifelong service and paid their dues and now collect Social Security.  They are hard-working Americans who work low-paying jobs.  They are the poorest of our poor, struggling to get back on their feet after layoffs and unemployment.  They are the vulnerable.  The ones who need the most help.

They are the ones Mitt Romney has been trying to convince, in public at least, that they will prosper under his economic policies.  They are the ones whose questions he has been avoiding regarding specific details of his policies.  They are the distractions in his campaign.  They are Republicans, and Democrats.  They are the ones, in private, he classifies as parasites, and vows to not represent because “they will never learn…”  They are the ones, under his plan, who will be paying more in taxes, and taking less home to their families.  And, the ones he will ignore.

Mitt Romney won’t worry about half of us because his plan doesn’t include half of us.  And since we aren’t his affluent donors and billionaire buddies, he can only pretend to care about our needs.  To most of us, $50,000 is more than one year’s salary, not the price we would pay for a plate of food.  Why would he waste his time on the likes of us?  To him, we are “Those People“, and hence, not worthy of his worry or attention.  We are his Bob Cratchits.  He is our Mr. Burns.

We may not have money to buy his attention, but Mitt Romney forgets we have something more valuable that can’t be bought: OUR VOTE!  On November 6 lets show Mitt Romney that we are “thoughtful” voters and reelect President Obama!

Who Are These Moochers?

Mitt Romney is desperate.  And it shows.  He thinks that half of us are lazy moochers, but, he wants to be our President.  He insults us, and wants our vote.  He doesn’t want to waste his time with us, yet he wants us to make him our leader.

In his words, 47% of Americans do not pay taxes, and cannot be convinced to take care of themselves because they see themselves as “victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it.”  And, he said his “job is not to worry about those people.”

I’m confused.  I thought the President’s job was to worry about ALL Americans, not just the ones who pay taxes, or are wealthy enough not to rely on Social Security, Medicare, or Food Stamps.  When did this responsibility change?

And, I’m also confused about who exactly his 47% of moochers are.  While some Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, the majority of them do pay other taxes, like payroll taxes, and state taxes.  These are college students, people who lost their jobs (like Bain employees), and families who take advantage of  tax credits.  The rest of the 47% are the elderly and the working poor.

But, not all moochers are poor.  In addition to the lower class, there were over 35,000 wealthy Americans who did not pay taxes in 2009.  These were the top 3% of all earners with more than $200,000 in “expanded income” http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/12insprbulhignincome.pdf.  These people zeroed out their tax bills using tax credits and loopholes.  I wonder if Mitt Romney was referring to them as part of the 47%.  Probably not!

The fact that Mitt Romney is distancing himself from a vast majority of Americans tells me he is not qualified to be our President.  One of the roles of the POTUS is Chief of State, which involves the responsibilities to represent the nation as a whole, and to be a symbol of national unity.  Mitt Romney has already failed this test.  He is not a symbol of national unity.  How can he be when he has alienated himself from us, the Haves versus the Moochers?

On November 6, 2012 we need to show Mitt Romney that he failed.  He doesn’t deserve our votes.  We will do ourselves a great disservice if we elect someone who wants to take “The People” out of government.  We can’t let him turn government of the people, by the people, for the people to government of the people, by the rich, for the rich.

I Am Part Of The 47%

The last few weeks of the Presidential elections have been entertaining, to say the least.  But, up until recently my interest in this race had been rather indifferent.  I’ve never been a fan of politics.  I think its because campaigns are often dirty, and candidates will take the low road, making false promises they know they will never keep.  And, once they are in office, I am never surprised with their mediocrity.  But, I am a voter and I do believe in the principle of exercising this right.  Although I had never classified myself as belonging to any particular party, I tend to identify with values of equality, fairness, and liberty and justice for all Americans, regardless of their economic status.

What started out as just another run-of-the-mill, dirt slinging campaign, quickly caught my attention when Romney began airing ads using former President Clinton as a mouthpiece.  I, as were many Americans, was drawn into this allegation they were making that President Obama wanted to strip the working requirement from welfare.  Could it be so?  Maybe its true.  They are using President Clinton, Democrat, to make this point after all.

Knowing how politics is played, I decided to research this further.  I quickly learned that the Republican claim that President Obama wants to strip the welfare work requirement was a blatant LIE!  And, that was just the beginning.  When confronted about this, the Romney campaign stood by the lie and stated their campaign would not “be dictated by fact checkers.”  Wait! What?  They made up a lie.  They are using President Clinton to try and convince people that the lie is true.  They know its a lie.  And, they stand by the lie.  President Clinton has since told America that this claim is not true.  But, they continue to tell the lie.  Personally, I’m surprised that President Clinton hasn’t sued them for using his image to propagate this lie.

This little incident perked up my ears.  I wanted to know more.  If Romney was unscrupulously standing by this lie, what else is he capable of?  I was insulted that a candidate for President, who should be courting the country for votes, was instead insulting our intelligence with, not just half-truths and skewed facts, but blatant LIES.  How stupid does this man think Americans are?  Does he really think that we will never know the truth?  Mitt Romney had taken dirty politics to the next level, and I took a personal interest in shedding light on him, even within the confines of my small social circle.  If there is one thing I hate, it is a liar.  Spot-lighting Romney was my new favorite spectator sport.

The fact that Romney is a liar is no secret.  And, he seems proud that his campaign is being dictated by so many lies.  So many, many lies.  In fact, Steve Benen chronicled Romney’s 533 lies in 30 weeks, and that was just from January through August (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/08/29/mitt-romney-tells-533-lies-in-30-weeks-steve-benen-documents-them/).  After reading that article I had to ask myself,  “why does this guy have to lie so much?”  And my first response was, “because he won’t win this if he tells the truth.”  So rather than running on a platform where he tells America how great he is, and what he will do, and how he will do it,  he lies, lies, and lies some more.  Rather than getting the electorate excited about cheering for him because of how great he will be, he is reaching into the ugliest far right territory just to tear down his opponent.  He has to make Obama look bad for him to look good.  He aims to win by default, not by deserve.

If you give a man enough rope he will eventually hang himself.   And I think Romney did just that.  In secret footage released to Mother Jones Romney lets us know what he really thinks.  This video shows me, the average American, one of  “those people,”  that this man is not a leader for all, does not have all our interests at heart, and is only running for office for self-serving reasons.  He is divisive.  He is out of touch with mainstream USA.  And he will sell us out in a New York minute if he is given the chance.

I am part of that 47% he slammed.  I am the working poor.  I don’t get welfare, or Medicaid, or food stamps.  But I used to.  I raised 3 kids on welfare after leaving an abusive, drug addicted husband.  Mitt Romney would have rather seen me get beat up every day.  I put myself through college while receiving assistance so I could feed my children at the same time.  Mitt Romney would say my kids weren’t entitled to eat.  I have 2 kids who counted on student loans to pay for their college education, and a son who is actively serving the US Army.  In Mitt Romney’s world they should have never been given those loans to attend college, and my son should never been given benefits after sacrificing life and limb for our freedoms.  I also have elderly parents who rely on Social Security and Medicare.  But I’m sure Mitt Romney would rather they just suffer through homelessness, hunger, and disease until death finally claims them.  In Romney’s delusion the poor, sick, elderly, children, and veterans are all just a bunch of lazy moochers, who enjoy being taken care of by government.  What an immoral, corrupt, and vicious man!

Unlike Mitt Romney, I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  But, despite the challenges I have endured, I have NEVER seen myself as a VICTIM!  I’m not a victim.  My children are not victims.  My parents are not victims.  We are Americans.  We are average Americans.  We live in the greatest country on the planet.  We have dreams.  We want a better life for our children, and for our children’s children.  We take responsibility for our lives, and we want a government that does, too.  We are Americans and we count!

Mitt Romney does not deserve to be my President!  He hasn’t earned my vote, nor my respect.

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