Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Sky Is Red

The sky is red, even though we see blue.  That in effect is what Republican defenders of Trump are claiming.  They see no wrong in a president who solicits a foreign country to investigate Joe Biden, an opponent far ahead in the polls.   If this isn't election interference, nothing is.  The transcript of the phone call is clear.  Trump asks for a "favor" and urges investigation of Biden.  The Ukrainian president does his best to flatter.  Trump held up military aid a week before, and Ukraine is at war, 13000 citizens dead, and Crimea already taken by the Russians. 

There's no evidence of Biden corruption, but even if there were, that's not the point.  The Republicans are gaslighting on a national scale.  Using their power, not only to deny reality, but also to confer carte blanche on a president eager to import foreign influence in the 2020 election.  If they succeed, it means Trump is much more likely to win.  If he seizes another term, abetted by the dreadful ability to commit high crimes and call them "perfect," the deterioration of our already wobbly democracy will be complete. 

Those with open eyes are rightly shocked that Republicans somehow 'just can't see' the blue; that they claim, with blinkered will and fulminous bluster, that the sky is in fact red.  In the ranks of Trump's avid claques, his leveraging of a foreign leader to find dirt on Biden makes him a hero.  He is a champion against the "deep state," a fictitious entity as absurd and yet menacing as Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory turned violent that grew out of a crazy reading of Hillary Clinton's emails.

 The danger of a 'sky is red' psy op is great. The perversion of justice vast.  The result unspeakable.  It is a Constitution-trampling threat, in effect the engine of a coup, that shreds the separation of powers by elevating a glorified Trump to an impervious, monarchic status.

The GOP blindness is a manifestation of force and deceit.   It is akin to the tactics used by other gaslighters to sculpt a powerful form of mind control.  In a household, this means fawning servitude, and absolute belief in the domestic abuser's irreality.  These traits, servitude and belief, constitute a kind of implicit loyalty test.  On a national scale, this loyalty test also means striving with devotion to spread the propaganda, however Orwellian, of the charismatic authoritarian leader.

Recognize that the word "transactional," often used to describe Trump and his worldview, is a pretermitting term for gaslighting.  We associate transactions with legitimate business deals, but Trump's 'transactions' are ridden with force and fraud.   Euphemizing this malignant narcissist initiates a process of scary normalization, one that brings out an important point: What is unsaid is often far more important than what is said, when it comes to systematic oppression.

Those woke in the fight against racism know all about the silences and deceits of privilege--how White patriarchy inflicts its own loyalty tests and irrealities.  In asking why GOP leaders, and Trump's base, give him such praise, we cannot ignore that we live in a moment where longstanding mechanisms of racism are facing a serious, perhaps unique, challenge, due in part to changing demographics.  Equality is on the move.

When you realize that Trump's gaslighting is a way to reinforce traditional, racist gaslighting, a fuller picture emerges.  A fight against Trump is a fight against racism itself.  It is a fight against a powerful dark force that often controls from the shadows of minds, and orchestrates social conduct through the psychological template of the tyrant and the abuser.