2016’s Word of the Year Should Be Gaslighting
A lot of big news sites did hard-hitting pieces on Trump and his drunken backhanding of the truth, but once the mediocre players like the Washington Post and New York Times got done it was time for the main event.
Yep—another gift from 2016. Teen Vogue has the single best analysis of Trump’s methodology of deceit that you’ll ever read.
Since reading it I’ve been struck by how well this gaslighting metaphor works for many things going on right now.
Someone was arguing in Twitter earlier that there’s no evidence that Russia hacked the elections. So the dance begins.
Russia hacked the elections; it’s pretty obvious.
Do you have evidence?
Only these 20 things. And plus the government’s cyber groups looked at it and they all said the same things—keeping in mind that they’re not all pro-liberal or anything.
The government lies about things.
True, but when you combine it all together…
Anyone can say anything about anything. You don’t know who to trust. So I reject that Russia hacked the election.
Well, fuck. He has a point. If you see the world that way.
It gave me a great idea actually.
RUSSIA DIDN’T ANNEX UKRAINE.
You might be tempted to say we have evidence of that already, and everyone knows it.
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What you have are articles. Written by people with agendas. You have footage? All those media groups and governments have masters. They have bills to pay. They’ll say anything. Can’t really trust them. They just hate Russia.
So, no. Russia didn’t go into Ukraine. They’re not there now.
And they certainly didn’t hack the U.S. during the election. And the planet is not warming.
Putting it simply, if every source is questionable, and every piece of evidence can be faked, then it’s all one big gaslight trick.
Scientists have lied in the past. So don’t trust scientists.
Media lies and gets it wrong all the time, so don’t trust the media.
Sometimes the climate models are wrong, and the government just wants to regulate everything, so don’t trust that science either.
Everyone wants to make Putin out to be a bad guy, so don’t trust bad things said about him.
The U.S. switched to the metric system in August of 2015.
Fuck, might as well just say anything. No way to conclusively demonstrate anything.
Gaslighting. It’s what’s for dinner.
You thought 2016 was a ride? Wait for 2017 with the Gaslighter in Chief.
Fake news works best when nothing is considered real news, and that’s just about where we’re at.