Gaslighting: What does that mean? Lauren Duca wrote the seminal piece on Donald Trump’s gaslighting last December for Teen Vogue, and even if you’ve read it a thousand times, you should read it again. The man lies, about anything and everything. He lies to inflame his bigoted supporters’ xenophobia, and he lies to distract from bad news about himself. He just LIES. If Donald Trump tells you it’s raining, you can go outside and bask in the sunshine under a cerulean blue sky and see for yourself that he’s lying. While you’re out there, millions of Russian troll bots (otherwise known as “half of Trump’s Twitter followers”) will amplify the lie, to the point where you might wonder if you simply failed to notice the downpour.
It’s good to remember this as we approach the end of Trump’s first failed year in office. (Yes, FAILED, despite what Trump’s MAGAPill tweets say.)
The New York Times revealed another Trump lie this weekend, and it is that his infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, the one where he admitted he likes to sexually assault women and take them furniture shopping, and that he gets away with it because he’s a celebrity, is fake. That’s weird, because when the tape came out in the waning days of the 2016 campaign, were we not subjected to Melania Trump being trotted out to brush it off and say boys will be boys with their “locker room talk,” and to claim Trump only said those things because he wanted popular dude Billy Bush to like him? We were. Did Donald Trump not LITERALLY ADMIT IT WAS REAL? He did:
According to the New York Times, Trump has told several people over the last year that the “Access Hollywood” tape was fake, which means Trump is accusing Trump of being fake news. And the sad thing is that some of his followers are stupid and brainwashed enough to go along with the new lie that Trump never did any pussy grabbing in Eastasia:
… [S]omething deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for [Roy] Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently.
Yes, the context is that Trump is supporting accused pedophile molester Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, and suggests he sympathizes with Moore’s plight. Apparently, as per NYT, he’s frustrated his daughter Ivanka said there was a “special place in hell for people who prey on children,” blah blah blah WHO FUCKING CARES ABOUT THE CONTEXT.
Now, Trump didn’t tweet his denial about the “Access Hollywood” tape. He simply said it to at least one senator and one adviser, which just goes to show he’s willing to gaslight literally anybody. And yeah, this is a particularly laughable example of it, considering how WE’VE ALL HEARD THE FUCKING TAPE and HE ADMITTED HE SAID THE WORDS. Liars gonna lie, we guess!
That this particular lie is really fuckin’ easy to debunk isn’t the point. It’s that, almost a year in, he’s still gaslighting America by muddying the waters of the truth to the point that reasonable, regular people might end up thinking, “Well maybe that thing wasn’t true.”
As Duca concluded in her piece last year, we have to keep calling bullshit, and she used the boiling frog metaphor to explain Trump’s endgame, and how to avoid it:
The good news about this boiling frog scenario is that we’re not boiling yet. Trump is not going to stop playing with the burner until America realizes that the temperature is too high. It’s on every single one of us to stop pretending it’s always been so hot in here.
We’re not boiling, because this is America, goddammit. Keep mocking that stupid motherfucker with his stupid, manipulative motherfucking lies. When your right-wing uncle repeats something Trump said that’s obvious bullshit, belly laugh your ass off and walk out of the room, leaving your right-wing uncle to wonder if his own brain is broken. Or if that method of calling bullshit doesn’t go with your personality, do it your own way. Whatever works.
And always remember: Donald Trump likes to grab them by the pussy, and he says they let him do it because he’s a celebrity. Also, he moves on them like a bitch, but he can’t get there, because on top of being a liar, he’s an ugly, unfuckable troll who can’t even get on the cover of Time magazine as many times as Barack Obama LOLOLOLOLOLOL POST OVER.