Trump is Trying to Gaslight American Voters
As the days go by, and Trump continues to spew threats of voter fraud on social media, I can’t help but feel as though Trump is acting like a toxic ex-lover trying to break us.
And by us, I mean the United States of America.
It makes sense, that I feel this way, and maybe you do to…because his behavior is bordering on harassment and bullying.
Well let’s break down this behavior, shall we?
Trump is Using Manipulation
Trump is using his power to manipulate millions of Americans by using power in numbers, false statements, generalizations, and an us-versus-them mentality.
He’s twisting the truth in an attempt to gaslight Americans by stating that there’s no way the mail-in ballots could sway that far to Biden’s cause.
On the contrary, it makes perfect sense to the Democrats and Republicans that voted for Biden.
Because Trump pushed his followers to vote in person. And voters who wanted to protect themselves against illness, took the opportunity to send in ballots just as the democratic party advised.
This isn’t rocket science.
But for some reason, Trump is successful in making people believe it was illegal to vote by mail.
Think back a bit…remember when Trump belittled others for wearing masks, including President-Elect Joe Biden?
He wasn’t going to get votes from individuals who take the coronavirus seriously.
We were watching the whole time. We watched as he down-played the virus. We were hurt when he said, “getting covid was a blessing from god.” when many of us have lost loved ones to the virus.
So it only makes sense that those opposing Trump would do the opposite as he suggested…and mail in their votes.
Votes which were counted as long as they were mailed by the deadline their state mandated. Votes that could be counted after election night.
Votes that were legally cast.
Regardless of how millions of Americans legally voted, Trump continues to declare that mail-in votes should not be counted.
Ok fine, hypothetically, let’s say he’s right.
The problem with his thought process?
All those voters thought, and were told, that it was legal to vote by mail.
There wasn’t a question about the validity of it.
And don’t forget, those mail-in votes also consist of the very people who protect and serve our country…our military.
Taking away those votes is gaslighting…
It’s like saying, “oh you thought you were legally voting, sorry no. Don’t you wish you had known that before you sent your ballot in and put your trust on our democracy?”
According to Trump, it should be ok to take the right to vote from millions of American citizens who only did what they thought was “legal.”
That’s not ok.
Threatening Twitter Posts
I began following Trump on Twitter to gauge his behavior after the election was over. Mostly, because I fear what he will do in the coming weeks while he is still in office.
And I came to realize that his excessive posting of false claims is bordering on harassment.
He’s accomplishing exactly what he wants.
Trump is trying his best to instill fear into the millions of Americans that didn’t vote for him. Moreover, he’s empowering citizens who believe in him to break laws, walk all over each other, and see one another as unequal.
Wrong vs. right.
Now, if this was a disagreement between two neighbors over a fence line, for example, the behavior would be considered bullying.
If children treated each other this way, they’d get detention.
How can we accept this behavior from someone who is supposed to be our nation’s leader?
I watched Trump attack blue state after state in his tweets, and even though I know I should be able to trust our democracy, a rush of fear traveled through my body when he mentioned Wisconsin.
Not because I believe he’s right, but because he is pointing at me now…and threatening to take my right to vote away.
That fear I felt…is a toxic man victimizing an American citizen, and that is not ok.
In general, Trump is telling lie after lie. Over and over we’re seeing that there is no proof of illegal activity or voter fraud.
Yet, he continues to spew his lies on social media.
And, again, he is attempting to grow his numbers…his followers, with lies.
Psychology Today also states that gaslighters, “tell blatant lies. You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.”
I often see Trump compared to Hitler.
To be honest, we aren’t too far off base here. No, he hasn’t killed anyone…directly—that we know of.
But manipulation, the illusion of power in numbers, and the us-vs-them mentality is a start.
He’s building on anger and aggression…in fact, he and some of his family utilize the word “war” when talking about things like voting.
He doesn’t want peace. He wants a fight.
I always wondered how so many people could blindly follow such an evil man (I’m talking about Hitler, here).
I never thought I’d see it happen in my lifetime.
And I’m even more confused now that I have seen it.
Demonizing Those Who Didn’t Vote for Him
Speaking of Hitler…Trump has successfully convinced large numbers of Americans that “them” are demons.
Here’s what I mean:
We’re all American citizens, but ever since Trump has taken office, the country has been divided by an us-versus-them mentality.
In his own words, he generalizes Republicans, or Trump followers, as “us,” and everyone else as them.
He uses words like steal, terminate, hoax, violate, thieves, fraud, illegal, punish.
He is referring to “them” when he says things like:
- It’s them stealing from him
- It’s them running a hoax
- It’s those thieves
- They’re frauds
- They’re illegal
- They punish
But the question is…who is he even talking about? Is it Biden? Is it democrats? Is it a group of people?
If it’s anyone who voted for Biden, by mail or in person, then I’m “Them” I guess. And that feels like a personal attack.
So, who is the person Trump is talking about?
Is it you, too?
Where are the names of these individuals?
Because for “them” to collaborate on such a widespread conspiracy (voter fraud) is quite the feat.
Twitter has been cautioning on questionable tweets, “Voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare in the US, election experts confirm”
And so far, there has been no evidence that millions of votes are a part of a conspiracy.
How can we reason through something like this…and then arrive at such an outrageous conclusion.
So, you see, it’s easy to generalize a group of people, but when it comes to proof, there needs to be more than just a large mass of demonized American citizens who simply didn’t vote for Trump.
Trump is Green with Envy
This one’s not hard to see. Reading through a handful of Trump’s posts makes it easy to see that he is jealous of Biden.
And he’s throwing an ALL CAPS tantrum as he slowly becomes less and less popular. Less accurate. Less relevant.
The thing is…as the days go by, and nothing changes, people will tire of the drama. Because it’s exhausting to try to stay angry, to dig for proof that doesn’t exist, and to stand up for someone who is not supplying the proof of wrongdoing.
In fact, it becomes embarrassing to stand up for someone who is lying to you. So eventually, people stop speaking up for them and then, they’re on their own.
And that’s what worries me the most.
If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you know that as soon as you start to forget, as soon as you become happy, try to move on…that bully tries even harder to pull you back in.
And that’s when things get dangerous.
Because they panic, become desperate, and act unreasonably to regain their lost power.
Trump is Gaslighting American Citizens
Trump is gaslighting those who voted by mail.
According to Psychology Today, “Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality.”
Those of us who voted by mail did so knowing it was legal to do so.
And after pushing his followers to vote in person, he flipped the switch. Now, Trump is trying to make US citizens believe that it was wrong, not to mention illegal, to vote by mail.
What's worse? Many who voted by mail, did so for their safety.
It’s horrific to think that our right to vote safely is in question. This is not the country we were raised in.
Trying to discount millions of Americans by insulting our intelligence isn’t much different than what it feels like to have a crappy boss, in an authoritative role, who gets joy from belittling us.
He is speaking as though the election is just starting, that’s just crazy-making and, to be frank, a little delusional.
This type of confusion creates instability and doubt for the way our democracy works.
And as a normal human being, we look to our leaders to feel secure when there is uncertainty, and Donald Trump is abusing this natural instinct.
Power in Numbers
Trump is good at surrounding himself with those that are faithful to him.
The danger in this situation is that Trump has found a handful of leaders that will reinforce anything, and everything, he says. This leaves Trump with the ability to name drop these people, and use their authority whenever he wants …sometimes putting words in their mouths.
With that being said, when it comes to gaslighters, Psychology Today also warns us to, “Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to — and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.”
How to Protect Ourselves from The Toxicity
I know there are millions of voters out there that desperately want Trump to be right.
That’s ok. It’s your right.
But for the rest of us, who also voted legally, by mail, drop box, or absentee, let’s turn off the social media and stop listening to the big bully on the other end.
Because we didn’t do anything wrong.
We had a right to vote safely.
And we shouldn’t feel afraid that our current president will take away our votes…our voices.
So if you’re like me, and you feel that abusive twinge of anxiety rushing through your veins, let’s disconnect together and continue to celebrate that change is coming.
We know who we voted for, we know we voted legally, now we just pray that democracy survives a president who takes us for fools.
Life is hard enough the way it is, we don’t need animosity, doubt, and anger from our nation’s leader.
Without our ears, and eyes for that matter, Trump can cry, squirm, lie, and accuse as much as he wants…we just won’t hear him.
I, for one, have turned off the tweets. He doesn’t deserve my time if this is how he has chosen to behave.
You and I…let’s take the high road and have faith that our voices will continue to be heard.