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Old 01-15-2020, 07:56 PM
RivkahChaya's Avatar
RivkahChaya is offline
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OK. Screwed up above, and missed the edit window. Put the bit about ME watching the film as a kid in the part I quoted.

I'd love for an admin to fix it, but no pressure, guys.
"There's always a non-Voodoo explanation for everything." ~Adrian Monk
Old 01-16-2020, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Cayuga View Post
Now, the fact is that the two accounts are virtually identical, and that is easily proven by reading them side by side. But here's where it gets hazy. My contention is that when he makes that statement, Trump actually believes that it is true.* Therefore, it isn't gaslighting.

*The guy who wrote The Art of the Deal said that what amazed him the most about Trump was his (Trump's) ability to believe that whatever he happens to be thinking or saying at any given moment is absolutely true.
My contention is that such is impossible absent some sort of delusional psychosis. Trump knows how to appear like he thinks something is absolutely true, because it's a tactic he learned.

The main contention I have with the gaslighting claim on that is whether or not there is anyone who actually believes him. Without that, it's just at most an attempted gaslighting.
Old 01-16-2020, 06:11 AM
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As for the OP's question: here is a Psychology Today article on what Gaslighting is. Trump fits some of the criteria, but not others. People in debate fit none of them.
Old 01-16-2020, 09:40 AM
guizot is offline
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This original meaning (in the movie, in the article cited above, etc.) is predicated on there being a personal relationship between the parties involved. Obviously that's not the situation with politicians, or pundits, or other participants in public discourse. A politician doesn't have the kind of interpersonal influence over me to make me question my own reality.

That's why it seems to me that the term is taking on a secondary meaning which is more rhetorical. The description in the Psychology Today article loosely describes how Trump gets his cult-like followers to accept his lies about objective reality, rather than to question their personal reality.
Old 01-16-2020, 10:53 AM
naita is offline
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It seems to me that, like with the term "trolling", which most of you are probably intimately familiar", gaslighting is shifting and expanding in meaning, and in a similar way. Both terms originally required intent and purpose, which are not usually known by the "recipient" with perfect certainty, so the perception of gaslighting or trolling becomes the dominant factor.

If someone is a ruthless liar it is hard to tell whether they in any specific instance is outright lying, believe their own lies or just don't care, so you either have to almost never use "gaslighting" as a term, almost always preface it with "they seem to be", "this could be an attempt at", or expand the term.
Old 01-16-2020, 07:30 PM
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Richard Pryor still has the best take.


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