Turning up the gaslighting heat

In this age of Trump, news moves almost faster than you can comment on it. Start to develop a thought on his latest tweet, and he’s already created a new story for the day. So, in an effort to catch up:

Today is an example. I had already written about “news” I wanted to catch up on and this morning Trump has tweeted repeatedly about the “13 angry and heavily conflicted Democrats” he says are investigating the Russia issues.

He is gaslightling again. (Gaslighting means: tomanipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity).

First, the probes are led by Republicans most of whom HE has appointed. Secondly, typically political partisanship is not an issue in Justice Department investigations. Something Trump doesn’t understand because those folks have integrity, which he lacks.

On “older” news, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who served us in the military, protecting our democracy and individual rights. President Trump, who is the commander-in-chief of our troops and claims he is the best friend our veterans every had, had this to tweet on Memorial Day:

Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18 years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

Typos are his and capital letters are his, not mine.

So along with those achievements the President is pointing to, he also produced the most inappropriate Memorial Day tweet/statement EVER! Self-centered, is the kindest thing I can say. As many reporters put it yesterday: Trump put the ME in MEmorial Day!

The National Football League voted to keep players who want to kneel during the national anthem in the locker room. Really? This also is a result of something Trump said last year, attaching NFL players who knelled. I don’t need to be an expert on the law to know this is a breach of a citizen’s right. I get that in this guise those players are employees subject to their employers politices but still … if the President can wish the families of slain military “happy Memorial Day”, the athletes certainly can take a knee to make a point.

And their point is not about the flag or the anthem. Their point is about common day-to-day justice so that young African American men and women aren’t beat up or shot for no reason by authorities. I’m no lawyer but a Harvard University professor, Benjamin Sachs, wrote last week that the NFL’s decision to force players to remain in the locker room if they wish to protest during the anthem violates both labor laws and the First Amendment.

Meanwhile, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) expressed her support for the players to protest racial inequality saying she served in the military, losing both her legs, to defend people’s right to free speech. She went on to say, “I will always stand on these (prosthetic) legs for the flag and anthem but it was ALSO my honor to defend people’s right to free speech including those who choose to #TakeAKnee to express outrage at the glaring disparity in how Americans of different races are treated.”

The President, despite those pesky bone spurs that kept him out of the military several times, apparently does not sure the senator’s view. In fact, the President even doubled down by saying any protesting players should be kicked out of the country!

Overall, the President is continuing his strategy of tearing down our Democratic institutions and our American values for his benefit. He does it to the media and admitted so, according to Leslie Stahl of CBS who reported the quote that the President said he constantly yells “fake news” as a tactic to lead Americans to believe the media does make stuff up so he looks better.

Surveys show most people who don’t have as much respect for the press as they used to really mean the cable news networks, and certainly not their hometown newspapers, which are dying very quickly for lack of revenue and publishers who will keep investing because the media serves such an important role in our society.

Matthew Dowd, a Republican political consultant including national campaigns, tweeted this the other day: “Can someone explain to me the GOPs long term political strategy as they alienate younger voters, Latinos, women, African-Americans, honorable conservatives and people who support our Constitution?”

I can explain it: the President is out for himself. Not the Republican Party. Not the American people. There are even occasions that can be explained by the fact that Trump might be taking bribes. In recent days, for example, his company received a Chinese loan and his daughter/White House advisor had several trademarks approved by the Chinese government. Within days, the President rushed to the aid of a Chinese company that has provided equipment and technology to enemies of the United States. This is the same company Trump’s own administration sanctioned. Could be a coincidence. Could not be. The last sentence is an example of the way the President might explain such a development if it allegedly had been done by one of his opponents. Probably isn’t true, but might be.

Hell of a way to run a government with more than half the country not trusting anything a president says.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

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