On Gaslighting

It’s probably unhelpful to frame this, as he does, as the backstory on vaccine hesitancy. It surely does play into that, but that is a small part of what he shows to be a much bigger story: Brexit, 2016’s election, “Russiagate,” Mueller, two impeachment’s, claims of mass racism...

Why doesn’t anyone have any trust anymore? 


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I get his relating it all the way back to 2016 and sees vaccine hesitancy as springing from those earlier events, at least in part. First, vaccine hesitancy is not what is being portrayed in the elite media. A fun bar graph about the difference between the "absolutely nots" and the "wait and sees." https://twitter.com/jeremyfaust/status/1421918496380768259/photo/1

I read this for the latter as "the two big categories are authority and convenience, but higher thresholds than the media would like." Describing them as cautious - even overcautious - is a fairer description than calling them stiff-necked. That would be the other group.

Yet I think he still misses how long this has been going on. Suspicious because of 2016? I am suspicious because of elite opinion and media reporting decades ago. Frankly, I think a lot of the new populists/conservatives who came in with Trump are late to the party. They are outraged by the treatment of Donald Trump? I see it as par for the course, though I think worse this time. Hell, I even think Goldwater would have had a shot if the reporting had been fair, and he was blown out.

We don't die from this, and the Republic does not fall. Someday the cumulative effect will bring us down, but I don't see it yet. The injustice forces us to better logical and spiritual approaches. That's the reality.

Grim said...

Yes, but at the same time also no. There really was a phase shift in 2020, into cities literally burning while the journalists told us that it was righteous and mostly peaceful, and the real problem was all of the rest of us who were horrible racists (somehow). Prosecutors arrest and ruin people who defend their homes and communities, while letting the rioters go free. It's been going for a long time, but -- like water that shifts into steam -- it suddenly expanded and heated radically beyond what seemed possible before.

I'm not sure we aren't very near the end of the Republic. But to the point of the linked thread, it does seem as if fire has been set to the credibility of our major institutions. It is hard to recover from that; and they, being big bureaucracies, can no longer learn at an institutional level. They can only keep doing what they always do, and that magic does not work any more.

james said...

From You Call This Living:

In Russia, a father tells his son: "Go to the newsstand and bring back Pravda for me, The Soviet Woman for your mother, Komsomolskaya Pravda for you, and The Pensioneer's Gazette for granny."
The kid starts to go, but on the street he runs into granny.
"Where are you going?"
"To the newsstand. Dad told me to buy Pravda for me, The Soviet Woman for mom, Komsomolskaya Pravda for me, and The Pensioneer's Gazette for you."
"What's the use of buying all those papers? You read the same thing in all of them anyway. Might as well watch TV; still the same. Forget it. Come along with me."
Later at home, the father asks: "Did you buy what I told you?"
"No, because granny said we can get from TV all there is in the newspapers."
"Now look here. You will do as I tell you. Get Pravda for me, The Soviet Woman for your mother, Komsomolskaya Pravda for you, and as for granny, if she prefers it, she may use the TV antenna instead of toilet paper."

james said...

Unfortunately electronic media don't have any obvious other uses.

Grim said...

That’s a very clever joke.

Texan99 said...

The first time I remember being really outraged about news coverage was during the 2000 election contest; the next spike happened when the Tea Party erupted. The entire Obama administration was a travesty, naturally.

Still, things reached what seemed a crazy new level with the 2016 election, especially with the blatant censoring of news from the newly dominant social media platforms. I discovered that, while it was bad enough for the mainstream news to be pathetically dishonest, it didn't feel like such a crisis before they learned how to censor the non-mainstream alternatives so effectively.