Monday, July 3, 2017

Trump's Minions


 In the Washington Post, Greg Sargent writes:
 "Trump is trying to obliterate the very possibility of agreement on the free press’ legitimate institutional role in our democracy — indeed, he’s trying to obliterate the possibility of shared agreement on reality itself.  
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In other words, the entire point is the assertion and demonstration of the power to say what reality is in contradiction of what is empirically, demonstrably true. And he’s granting his supporters a stake in that power. For Trump, everything and everyone can be broken down into winners and losers, in which the former prevail at the expense of the latter."
This is more than gaslighting---manipulating situations and language to convince people that they are mistaken about reality as they are experiencing it. In the gaslighting scenario, the audience becomes a powerless victim, no longer sure of its own grasp of reality. In Sargent's analysis, the audience, Trump's minions, granted a stake in the power to deny facts, are themselves empowered to deny or affirm any claims about reality they wish, using whatever standards of evidence they choose. This might point to Trump's political demise; for whatever reason, the mob that supports him and his fake reality today might opt for a different fake reality tomorrow: they might change the channel to a different 'reality' show, starring someone else. What the malignant narcissist Trump will do in that situation is hard, or rather, painful, to imagine.

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