The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 British play “Gas Light.”
In the play, a woman’s husband pushes her to the edge of sanity by insisting their gas lighting is not dimming. In fact, it is dimming. Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic meant to convince people the things they see and know are not actually happening.
In the last four years, Democrats railed against then-President Donald Trump for gaslighting America.
Trump would, in fact, often say things that were not true, and many of his supporters would go along with him.
Now, however, it is the Democrats’ turn and neither they nor their friends in the press seem too concerned.
In fact, it appears much of the mainstream media is assisting in the gaslighting.
Back in 1933, MGM produced a propaganda film for President Franklin Roosevelt to support Roosevelt’s plan to end the Great Depression by causing inflation. “As you probably know, the first step in the inflation plan puts 3 billion additional dollars in circulation. This will make money more plentiful, hence less valuable. With money less valuable, the purchasing power of the dollar will naturally drop. Therefore, the cost of living will be forced up.” That was from 1933.
In the Great Depression, wages had fallen sharply and prices had collapsed. That is not the case now. Inflation was, at least at the time, presumed to be a good thing. Now, inflation is not a good thing and prices are skyrocketing. The Biden administration is gaslighting America by claiming dumping $3 trillion into the economy will actually stop inflation. Exactly the opposite will happen. Inflation already is happening with all the money already dropped into the economy.
At a basic level, if we presume the government gives everyone $500 to buy an Xbox, either the supply will be wiped out immediately or the price will skyrocket to maintain a reasonable supply. That is inflation. The Biden administration has dumped so much money into the economy that prices have skyrocketed to balance out the supply and demand curves. We have inflation.
Repeatedly, the Biden administration has claimed wages are going up. This too is gaslighting. Wages have barely increased, and inflation has far outpaced wages. Therefore, the purchasing power of each dollar now buys less than what a dollar bought just six months ago. It amounts to a wage cut.
The Biden administration is also gaslighting us on fuel prices. The official line is that oil is a global market and there is little the president can do. Take out even last year during the pandemic when no one traveled. Two years ago, fuel prices were lower.
Progressives in the Biden administration have willfully worked to make fuel costs higher. Until it hit their polling, Democrats openly said fuel prices needed to be higher to reduce demand for fossil fuels. The Biden administration canceled pipeline plans, canceled exploration leases on federal land and drove up regulatory costs for petroleum producers. These policies have contributed to the current fuel scarcity. When Trump was president, the United States was a net exporter of energy. Now we are left begging OPEC to produce more.
Through all of this, the American media has largely been complicit. Just the other day, MSNBC tweeted out an article claiming inflation was good for us. Others in the press have said inflation would be great to make Americans spend less. Others argued the shortages are a good thing because if Americans buy less, then less will be produced, and that is good for the climate.
At this point, Democrats seem almost willfully trying to lose the 2022 midterm elections. After the Virginia elections, Democrats doubled down on accusing voters of racism. Voters in Virginia elected the first black lieutenant governor for the state and the first Hispanic attorney general. But the talking heads in the press said it was just further proof of racism while still denying “critical race theory” is a thing.
Time and time again, Democrats have opted not to be truthful, but to instead advance a counterfactual narrative with the help of the press. Then they send the mob for the boy who points out their emperor has no clothes. With truth in short supply, they scream, “But Trump!”
Erick Erickson is host of a conservative talk show. Contact him on Twitter at @EWErickson.