Letter: The con man and gaslighting

Con artists rely on the tactic of misdirection. By getting the mark to focus on some sideshow activity, the con man is able to separate that mark from something valuable, usually money, usually keeping him unaware that it is even happening. Rarely, however, has this practice reached the level of national politics.

Consider the things that the Trumpists recently have offered up for their alarmist sideshow: scary brown people massing at the border in order to come get your job, your women, and your Jacuzzis; mob rule by Democratic voters; homosexuals and transgendered fellow humans, wimpy freeloading Europeans, Middle Eastern terrorists; and Canadians, yes, even Canadians. The boogeyman of the week list never ends and never will.

Gaslighting is another form of psychological manipulation now on the national stage. Gaslighting tries to get another person to doubt his or her memory, perceptions, or sanity. You know, kind of like voting 70 times in eight years to repeal the Affordable Care Act then trying to get voters to remember that it was Democrats who somehow caused millions of their fellow citizens to be denied healthcare coverage because of their preexisting conditions.

Anne Tangeman
Jasper, Ind.

6 Responses to Letter: The con man and gaslighting

  1. Mike October 26, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    Are you and Dan Barrett related or just alter egos?

  2. Daryl Hensley October 26, 2018 at 3:41 pm #

    Those seventy failed votes to repeal Obamacare were not unsuccessful. Each vote was calculated and hit the mark as intended. It put many a legislator on the record.

    Under President Obama, Democrats lost 900+ state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats. And that isn’t even counting the 2 conservative Supreme Court Justices. and record unemployment.

    Remember Obama’s promises? “If you like your doctor you get to keep your doctor.” With Trump, it’s “Jobs not Mobs…”

    (mic drop)

    I would say the American people see thru the democrats own gaslighting and are focused on prosperity and liberty under this President.

    Daryl Hensley, Jasper

    • Matt October 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

      It is funny that you bring up healthcare at this point, when many Republicans are trying to avoid their votes on pre-existing conditions. Many are even claiming they want to protect pre-existing conditions even though they voted numerous times to repeal the Obamacare provisions protecting them (and are currently in a lawsuit to get them removed). My favorite is a bill from congressman Tillis who proposed a bill that would require insurance companies provide insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. The catch is it would not require coverage for the pre-existing condition. So the insurance companies would be required to sell you insurance if you have cancer (it just would not cover cancer).

      There is a ton of mis-direction on both sides of the aisle this election, so much so that it is hard to keep up. I really wish things would slow down so that there could be reasonable conversations about issues. The affordable care act was debated for over a year. Experts from across the industry were brought in to try to form the best bill possible. I hardly see arguments from Republicans in Congress now a days. Bills are rushed through so that there are rarely large debates in the country beyond Republican vs Democrat which is a shame. The only debate in America now is whether you like or do not like Donald Trump.

      I wish Congress would instill the 60 vote rule for everything. Why? So that both sides would find it hopeless to get anything done without the other side. Huge decisions in the country should require some buy-in from both sides. The only thing I see the current system ending with is a rush to the bottom.

  3. Scott Newton October 28, 2018 at 5:38 pm #


    I agree with the 60 vote super majority rule. However, when McConell blew it up, he ensured that it is going to be here to stay. It will eventually fall into the hands of the opposition — all to the detriment of the country.

  4. Candy October 30, 2018 at 12:42 pm #

    By slowing down congress you might as well put out the “nothing will get done” sign that has been going on for at least 8 years. It is because of Trump that anything if getting passed and it is about time.