Gaslighting in the war against woke


“Woke” is the label politicians on the right have pinned on the left as a bad thing. Today others have pinned a new label on conservative politicians: “gaslighting”.

Gaslighting describes someone asserting something as a fact, often over and over, when it decidedly is not. It is being less than honest or repeating lies in a way that serves one ‘s own interest. The war on woke, for example,  is heralded as a battle against a pernicious evil of the left. Most people, when they reflect on it, feel good about being knowledgeable of our history and current social and economic environment. Gaslighting woke gives the right something catchy to be against, without ever having to be truthful about it.

Critical Race Theory, CRT, is another concept gaslighted as a danger to our schools,  despite the fact that it is not  even taught in the public schools. Being against it allows the call for a history curriculum that reflects American Exceptionalism without making anyone feel uncomfortable about, or learn lessons from, the negatives in our country’s past.

DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion, has been gaslighted to be a way to discriminate against white people, especially white men, rather than a way to give equal access and representation in a multi-cultural society. ESG is another acronym judged as terrible in our political environment. Attending to environmental, social and governance factors in investing has been shown to give better returns and positive impacts on business practices, but it  has been gaslighted as another radical left-wing idea to be opposed.

Many other topics of recent “Free State of Florida” political gaslighting rhetoric include the “terrible” covid vaccine, the “indoctrination”  of children about LGBTQ lifestyles, “disruptive” protests at the capitol, as well as gender studies, climate change, local governments initiatives, media defamation, and elected officials who speak out.

The gaslighting list goes on in Florida. Fixing homeowners insurance will only help the industry avoid payments and hide profits. Voting restrictions, disguised as increasing voter integrity in a state where no problems existed, led to opting out of a national voter verification program. Restricting doctor approved medical procedures for women and minors was highlighted as protecting their health. Expanding gun ownership and possession in public was touted as increasing public safety.

When the legislators go home and the governor heads off on the presidential campaign trail it may be a very good time to look at all the gaslighting done about important issues in our state. It may also be a good time for Florida voters to think about what they want our leaders to be honest about. William Faulkner wrote, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this it would change the earth.” If people all over Florida did this, it might change the state of our state.

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