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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/21/18

Donald Trump is Trying to Control Your Mind: Going High is Not the Way to Fight Psychological Warfare

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Democratic leaders panicked last week when a rumor surfaced that a fire broke out in the Democrats' only white flag factory. The scare turned out to be a minor electrical fire that was quickly extinguished. Democrats were assured they will have a sufficient supply of white flags for the mid-term election in November and the presidential election in 2020.

This story is not true--but it very well could be. Democrats don't know how to fight--and sadly seem unable or unwilling to learn how. By following their mantra of "When they go low we go high" Democrats have succumbed to a con job by a master of the game. Trump has gone lower and lower in his deplorable attacks. And he has conned Democrats into believing his mind control techniques are a moral issue rather than a devastating display of psychological warfare.

In practice, "going high" means not "fighting back." This abdication has given free rein to Trump's mind control strategy. In my recent article"How Donald Trump is turning Americans into Pavlov's Dogs," I drew on my interview with cognitive behavior psychologist Dr. Barry Lubetkin to show how Donald Trump's persistent chants and verbal assaults are examples of "implosion" and "desensitization." While psychologists have used these techniques to cure psychological disorders, Trump is effectively using them to create a disorder by conditioning many into believing that "alternative facts" are actual facts and real facts are "fake news."

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A good example is the "lock her up" chant about Hillary Clinton, which has created a vague sense, even among Democrats, that Hillary is a bad person who has done terrible things. But ask these people what is terrible about Hillary and they can't come up with specifics. Some will say "Benghazi," mimicking Trump. Ask them where Benghazi is located and what she did to warrant locking her up and you are likely to hear gibberish. Same for her "bad emails." Ask what was bad about them and what even worse things might be found in another trove of emails, and you will hear more gibberish or evasion. Yet the defamation sticks.

In fact, Trump's outrageous smears can easily be applied to him and his cohorts. "Democrats are an out of control mob." No, Mr. Trump, your rallies are demonstrable mob scenes. As for "locking up" Hillary Clinton and now Dianne Feinstein, neither of whom is under investigation or indictment, remember that several members of your team have indeed been indicted and imprisoned. And additional indictments are likely as Robert Mueller uncovers more and more suspicious or criminal activity within your ranks.

"We go high when they go low" is obviously not working. Even former Attorney General Eric Holder noted this when he said: "When they go low, we kick 'em." So what should the Democrats' mantra be? How should they characterize the con man who now inhabits the Oval Office?

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What about "Gutter Man" or "Pinocchio Man"? Indeed Donald Trump drags every issue into the gutter, and his legion of lies has been well documented in the Washington Post and The New York Times--more than four thousand lies, with an average of 7.6 new ones each day according to CNN. Persistently calling out Gutter Man and Pinocchio Man--in print and even in person--could interrupt and possibly break the control Trump has over his followers' minds and others who have fallen victim to the conditioning of implosion and desensitization.

Dr. Lubetkin explained how mind control works: "People become habituated. When they hear over and over and over 'lock her up, fake news, no collusion,' they become exhausted and eventually indifferent to other perspectives. They become much more receptive to the false concepts of reality with which he floods us."

Is it too late in the election cycle for democratic leaders to fight back? I don't think so. But they must first wake up and recognize that they are being played. Awareness is the first step in resisting mind control.

Fortunately, young people are joining the battle against duplicity and disgrace. They are talking back and taking action. More than ever before they are planning to vote, and they are mobilizing previous non-voters to head to their polling stations all over the country.

If the Democrats recapture the House in November it will be in no small measure due to the fighting spirit of young Americans inspred by the vision of a victory flag.

 

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist and professor emeritus at CUNY, Brooklyn College where he taught developmental psychology and directed a graduate program in gerontology. He is the founder, and for twenty-five years the managing editor, of (more...)
 

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