Summary: We would understand this election better by consulting a wider range of experts than the usual journalists (experts on the election steeplechase) and political gurus (experts on the electoral games). This post looks at the psychology of the manipulator and the victim, which nicely describes the roles of elite and voter in America today.
Why do we fall for their lies and manipulations again and again?
Essential reading for voters in Campaign 2016
by Támara Hill (MS, Licensed Professional Counselor) at PsychCentral
“Do you know someone who engages in telling multiple lies, even when you or someone else has caught them? Do you know someone who seems to manipulate others with his or her lies? If so, this article is for you.
“…Sadly, mental health professionals are largely uninformed about this insidious and evil behavior. We lack research and knowledge about pathological lying and have been unable, for centuries, to explain why it happens and how it develops. As a result, society remains very uninformed about pathological lying and is often shocked when someone close begins sharing their lies and untruths.
“…Triangulation can be defined as any behavior that misleads, confuses, or damages the relationship between the communicator and more than one other person. In other words, triangulation is a tactic someone may use to control, manipulate, misinform, or deceive.”
This is interesting and well-written. Perhaps most interesting is that the author gives no sign that the subjects of manipulation have agency — a sense of control over their actions. Why do people so often respond so well to manipulators? As the adage goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a thousand times, shame on me.” The victim shares responsibility with the manipulator.
Does this remind you of any people we know?
“Do you know someone who engages in telling multiple lies, even when you or someone else has caught them? Do you know someone who seems to manipulate others with his or her lies? If so, this article is for you.”
Yes, I know people like that. As do you. They live in Washington D.C. They lie to us often, repeatedly, about matters of the utmost importance. See the Big List of Lies for a sample.
Our leaders lie to us repeatedly because it works. So their behavior is logical.
The question is why do we believe their lies, again and again and again? That’s a disturbing question, quite unmentionable in civil discourse because its shift the responsibility from designated bad guys to us. To journalists and website operators (like me), asking such questions is madness. They are the opposite of clickbait.
Smart writers give us what we want: articles that describe us as Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, innocents victimized by evil forces. That’s the script we hear from both parties in Campaign 2016. It makes us easy to lead.
The last thing our leaders want is a skeptical people — especially not a people intolerant of leaders who lie. Such a people would be kryptonite to America’s ruling elites. Accepting responsibility for our gullibility is a first step to that, along with resolve to do better in the future. That means holding accountable your allies (your foes don’t care about your criticism).
Támara Hill describes the tactics used by our leaders. But we need not passively accept their games. We hold the solution in our hands…
- Learning skepticism, an essential skill for citizenship in 21st century America.
- Remembering is the first step to learning. Living in the now is ignorance.
- Swear allegiance to the truth as a step to reforming America.
For More Information
- Our leaders have made a discovery of the sort that changes the destiny of nations.
- Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda.
- Why do we believe, when the government lies to us so often? When we change, the government also will change.
- Government officials’ lies erode the Republic’s foundation. Do we care?
- The Big List of Lies by our Leaders. Post it everywhere to change America.