Before parenthood and late at night when I had not been able to sleep, like many people I flipped through TV channels. A couple of times I caught a few minutes of Gaslight, the mystery-thriller film for which Ingrid Bergman won an Academy Award for portraying a woman whose husband convinces her she is going insane.
I never watched the entire movie nor really understood the plot. Ingrid Bergman’s life intrigued me, but the first actress I truly noticed when I was very young was Jane Fonda, so I never made it past a few minutes of Gaslight.
Like watching movies very late at night, at times I’ve taken in only snippets of what has been happening in our country since the national elections in November. As I have written before, living in Hawaii is a bit surreal, almost always in a great way. Gradually, though, I have read full articles although I have yet to watch an entire newscast nor listen to Donald Trump for more than 40 seconds.
Until yesterday, I also never understood the term gaslighting.
Recent analysis of the president-elect has expanded my understanding.
After wading through stages of grief since his election, I’ve watched and read in disbelief about his relationships with the intelligence community, people with disabilities, Hollywood, his soon-to-be predecessor, voters to whom he made promises — or did he?
As a trained journalist, I’ve always been an advocate of freedom of speech, of asking good questions, of looking for the heart of matters.
With Donald Trump, I’ve wondered how he was able to dim the gaslights for such a large portion of the population and why so many did not ask questions that needed to be asked before he was elected.
I hope that with each new day he is pressed more and more on facts that affect a nation he is supposed to serve rather than manipulate, that we trust our own best judgments rather than enjoy some strange theater of disbelief every time we turn on the news or gasp at the latest headlines.
As a Quaker, I hold this country and the world in the Light. We’ve come too far to tap meekly in the dark.