As Alice fell through the rabbit hole tunnel to Wonderland, she was beset by many things, from books to jars to a bust of the rabbit itself. Bedazzled and in a dreamlike state, Alice had to work her way through the fantasies to discover reality. Sometimes American politics resembles Alice’s journey.
Gaslight entered the lexicon in 1938 as a British stage play and in 1941 as the film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. As described by Britannica, the process of gaslighting complements the “big lie” political deceit:
…the intended (and achieved) result is to rob the victim of his sanity. The phenomenon is attested in the clinical literature as a form of narcissistic abuse whereby the extreme narcissist attempts to satisfy his pathological need for constant affirmation and esteem by converting vulnerable people into intellectual and emotional slaves whom he paradoxically despises for their victimhood. Because the gaslighter is himself typically psychologically disordered, he is often not fully aware of what he is doing or why he is doing it.
Gaslighters rely upon intended targets unsure of or uncertain about their motivation but are, in contrast to the above definition, quite aware of what they are doing. The George Orwell novel 1984 published in 1949 portrays a dystopian society whose members are subjected to Newspeak, a form of dialectic designed to obfuscate any insight into truth.
Having observed and charted the progress of the big lie and gaslighting by the GOP, particularly its conservative branch, VoxFairfax scripted a series of planks for the Commonwealth’s conservative political party in acknowledgment of and gratitude for years of relentless political pandering to protect and promote the upside down reasons offered for its behavior.
In an effort to pierce through the haze, the big lie, the Newspeak, QAnon, cultist mania, and theological adoration by our neighbors in the GOP, VoxFairfax decided to take the bold step of preparing a political platform for the VA GOP to promote to its constituents and the electorate. Having observed and charted the progress of the big lie and gaslighting by the GOP, particularly its conservative branch, VoxFairfax scripted a series of planks for the Commonwealth’s conservative political party in acknowledgment of and gratitude for years of relentless political pandering to protect and promote the upside down reasons offered for its behavior.
Our offering to create such a platform recognizes that the VA GOP faced homelessness with respect to locating a site to conduct its gubernatorial nominating event and that the party may be in need of proposals to redefine itself. Unfortunately, the organization appears to be stumbling into irrelevancy largely due to its national leadership and internecine strife among competing political factions. We are, therefore, offering our solutions and recommendations for a state platform of measures for the VA GOP to adopt and survive into the future. We assure GOP adherents this is not a false flag pitch.
Here is a short, not comprehensive list of briefly described planks for a Virginia GOP platform. We don’t expect them to be accepted by Republicans . . . but what if they were?
- In order to develop a long-term core of supporters, advocate for voting rights for 16-year olds in nonfederal state and local elections; this measure would counter the “old white guy” criticism of the state GOP and encourage youth to become exposed to Republican ideals.
- Support tuition-free higher education through the Commonwealth community college system as evidence of investment in workforce development and the future of economic sustenance.
- Support creation of a statewide commission to develop home-rule principles for local governments to diminish reliance upon the anachronism of the Dillon rule; home rule would reduce demands by localities for legislation in the General Assembly and increase the legislature’s efficiency.
- And while reviewing efficiency in the General Assembly, consider reforming the body to become unicameral by eliminating the largely duplicative and, often, autocratic senate chamber.
- Increase business opportunity and development through creation of a Virginia State Insurance Fund similar to that in many states, offering workers’ compensation and disability insurance as first and last resort options; a VSIF would also decrease incentive for employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors; the disability component would operate to assist a medical leave option for employees.
- Amend the workers’ compensation law to include repetitive-motion injuries (RMI) and industrial diseases presently precluded by court decisions; such action would have anticipated the COVID pandemic.
- Repeal the current right-to-work legislative barrier and support collective bargaining by public employee organizations.
- Eliminate the felon voting block in the state constitution as the number of voting felons are not a sufficiently large group to change or decide an election.
These planks are not intended to be complete or even accepted by every member of the GOP or its supporters. They are intended to offer both the party and its members a path to commence a renewed political existence more free of destructive ideologies that have contributed to the decline of the organization. A competitive and popular GOP will be an asset to the Commonwealth’s civic prosperity.
These proposals will, it is believed, assert the very popularity that the party insists it represents and the esteem in which it is regarded, while verifying its commitment to creating a more democratic state environment.
These proposals will, it is believed, assert the very popularity that the party insists it represents and the esteem in which it is regarded, while verifying its commitment to creating a more friendly state environment. Moreover, we affirm under penalty that our offering is free of bias, narcissistic necessity, and lies. As Shakespeare rhymed, “If this be in error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
While everyone, it is said, loves a parade, not everyone seeks to march like lemmings over the cliff. Gaslighting, including cancel culture imperatives, threatens to become a GOP pandemic to succeed COVID-19.