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Bryant Welch uses the 1944 Ingrid Bergman film, Gaslight, to analyze the collective American mind in today’s extreme political climate.Welch is a clinical psychologist with a practice in Sausalito, California who has just published an updated edition of State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind. He’s also an attorney, and served as an executive director at the American Psychological Association (APA).
We open by defining “gaslighting” with a clip from the movie, explaining how people can be manipulated by fear, envy and “sexual perplexity”. We illustrate the latter with Trump’s repeated efforts to ban transgender persons from the military.
While we generally agree, your host challenged Welch’s broad claims about misogyny toward Hillary Clinton in 2016. There’s no doubt it was a factor, but it was also used to dampen honest criticism of Clinton’s policies and views.
We also talk about Welch’s role in challenging APA leadership’s support for the CIA torture programs, and the contradictions presented by evangelical Christians’ support for Trump.