The Great COVID Gaslighting is underway. I will leave it to historians to determine when and who precisely launched it, but it is certainly here. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation. In one of its manifestations, it is a crude attempt at altering reality to conceal one’s misdeeds. Its tool is the lie. The gas lighter wants you to believe that something you know happened, did not happen.
Psychologists observe many varieties of gaslighting. In the last week of November (2022), three high level politicians deployed their various gaslighting skills. On the 25th, Justin Trudeau appeared before the Rouleau Commission. Rouleau is tasked with determining if the Trudeau government was justified in invoking the nuclear option of The Emergencies Act against the Convoy protest. Trudeau was asked whether “one of the most important roles of a prime minister is to unite Canadians and not divide them by engaging in name-calling.” The question did not point fingers, nor did it mention unvaccinated Canadians. “I did not call…people who were unvaccinated…names!,” Trudeau answered in three separate breaths. Yet, the record shows that between August 2021 and February 2022, in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, Trudeau insulted citizens as being an “anti-vaxxer mob,” “racist,” “anti-science,” misogynists,” “holding unacceptable views.”
On November 29th in Alberta, reacting to reports that Premier Danielle Smith is concerned with private groups and businesses continuing to impose the COVID jab, Rachel Notley twitted that she would happily fund any group pushing vaccinations. Willfully blind to scientific reporting, Notley vigorously champions still the outrageous violations of personal liberty and the medical choice of Albertans, as if none of the medical harms and unexplained deaths existed. What is more, even the manufacturers accept that their vaxx provide no immunity and do not prevent infection.
On the same day, former premier Jason Kenney announced his resignation as MLA for Calgary-Lougheed. In a written statement, Kenney touted his remarkable 25 years in public service and referred to his accomplishments as premier, but not one reference to COVID. Grasping for a high road at the end of his statement, Kenney offered a “reflection.” He decried that the democratic life and traditions Canadians have built are now “veering away from prudential debate towards a polarization that undermines our…institutions and principles.” Kenney accused “cancel-culture” on the Left and a “vengeful anger and toxic cynicism” at the opposite end.
Most thinking Albertans agree that Alberta politics is polarized, but the parting “reflection” creates the impression that Kenney sits on a perch of wisdom above it all. When we look at cancel culture and the remnants of anger, the record shows differently.
There certainly is frustration, and its origin is Kenney’s betrayal. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Albertans who supported Kenney for decades through a love of liberty, well before he became premier. His lockdown policies and broken promise about vaxx passports, which Kenney admitted violated law and constitution, were betrayals.
The erosion of civility Kenney decries is also real, but the expressed concern seems disingenuous, considering Kenney’s own contributions to cancel culture and to the deterioration of civility. Let’s not forget how Kenney insulted and ridiculed the people he betrayed. He called them names in words similar to Trudeau’s when they opposed his health mandates (or when they supported The Alberta Sovereignty Act). On cancel culture, Kenney is at least complicit in abetting the game. Eager to become premier, he sacrificed Caylan Ford’s dignity and remorselessly fed it to a frenzied NDP mob bent on assassinating her character to hurt him.
The distinct affiliations of these elected officials show how non-partisan the Great COVID gaslighting is. It is as independent of political ideology as it is from concerns for truth. The first flat-out denies what happened, the second ignores what has happened since summer 2021, and the third tries to project a virtuous position contrary to actions.
One doesn’t have to read conspiracy to see that these are not isolated coincidences. Plenty of elected officials who pushed and defended the COVID regime are now seeking ways to launder their blunders through gaslighting. Language, definitions, and official health records are already being doctored. There will be more at an even grander scale in the months to come, unless citizens resist it. The first act of defiance against the gaslighting attempts to change what we know to be true is to remember. If we forget, and if we choose to keep silent, all sorts of misdeeds will be swept under political rugs, and barn-like doors will remain open for similar future abuses.