Gaslighting is a term that has been used in the field of psychology for years but has only recently become a term that many people use in their daily lives. 

I hate it. Let me tell you why.

Gaslighting isn’t anything new. In fact, it’s a story straight from the Garden of Eden and the pit of Hell. Gaslighting is lying with the intent to harm or manipulate. When people do it, it’s sin. When governments do it, it’s worse than sin - it’s insidious.

Yeah, #metoo.

The next time each of us sees something that doesn’t look or sound right, we should ask ourselves if it’s true. We shouldn’t ask ourselves if it seems true or feels true or if we want it to be true. Truth isn’t dependent upon anyone’s feelings or experiences or desires. It just is.

When you hear things like AEA is actually not that liberal anymore and that’s why Republicans take money from them, ask yourself if that’s actually true. When you read about how conservative the Republican supermajority is as they brag about passing record budgets in record time with little dissent, ask yourself if they are truly the conservatives they claim to be. When professional lobbyists promote high taxes, liberal policies, and business lockdowns but then, as candidates, miraculously stump for low taxes, conservative policies, and small business growth, ask yourself if they are peddling truth or falsehoods. When candidates campaign on keeping taxes low but then immediately raise taxes that keep rising automatically in perpetuity, ask yourself if they were honest with the voters. When gambling lawbreakers assert that they want to change the law so they can make sure to follow it this time, ask yourself if anyone really believes that is true. When organizations ignore the plight of their smallest members for the benefit of only their largest members in a time of crisis, but still pretend to be for the little guy, ask yourself if their talking points match their actions.

To me, all this seems fairly clear: the influence peddlers are peddling falsehoods daily in Montgomery.

Stephanie Holden Smith is an experienced policy analyst, political commentator, and public speaker. Smith has worked and volunteered in Governmental Affairs in Alabama since 1997, including lobbying for a Fortune 500 company and serving as Deputy Director of Finance for the State of Alabama. She is currently the principal of Thatcher Coalition LLC. To contact Stephanie, please go to The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information