Have you noticed the problems and anxieties created by POTUS are not going away? Pundits speculated that once the newly elected President took office he would surely become “Presidential” even though he gave no indication of being Presidential during the campaign. It was inconceivable to most people that he would continue his campaign behavior. We now know that instead of becoming Presidential by demonstrating discernment, quiet reflection, honoring the position of President, filling cabinet positions with responsible staff, and reassuring the world it is in good hands, he is dismantling the core systems that make America strong, safe, reliable and predictable. As POTUS chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, explains they are committed to “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Today’s blog is an insight into a method POTUS is using, quite successfully, called Flooding. Flooding can be thought of as a continuous, daily or hourly, distribution of new, noteworthy or outlandish information, which usually takes the form of disinformation. Disinformation is the purposeful, intentional construction of partly true bits of information into a message that is deceptive, misleading or false.
The technique of flooding is used to incapacitate our ability to think well. The overload of information requires time to sort through so reasonable conclusions can be made. When the information is shocking, grossly wrong or goes against our deepest values, our brain must sort through it, attempt to reconcile what we were told against what we know to be true and determine what to do with the information. How many statements have you heard that are not based in reality? How much time are you spending trying to make sense out of non-sense? The brain does not reconcile non-sense and that keeps us in a continual state of imbalance. By pummeling our senses daily, flooding occurs. Our brain struggles to keep up.
POTUS and his staff are working day and night to overwhelm us with high volumes of non-factual information and disruptive actions. We cannot possibly attend to every action being taken. He uses flooding to cause feelings of helplessness and inundates us with false stories to keep us chasing after nonsense. Although some argue his tweets are impulsive displays generated from an unhinged egomaniac, I suspect many of the tweets are deliberate in form, content and intent; some used for the purpose of distraction. In the midst of consciously creating chaos, he is changing the way America operates at home and around the world. It is intentional, insidious and effective.
By flooding the world with enormous amounts of change and creating theater (by putting on a show when signing daily executive orders, tweeting falsehoods about the former President, removing irreplaceable state department personnel, aligning with enemies of the United States, etc.) we react by wanting to get involved and fight every fight. It is impossible that one person fight every fight, understand every new “law” and comprehend the twisting and turning of irresponsible policies. It is very difficult for one person to simultaneously manage their feelings that stem from chaotic, illogical behaviors and sort through every change being made. That is why flooding works. The current administration knows that inundating the world with bizarre accusations, executive orders that change the world’s order (immigration) leads to chaos because no one person can hold them accountable. The L.A. Time is publishing a weekly recap of actions by the President. I’m thankful for these articles. By cataloguing each week, we can see the extent of his actions and not get lost in the flooding. I encourage you to review the weekly articles, which are co-written by Colleen Shalby and Melissa Leu.
Here are suggestions for coping with flooding.
- Recognize when flooding is taking place. If your brain feels like it is swimming from too much information, you are probably experiencing flooding.
- Be selective about news sources. Only choose reliable “tried and true” news. Major news outlets such as the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post have decades of experience reporting fact. Responsible foreign newspapers lend a perspective that is often helpful because they let us know we are not crazy for feeling the way we do about POTUS.
- Take a break from the news.
- Refrain from getting too caught up in websites that are political blogs. Blogs are someone’s opinion. As a country we have blended blog information with fact.
- Be aware of your time. Entire days can pass by when we are watching cable news.
- Go somewhere to un-flood your mind. Walking in nature changes the chemicals in your brain and gives it space to think about other things.
- Most importantly, focus on what you do best! You are writers. Write!
I write this and previous blogs specifically for authors because I’m attempting to not allow POTUS, on my watch, to derail you from doing what you do best. Every person has a responsibility to combat POTUS using the tools they have been given. As a psychotherapist and coach, my contribution to lesbian fiction writers is to bring awareness to his methods and offer responsible action steps that, when taken, may keep you writing. Being preoccupied with current events takes energy and if you are focusing on his foolishness, he is winning twice. He gets attention and you get little done.
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