From Wikipedia, the definition of "gaslighting":
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief.
By read, this means, a manipulator using whatever means at their disposal to call to question and cause doubt on the part of the manipulated with regard to their memories.
Gaslighting in a political sense has become a vogue term after the 2016 elections. Statements such as, " This was the largest crowd to witness an inauguration in the history of the Republic, PERIOD!" while all evidence clearly shows otherwise is an example. But now I wonder if a local example of political gaslighting is playing itself out.
It has become known that $100K has been transferred into Janet Siddiqui's campaign account from the PAC controlled by... Janet's husband, Nayab Siddiqui! This gives Janet over $105K in the bank, more than enough to run a credible primary race for any office in the county. But-- which one? Board of Education? State Delegate in District 13? County Council in District 4? Maybe even County Executive? Who knows? No one does, and thus here comes the gaslighting.
In making this move, the Siddiquis clearly mean to strike fear into whatever opponents they will have. And they have been known to be some vindictive people. No doubt they would like to scare the bejeezus out of Team 13, the current BOE candidates, the current field in Council District 4 (especially the Democratic candidates) and Calvin Ball in the County Executive's race. Listed among those above are people who I know Nayab Siddiqui holds personally responsible for the destruction of his and his wife's political careers. Careers which everyone thought were buried in November 2016. Except, not so fast.
And so the HoCo politerati is flapping lips as to how it will stop the path of rage of the Siddiquis. And in said lip-flapping, the Siddiquis are getting their way. They would rather be feared than loved. Or, judged to be competent, capable servants of the public trust.
Color me unimpressed by this stunt. Because that's what it is. Yes, I'm not Calvin Ball or a District 13 sitting Delegate or Jen Terrasa or Cynthia Fikes or Deb Jung. Easy for me to say. But the facts are this. Both of the Siddiquis, in 2014 and 2016, proved themselves to the Howard County electorate to be exactly the type of people who should NOT be in politics and who should NEVER even sniff an elected office. They are arrogant, disconnected from reality, and tone deaf to what Howard County is today. And the beauty is, they were found out. Nayab was rejected after he and Janet pulled their stunt in 2014 on Team 13, and Janet was tossed out on her whole butt in the 2016 primary for Board of Education.
Is it possible that in 2018 Janet can present herself with contrition and humility and speak to lessons learned? Yeah, anything's possible. But not likely. The Siddiquis have been out of the political eye since 2016 (except for Nayab acting a fool on the local Democratic Central Committee) and so I find it hard to believe they've learned anything. More proof of this? What they just did! While self-funding a campaign is a legitimate campaign finance strategy, actually raising money from the community is a demonstration of support and connectedness to the community. And while a candidate with a strong distaste for fundraising can run a shoestring, barnstorming campaign, you can't have it both ways. If you don't want to fundraise, don't give yourself $100K. Because that just strikes of arrogance and feeling you know better than the public does as to what it wants. In other words, hallmarks of Siddiqui political behavior.
I have very little doubt that even if NayabPAC donates $10M to Janet to run for Judge of the Orphans' Court, that Janet will be found out for what she is. An opportunist in an empty pinstriped suit who brays on about "the whole" somethingorother while failing to back up a single word with an action. We know this story and how it ends. And even though it sucks to have to go through it again, go through it we must. Such is the price of maintaining a tone of something approaching decency and civility.
Hmmm. The cost of democracy is vigilance? I like the sound of that! Better get that copyrighted.
Let's be careful out there.
#hocopolitics #hococouncil #hocoboe #MDGA2018 #goodbyeJanet