We are living in perilous times. It is hard to comprehend that our governmental leaders are willing to lie, cheat, cover-up, extort, and deceive simply for personal power. This is gaslighting at its most dangerous display.

Before I continue with my opinion piece, I would like to give the definition of gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception and sanity.

We are living in a time where we are continuously being bombarded with lies and deception by powerful leaders of these United States.

Many of us have become numb to what we know in our spirit is ethical and have chosen to give our allegiance to a president as opposed to our principles. Unchecked, this could become a mortal blow to our nation and who we are as a people.

I am a Black American born when segregation still held power. I will never forget what I had to endure — the systemic racism that was perpetrated against Blacks and “others.” Yet, for the sake of the slogan “Make America Great Again” (should be revised to “Keep America Great”) it appears that some Americans are willing to go back to those dark times as opposed to going forward. This disrespects our shared history and our future as a free nation.

As I attempt to understand the president’s supporters’ point of view, particularly those who assert their support is based on Christian values, I am at a loss. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I can’t help but think: who are these people and what are they thinking? Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, agnostic, atheist, pantheist, or simply other, we all are blessed to have freedom, and must work to preserve and uphold the Constitution. As those men — white, privileged; many slave owners or with indentured servants; and none yet willing to allow women the right to vote — had the foresight to pledge in the Preamble:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Keep those words in mind as we look forward to a more perfect Union.

Susie Johnson is a Sebring resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.

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