Salon's Amanda Marcotte has an article
in Alternet. It's not an attempt to debate or list the reasons that half the country has gone insane. Instead she just assumes you already know it and works from there. There's some specific, useful coping and resistance mechanisms in there.
In truth, it doesn't actually require much in the way of grace or wits to gaslight liberals. All it requires is a shameless willingness to say obviously false things, and then watch your opponents -- still romantically attached to the idea of reasoned debate -- grow increasingly desperate in insisting that objective reality should inform one's opinions.
And people asked how do you talk to people like that?
The answer is simple: You can't. These are autonomous adults who have decided that loyalty to Trump and hatred of liberals matters more than the truth. There are no cool psychological tricks one can use that are likely to convince them to readjust their values system.
Some of us had already figured that out. Others still wanted direction.
The first thing liberals and journalists should do is find ways to speak the truth without inviting conservatives to troll them with "debate" about it — debate that will inevitably just be the pitting of lies against truths, leaving those who still believe in reason frustrated and giving conservatives endless opportunities to gloat about their triggering talents.
There are a variety of tools that accomplish this, but the primary one is to avoid speaking to liars and instead speak about them.
Brevity is key here. Whenever you're explaining, you're losing. For instance, it was a waste of time going frame by frame through that Jim Acosta video to prove he did nothing wrong, since everyone who claimed to believe he had done something terrible was lying in order to troll the left. Journalists would have done better to present the fact that Acosta did nothing wrong as self-evident truth, which it was, and move on to addressing the real story, which is how Trump uses lies to advance his agenda.
She's got so many great quotes in there.
the maxim to live by is that you can't reason someone out of a belief they didn't reason themselves into. Evidence, facts and rational argument are all pretty useless when you're dealing with a person who rejects the value of all those things.
For most conservatives who play this game, they "win" either by baiting a liberal into a pointless and unwinnable debate or by making the liberal flustered and angry. So don't reward them by giving them either.
I find that making it personal can often be really helpful. If a conservative in my life praises Trump for trolling the press with his "enemy of the people" language, I might ask that person if they really think that I am a force for evil and that I should be censored, or perhaps imprisoned.
Be calm and dispassionate, however, and state things matter-of-factly. Any sign of emotion will be taken as evidence of "triggering" and is likely encourage to encourage still more trolling behavior. But I've personally had a lot of luck with calm but adamant shaming, perhaps because it makes behavior the focal point, rather than some pointless debate over what the facts are.
I agree with her that it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better and we have no control over what they say about us when we leave the room. And of course neither do they.