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In a word, yes, because we (the general public) know the manipulation is going on. They’re campaigning. The entire purpose is to drum up support to get elected. It’s like advertising on TV or billboards or anywhere else — even if we don’t know the exact tactics used, we know that their purpose is to get us to buy the product or service being advertised. It’s morally questionable, but we know to take at least the more outlandish claims/promises with a grain of salt (because even if they do try to make good on them, odds are good Congress will block or seriously alter them for one reason or another). We know it’s propaganda.

There’s also a difference between propaganda (biased or misleading information used to promote a particular political cause) and gas lighting (manipulation intended to make the victim question their own sanity).

Where it becomes an issue is that what’s going on here has gone beyond the point of propaganda. What’s happening with Trump is right out of 1984. At every turn, he’s planted seeds of doubt and deception about reality (and he’d been doing it from the beginning, but it’s gotten worse as he’s continued to get away with it), to the point that people are actually questioning the truth of anything that doesn’t agree with Trump, even when his story has been proven to be the false one.

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