If you want to compare something to gaslighting, you have to understand that people on the right and between the coasts feel as though the media has been telling them they’re crazy, subtly undermining their views and perceptions for decades. Popular culture has declared war on them, and then smirkingly said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when called on it.
I was not a Trump voter, but I do understand how a lot of people feel. They feel as though their lifestyle has been mocked relentlessly, their views have been marginalized, their ideals have been disregarded. They’ve been told that they are racist, uneducated, uninformed, and stupid for believing things people have believed for millennia, and for not just throwing out the way they were raised. They have been made to feel as though they are a small part of the country and the conversation, when they are half of the nation. Their views are shut out of movies and tv, out of most news, out of education at all levels, out of corporate culture, out of music… they’re treated as though views that are mainstream are weird and abhorrent.
Donald Trump is a scuzzbucket. As a libertarian Republican who treats all government as something to be questioned and feared, a liar with an authoritarian impulse is not what I want to see in office (and hey, we got two of those on the ballot last November! Yay America!). But I also understand the impulse of someone who is being made to feel like they’re crazy by the domineering urban culture int he country to lash out and try to give it back.