I read this question yesterday and it struck a curious nerve. It led me on a journey of wandering and pondering learning of brainwashing. That led to revisiting studies on belief(s) and emotions. Perhaps there will be a Hub or two one day. So, thanks . . .
Trying to be brief sticking to the OP with brainwashing we must have some understanding for that. Brainwashing is changing one’s belief(s) against their will by an external force. If an internal force then presumed it is of Free Will. At task IMHO is there was a moment of a formed belief, which may be synonymous with changing a belief (?), that Trump is president. That which may also be questioned is if outside influences (External force) led to the belief. I don’t think so because it merely was news reported.
(Footnote regard hate that infers another belief perhaps Trump’s character, but is moot since now it is ‘meh . . . maybe not so bad’.)
Let’s look at belief. William James wrote a treatise ‘The Will to Believe’. He said paraphrased to believe a belief there must be a ‘Will to Believe’ first. Further that must be met by three criteria:
** A live choice contrast a dead choice. A live choice has an emotive appeal. That is internal and subjective. (Consider here what brainwashing is.) A dead choice has no appeal.
** Be a forced choice contrast avoidable. Forced is either A or B. Avoidable is not choose at all or choose C.
** Be a momentous choice contrast trivial. Momentous is a matter of some import; life or death, or an important once in a life time situation. Trivial doesn’t really make much difference in the world or have the option all over again in the near future.
So, with some thought it appears there was a ‘Will to Believe’ the belief Trump is President. There was an emotion – surprise or amazement, which resulted from feelings of a pleasant experience. Thus, we see a live choice with emotive appeal (Internal and subjective). At that juncture there was a forced choice; either Trump is president evidenced by acting presidential or is not. It could have been avoided like with hate (?) – “Meh . . .” It was momentous or did matter at that moment in time. Thus, it was not brainwashing.
With my journey there were discoveries with undefined belief where there is no acknowledgment of the object for a belief, how belief changes toward disbelief or a stronger belief, and brainwashing. Keys are acknowledgement and change in faith and/or trust.
Thank you for this opportunity ptosis . . .