The last mass manipulation of the American psyche occurred during the Second Red Scare, McCarthysm. Americans were so frightened of communism that the destruction of the lives of many was allowed. This period lasted about six years (1950-1956).
Many see the process of teaching Americans how to vote against their own interests beginning with the Powell Memo, which provided the virtual map. The co-opting of the media, schools, churches, and universities has been wildly successful. The attempt to revise and clean history continues. The creation of think tanks like the Heritage Foundation created a semblance of authoritative position papers, and the use of these position papers and other dogma are then used by politicians and organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to create uniform laws throughout the United States.
Unfortunately, the current mass manipulation of the American psyche is in its fourth decade. Republican presidents since Reagan have reveled in it; Democratic presidents simply attempt to survive it. No one fights it. Why is that? Fear. It is the fear of stepping out on a limb and not knowing if it will hold you up or break.
America was on the road to complete plutocratic dominance until the arrival of President Obama. He did something no other president was able to accomplish in over 100 years—he created a framework, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), that would eventually take America towards that so-called socialist mantra, universal health care. The president’s first two years were accompanied by Democratic legislative branch that pushed through middle class centrist policies (though Blue Dogs played a dampening effect in a lot of policy decisions). This was a bump in the road for the plutocracy.
All out war was declared. The plutocracy used its tools—the media, many churches, and think tanks—against both Obamacare and future policies (infrastructure spending, unemployment relief, student loan relief, to name but a few) emanating from the Obama administration. They thought they had him in the 2012 election. Unfortunately for them, the mind control of enough Americans was not yet complete.
The status quo has been in effect for four years. America has been in a standoff between the good of "we the people" and the evil dominance from the few—the plutocracy, the corporate elite, the puppeteers.
Will the 2014 election break the standoff? Republicans, the current arbiters of the plutocracy, seem to think so. They have used the media to successfully make ISIS/ISIL seem like an existential threat that the president (read Democrats) was slow to respond to. They have made the West African Ebola crisis an American Ebola crisis.
To be clear, ISIS/ISIL are vicious, evil, maniacal killers. That said, they were never an existential threat to the United States. They are a threat to the region, a region that has enough power to take them out if the powers there really wanted to. U.S. involvement simply puts a bigger target on our backs as it put our military personnel in harm's way.
The West African Ebola crisis is a problem the entire world must deal with to prevent a worldwide outbreak. It is manageable. Within the United States there are many other communicable diseases like measles and whooping cough that are on the rise due to misinformed parents not getting kids vaccinated. This is a crisis throughout the United States that should really be of equal, if not more, concern as it reaches every corner of the country now.
Americans are scared because they are uninformed. They are uninformed because the traditional news media is a tool of a plutocracy that understands that fear is one of the best tools to influence citizens to make bad decisions, decisions against their interests. Jon Stewart captured it perfectly in his one of his most recent skits.
The question is, will Republicans succeed? Will we allow them to succeed?
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