Caricatures and Mockery
Likewise, in America, the alternative to the Liberal view was unavailable until the Internet came along. But even now, you must actively search for the Conservative viewpoint—and most Liberals don’t.
Growing up, I remember that anything not solidly Liberal was presented as either scary or absurd. Comedians routinely (and convincingly) mocked Republican candidates and Conservative views. Movies always portrayed Conservative values as evil and harmful, sneaking this attitude in everywhere. For example, I watched a movie about a hard-working family struggling out of poverty, their saga pulling at my young heartstrings. As the parents sat in their empty business one night, bemoaning their losses and investment in the face of their failing business, the wife asked her husband how such a tragedy had happened.
“Reganomics,” the husband growled.
The only thing I remember about Independent Ross Perot running for President in 1992 are political cartoons in which he was drawn with comically large ears and a derisive caption about his policies.
Democrats and Liberal viewpoints and policies were NEVER presented or inserted negatively in this way.
Talk shows made a farce of fairness by bringing on odd, unappealing Conservatives against well-spoken, appealing Liberals. (On one of the most popular talk show, the Conservative adults showed up dressed like children wearing their Sunday school clothes and holding index cards with talking points to which they referred throughout the program. Opposite them were Madonna’s main dancers.) On top of that, the host or hostess manipulated the discussion to make the Conservatives seem even more unappealing, crazy, and uncompassionate. These taped shows were also edited to make the Conservatives look even wackier and the Liberals even more appealing. I did not know any of this then and it all just “proved” to me that the Conservative side was not only wrong, but silly and pathetic.
I could blame my blindness to this obvious manipulation on having been young, but the fact is that Americans of all ages continue to allow themselves to be brainwashed in this manner.
Despite the innate bigotry against Jews in Europe, Nazi Germany still needed incontrovertible scientific proof to convince the cultured, educated German people to go along with Hitler’s program.
So they took eugenics, an age-old idea (Plato discussed it) that basically meant mating people considered particularly intelligent and healthy with the same while discouraging the opposite.
Francis Galton took the idea of species evolution from his cousin, Charles Darwin, and applied it solely to human development, coining the term and field of “eugenics” in 1883.
While Galton initially spurred the study of eugenics as focusing on hereditary human traits, others took this idea and expanded it to include a social philosophy.
Nazi Germany then took this and created a pseudoscience out of it, complete with studies and diagrams, and strongly emphasized the social philosophy:
- People are NOT born equal.
- Genetic fitness determines one’s innate value & moral fiber.
There are many examples of pseudoscience today.
Let’s look briefly at the science of “teen brain”:
The increasingly immature and dysfunctional behavior of adolescents that is extending further and further beyond one’s teens is often blamed on “teen brain.”
Experts use charts and diagrams to show how teens aren’t really capable of better behavior or decision-making. However, the truth is that brain development is influenced by thought patterns and behavior. You can strengthen or change various parts of the brain merely by changing specific thoughts or actions.
Yet what they like to call “teen brain” is often the result of immature and dysfunctional behavior, often combined with poor nutrition, and not the cause of poor choices and bad habits (although this becomes a reinforcing cycle).
The result of this faulty science foisted on society is the indulgence of young adults, low expectations, psychiatric medication, family angst, and a dysfunctional society.
(For a fascinating look at this, please see Dr. Epstein's article Let’s Abolish High School or his incredible book, The Case against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.)
Furthermore, accepting all sorts of behavior as a normal, unavoidable stage relieves parents and society from implementing any changes to improve the situation. If it is a necessary stage (like teething), then it is pointless to even try doing anything about it.
Talk about learned helplessness.
Parents characteristically roll their eyes and moan, “Teeeeenaaaagerrrr…” when discussing their children’s irresponsible or distressing behavior, feeling helpless and feeling that it is pointless to do anything more.
This is despite the fact that examples abound in recent memory of teenage success in adult endeavors: marriage, child-rearing, scholarship, work, entrepreneurship, and much more.
Psychiatric medication is commonly recommended to teens based on this type of teen-brain "science."
And if you refuse to accept the socially accepted “science,” whether it’s global warming, evolution, fetal development, or a host of other twisted or outright bogus science—regardless of how many facts exist to back your refusal—you will be mocked.
And everything, whether it’s TV, books, newspapers (especially via cartoons), movies, etc., is used to make fun of and deride anyone who refuses to kowtow to the decided “science.”