The Brainwashing of My Dad: How Rightwing Agitprop Creates Zombies

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Trump train tolling: out in

Trump train tolling: out in force in these comments.

I am another one of those family members who has suffered a parent's descent into bigotry, hatred, anger and an inability to think for herself politically or morally since my Dad died and she became a regular fan of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. In Mom's case, right-wing media's discriminatory male voices fill a gap in her life since Dad died. He was, back in the day, a freedom fighter for desegregation, standing with his black brothers and sisters as a student at the University of Mississippi when racist George Wallace called out the troops against black citizens. So if there's turning in the grave about Mom's brainwashing into bigotry, Dad may be doing that.

Sad for Mom, and for me, too, as her only adult child in our small family, because Mom once thought for herself and now no longer trusts her own judgment about politics. For instance, she watched the presidential candidates' first debate on Monday and was sure that Trump: (A) snorted strangely, (B) oddly drank much more water than Mark Rubio had been criticized for doing during a primary debate, and (C) was unprepared, unfocused, incoherent with word salad, bizarrely defensive, prone to uncivil interruptions, and very rude both to Clinton and the moderator. She clearly saw (A) through (C) in dismay, having been programmed by Fox and "Rush," as she calls him, to loathe and despise everything about Clinton (who with Obama is believed to be the cause of all evil in the world). But she also had been a Ted Cruz supporter during the primaries (at the time before Rush supported Trump) and knew by witnessing the debate that Trump had been, as she put it, "no debater and a shame for real conservatives."

Within 30 minutes post-debate of hearing the ludicrous pro-Trump debate spin of Fox news propaganda, Mom had concluded that they were right and she was wrong. Trump won, yay, she had "heard what Fox had to say." (Any sane viewer of all 90 minutes of the debate would not call it a win but instead an embarrassment for ill-informed, deceitful, uncivil Trump. Brainwashing operates like a form of insanity.)

My mother has indeed been brainwashed, and she no longer trusts her own mind and perceptions in the political realm of thought and opinion. She has traded compassionate Christian values for bigoted hatred against "the other." Four days ago she angrily and derisively cursed, using the n-word (which was never used in our family before), after tuning in to days on end of the Fox News disparagement of blacks protesting against police violence. I told her it wasn't okay to speak like that, and she wasn't at all apologetic. But because she's elderly with health challenges, I changed the subject, aware once again that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have taken control of significant parts of my Mom's mind and personality.

Many people are saying (or at least they would if they knew these facts about my Mom): Heartbreaking.

Scot Fourowls 212 days ago

The real zombies are those

The real zombies are those who push for equality of outcomes. This is because if we all have the same outcome it would look no different than the peasants do in North Korea. If the tax rate is 99% of everyones income at all income levels, what would be the incentive to work? Human beings make different choices when there are different sets of rewards or consequences. If you get $500 for every time you hit a child would child assult increase? What if you had to buzz your head bald to cast a vote in an election? People weigh costs and benefits when making choices. If the costs or benefits change then different choices will be made. Why don't you at least make an attempt to find out the reason your dad agrees with certain positions instead of calling names. Use your intelligence to create a well reasoned argument that has supporting evidence.

Kevin Smith more than 1 year ago

What if your dad is right? It

What if your dad is right? It appears that the evidence points to: more government=less freedom. Reason and evidence leads one to consider the possibility that without individual liberty you will have tyranny. A tyrant like Hitler or Stalin or Mao. What is so wrong with a free and independent people?

David White more than 1 year ago

It is true that getting your

It is true that getting your information from a single perspective isn't ideal. Yet that's basically how it was up until Rush Limbaugh, the internet and Fox News. Before then, most people heard only a liberal point of view. Now they can choose. Many still choose to be poorly informed. It's unfortunate that so many choose to be poorly informed when there are so many choices nowadays.

long-time observer more than 1 year ago

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