It used to be that the large majority of the electorate shared several qualities. They were well informed, well educated, successful, independent, intelligent and able. These people, these voters were trusted with honest and accurate information that empowered them to form their own opinions on individual issues without needing to rely on the key words "Democrat," or "Republican" to help them fill in the right circle on a voting ballot. These people then influenced the people they knew by spreading this information and providing additional insight and context through conversation and by answering questions. Now we ask Google everything and every result we are fed is one-sided and more toxic than what we searched for in the first place.
Things changed surprisingly quickly. The well informed, well educated, successful, independent, intelligent and able electorate became watered down with misinformed, entitled, susceptible and inexperienced voters (new age chums). Suddenly, when everyone was "informed" directly, the information changed. It became a contest to capture the most chums as possible, as quickly as possible. After they were captured they were "initiated" and over time they were subtly intimidated out of thinking for themselves by seeing people they know (or know of) being publicly chastised for having and voicing a view other than the acceptable narrative.
How did this happen so quickly? A perfect storm of change happened in the early 2010's when three things collided:
Technology provided us direct, minute by minute access to (eventual mis-)information.
Social media provided a way for this information to more quickly and effectively infect us from more trusted sources (our friends).
Power hungry and corrupt politicians recognized this.
When corrupt politicians realized they had an easy new way to influence a huge group of unclaimed people (territory as they see it) - they seized the opportunity.
This brainwashing started out subtly with mostly honest but still biased information being fed to the masses. New age chums were brainwashed, but it wasn't enough. Things dramatically changed when the results were not satisfactory to the hungriest of the hippo's.
The news we were fed started to become more dramatic. Inaccurate click-bait headlines dominated the media and these new age chums were now "activated." These susceptible new age chums were fed troves of misinformation - some of which fed into the newly expanded entitlement culture through promises of a "better tomorrow" when our today was already flourishing.
It's like if one day you woke up and everywhere you looked there were inaccurate but believable smear campaigns against Labrador Retrievers. Eventually you would start to believe that Labs were terrible animals when in reality a group of rogue Golden Retrievers paid German Shepherds to destroy Labs because Golden Retrievers weren't voted America's #1 dog.
Something else to consider is the fact that if you speak up against this brainwashing, or otherwise present as a threat to the endorsed narrative, you are almost immediately "canceled," with your career and reputation publicly destroyed. This suppression and intimidation is an extremely powerful weapon. What is really concerning is not knowing why politicians and the media crave this power so much. They don't care about us, or else they would be working together with the other side instead of weighing us down with confusion. They don't care about us. They care about power.
After all of this happening, we're left with so much chaos to sift through, so many deeply engrained lies to research and invalidate, it is hard to know who to trust and I am afraid it will only get worse. The political system in America has essentially been reduced to rubble and is being held hostage by the most corrupt politicians who - if they're not elected - will completely tear us apart.
Stop drinking the kool-aid. Think for yourself. See through the chaos. The online world is not an accurate reflection of the real world.