Headlines were made last week when the results of an experiment by two New York University professors went viral. The study was designed to demonstrate gender bias by reenacting the 2016 presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, except the gender for each was reversed. In other words, a woman recited the statements of Trump and a male reenacted Hillary Clinton’s original comments made during the debates.
The goal of the ‘Her Opponent’ project was to prove that people would not have accepted Trump’s aggressive behavior had it come from a woman, and that Hillary’s debate style would be much more likable if she were a man.
Ironically, the exact opposite happened.
The professors and audiences of the mock debates, however, were ‘unsettled’ to discover that the opposite was true – Trump became more likable as a woman and Hillary became even less likable as a man.
At last. Although it took a scientific observation to remove the prejudice against Trump’s gender, these people could FINALLY see what the tolerant, open-minded “Deplorable” voters saw all along.
Reading about this experiment inspired me to consider other ways by which conceptual bridges might be built to span the ever-growing ideological gulf now separating America’s blue state people from her red state citizens. The following is my proposed plan of action:
Neo in the Matrix – Blue Pill, Red Pill
I would start out by asking any interested, liberal-leaning persons if they have viewed the Matrix Trilogy in order to establish a common understanding. For those who have not seen this science fiction series, I would explain how the actor Keanu Reeves plays a hacker by the name of Neo who learns his entire world is a digital universe created by computers which had enslaved the human race. In the first movie, a member of the “resistance”, named Morpheus (played by Lawrence Fishburne), entered the Matrix to recruit Neo by asking him to ingest a red pill to learn the truth or a blue pill, whereby nothing would change.
Neo chose the red pill and, in turn, “woke up” to discover he was nothing more than a living “battery” whose body was electrically charging the computer simulation along with hundreds of thousands of other poor souls dreaming in a digital world.
For those who are philosophically inclined and scientifically minded, I would refer them to academics in the field of philosophy like, Nick Bostrom, and astrophysicists, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, who, today, propose our entire universe may actually be a simulation.
Neo in the Matrix digesting the red pill and waking up in a world of truth might be a good way to begin dividing my hypothetical “blue-state people” from the “hive”.
Bubblevison: The Mainstream Media
Next, I would inform my liberal “guinea pigs” that only six corporations control 90% of the media today and how these corporations comprise what is called “The Mainstream Media”. This means a little over 200 media executives control the information regimen of near 300 million Americans. If this was NOT true, then how else could the following video be explained?
and how these corporations comprise what is called “The Mainstream Media”. This means a little over 200 media executives control the information regimen of near 300 million Americans. If this was NOT true, then how else could the following video be explained?
I would then make mention of Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who was the famous pioneer in the field of public relations and author of the book “Propaganda”, in which he wrote:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
I would also quote Adolf Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, and his assertion that:
A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.
Then, knowing my liberal subjects would have most likely heard of Trump’s accused collusion with Russia and the alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election, I would inform them of the recent WikiLeaks Vault 7 revelations and the program entitled UMBRAGE whereby American intelligence agencies were revealed to have the ability to counterfeit internet hacks from other countries.
Next, I would point out how the Wikileaks dump occurred on Wednesday, March 8 2017, and by Thursday, the next day, there were no Russian election hacking stories in any of the mainstream media. Zero.
“How could this be?” I would ask my blue-state identifying test subjects before continuing into the next stages of experimental elucidation.