One of the foundations behind manipulation is manipulated regression. That is, the manipulator regresses the target into a state of childlike helplessness at which point the target relinquishes control.
Some of how this is accomplished is laid out in Douglas Rushkoff’s Coercion: Why we listen to what ‘they’ say, which describes some of the ways this keeps so much of the public in dumb, happy consumer mode.
What strikes me, is just how omnipresent this has become.
The modern American consumer
From my detached European perspective, the single leitmotiff that best captures American media at present is infantilization. Almost every aspect seems aimed at regressing readers to a childlike state where they gratefully receive instruction. From click-bait headlines that treat the reader like a not very bright five year old “Here’s what we know about the turnip futures scandal” to the perpetual jr high mean girl rhetoric of supposed feminists and their “Diana Prince’s last name is male. Here’s why that’s wrong”.