Back in the early 1970s during my experience of being ground through the American public education machine I was in Social Studies class somewhere around 9th grade. Anyhoo, talk turned to the Cold War and the USA and the USSR.
One of the bits of conventional wisdom of the day, often repeated in the media. was that slowly but surely the US and USSR were becoming closer and eventually the systems would be hard to distinguish as the USSR would gradually gain more prosperity and freedom and the US would gradually increase welfare protections and exercise more (benevolent) control on the economy. It should be pointed out that both of those things seemed to be happening at the time.
The US was still following the New Deal paradigm of FDR and even Republican presidents governed like social democrats while the USSR did seem to be becoming a bit more prosperous (I think I’ve read that the peak of Soviet prosperity was around 1970 before the Brezhnev doctrine began dragging it back down).
Still the teacher made quick work of this patent nonsense and as apolitical as I was at the time I essentially agreed that the foundations of the two systems were too different to ever resemble each other. The next 20 years certainly seemed to back up my teacher’s prognosis.
Fast forward another almost 20 years and… the US is actually becoming a lot more like the USSR, not so much materially but… spiritually.
Get caught in a bit of wrongthink and your career is over. I think it’s insane and that the people that actively engage in it seem to be suffering from severe mental illness in desperate need of treatment. That anyone wants real world consequences to flow from casual private comments or online viewing habits or tweets of all things is not…. healthy. Twitter is the only social media that I follow (because it’s occasionally funny) but the idea that people use it to politically persecute others for what they write there is very scary.
To make things worse, the things that people are expected to publicly believe and profess are flat out demented on the surface. Maybe why the sanctions for violating sacred and absurd public doctrine are so severe. The way you know someone is completely cowed (or is a true believer) is by making them pretend to believe in nonsense and repeat it back to you convincingly. And the use of labels instead of arguments is also telling –words like “racist” and “fascist” have become so degraded from hysterical overuse that no psychologically healthy person can be concerned with them, yet concerned they must be lest they be called out as witches.