Controlling the Perceptions of the Covid-19 Vaccine
As a writer, I have spent countless hours studying the processes of social change. As a student in a social work program, I was told my political conservatism and attitudes against social justice and white privilege made me unfit for the profession. According to my professor, all social workers leaned to the left and a belief in socialism is essential. The field of social work couldn’t exist, after all, without heavy-handed government and its power to redistribute wealth. While I was able to hang in long enough to complete the undergraduate degree, I was ultimately denied the master’s for these same reasons, despite having a 3.5 GPA. These programs were dominated by radical leftists who hated America. I gained great insight into left-wing thinking as I learned that there is nothing they won’t do, and no lie they won’t tell to push their agenda. I spent the following years writing about Saul Alinsky, white privilege, Marxism, and Critical Race Theory. In 2019, I enrolled in Liberty University’s Master of Professional Writing Program. The last class I took was a communications class on the psychology of persuasion. This changed my entire perspective. Just as communications studies began replacing propaganda analysis in the early 1900s, my focus also shifted to the cognitive processes involved in persuasive communications. Particularly when it comes to media.
Many Americans are awakening to the reality that the mainstream media is pushing a biased agenda and leans heavily to the democratic left. “The news media,” according to the book Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, “exert significant influence on our perceptions of what are the most salient issues of the day.” Unfortunately, too many Americans fail to see that all mainstream news, even Fox, is working to form perceptions and shape public opinion. According to the book The Manufacture of Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, mainstream news operates under something called the Propaganda Model. The media’s job, according to Chomsky and Herman, is to “inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society.”
While Fox appears to be conservative, their deviation from the mainstream agenda is allowed to give the illusion of conflict. Haven’t you ever noticed there are certain issues that Fox pushes just as hard as left-wing networks? Covid-19 and the vaccine are great examples. While Fox may be working to create the perception they are against mandates, they still treat the vaccine, and how fast it was manufactured, as a good thing. You also have many prominent media and government figures, as another example, arguing against mandates but at the same time, admitting that they have received the shot. Even Donald Trump is encouraging people to get vaccinated. This is an attempt to persuade Americans into compliance. This will be discussed in greater detail later.
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“The beauty of the system, however, is that such dissent and inconvenient information are within bounds and at the margins so that while their presence shows that the system is not monolithic, they are not large enough to interfere unduly with the domination of the official agenda.” (Chomsky & Herman, 1988)
What is the larger agenda? Compliance with the Covid-19 narrative.
As far as creating public perceptions go, most people realize the major networks are pushing a socialist agenda while working to present the left-wing narrative as morally superior. The Rittenhouse trial, and the inevitable not-guilty verdict, are good examples. The left presents the violent actions of their mobs as virtuous protests against a system of institutional racism and structural inequality. Kyle Rittenhouse was accused of being a white supremacist and the individuals he defended himself against were almost being treated as the new freedom fighters. Right-wing beliefs are being equated with extremism and conservatives, as potential terrorists. Americans, and thankfully so, aren’t really buying into this. Even moderate democrats grow tired of these antics.
Another narrative pushed to form public perception was, of course, Covid-19. Almost overnight, millions of people who referred to mainstream media as fake news fell for the fear campaign and complied without question to the government’s dictates. Over time, it became obvious that mask mandates would lead to vaccine mandates. While the mainstream media still presents the vaccine as the only way to return to normal, Americans are, by and large, rejecting the idea that government, or their employers, can force them to get vaccinated. President Biden’s attempt to coerce employers to take on the burden of enforcing his dictatorial dreams has been stayed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals due to major constitutional concerns. It was The New England Journal of Medicine who first made the recommendation by suggesting such concerns could be avoided by giving employers the power to mandate the shot. OSHA has also suspended the rule until further review by the courts due to the numerous lawsuits being filed by the states. Many governors are taking a stand against this federal encroachment on their policing powers, while at the same time, still encouraging people to get vaccinated. This is a way of appearing to take a principled stand while attempting to persuade people to get the jab.
When it comes to the vaccine, the narrative being pushed was that Donald Trump initiated operation warp speed, which led to the creation of the shot. This is being presented as one of Trump’s greatest accomplishments by prominent right-wing media. Even those who disagree with mandates will follow along with this narrative. Is this true? I generally do not say anything I cannot back up with an academic journal or some other credible source of information. In some cases, I cannot prove something beyond any doubt and will admit that my conclusions are speculation based on what evidence I could find. In other cases, the evidence speaks for itself. Information concerning Covid-19 has been nothing but inconsistent at best, and outright deceitful at worst. Why would the creation of the vaccine be different? According to an article entitled “We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time,” the Covid jab was designed and ready for mass production by January 2020. If you remember, Covid-19 didn’t hit our shores in a major way until March. To give credibility to this claim, this video, at the 3-minute fifty-second mark, shows a scientist admitting that the vaccine was created in a matter of hours based on the genetic sequencing done by Chinese Scientists, which they downloaded on their website. An article by The U.S. Sun, dated December 2020, highlights the fact that the Moderna shot was ready almost a year before the article was published. The point is, there are several sources claiming the vaccine existed before Donald Trump initiated warp speed. According to David Wallace-Wells, the term operation warp speed alludes more to the fast-tracking of clinical trials and getting the vaccine to market as quickly as possible. This stands to reason, as Pfizer has recently been exposed for lying about the number of deaths in their clinical trials. Most people opposed to the shot have done their research and realize we are still in the experimental phases.
Another piece of evidence that gives credibility to the above claims is an executive order issued by President Trump. In 2019 he signed order 13887, Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health. Is it a coincidence that this order was signed just a few months before the Covid vaccines were created? I would speculate that the answer is no. One of the purposes of the order was to speed up the manufacture of influenza vaccines and develop more effective “cell-based” technologies, as opposed to the egg-based vaccines which are typically used. Those who have researched the issue know that mRNA technology has existed for decades. Vaccines using mRNA, however, have never been brought to human trials, until now.
The larger point of this article is how media shapes our perceptions and forms public opinions. Many people will not steer away from the narrative that Trump fast-tracked the vaccine, or that Fox represents conservative views and CNN, liberal views. The larger truth is that Fox defines and creates conservative perceptions and CNN, liberal beliefs. They are literally telling us what to think as opposed to just presenting us the latest news and letting us make up our minds. The media is a tool of societal transformation and social justice, and after decades of research into how people respond to media communications, they have taken the arts of persuasion and propaganda to new heights as they work to form opinions which on either side, “condition and mold man’s mind so that its comprehension is confined to a narrow, totalitarian concept of the world.”
As a writer, I have taken a keen interest in exposing what I have learned about the left and their methodologies. Over the years I have taken major criticism as I believe the conservative right, or what they want us to believe is the conservative right, should be held accountable by voters just as the liberal left would be. The biggest challenge is getting readers past the idea that there is a right and left in government, and both Republicans and Democrats are working incrementally to push the same big-government agenda. Of course, I am not the only person who believes such a thing.
“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies…is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years, if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things, but will pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” (Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time)
Article posted with permission from David Risselada