What comes through the television, radio and internet in the form of views expressed by highly influential personalities, whether they be political, scientific or religious carry with them a greatly under-estimated power to sway the masses. Though most will assume themselves to be free thinkers, generally people will not hesitate to "parrot" an opinion from an "expert" which they agree with.
Here is how public opinion gets pushed...
Appeal to humanitarianism: Most of us want to believe that we are humane individuals who want the best for others. Knowing this..the landscapers of public opinion can not represent their ideas in the harsh terms they really resemble in the light of day..they must appeal to some "greater good" to support their view. It becomes a necessity for the greater good to sacrifice freedom, quality of life or even life itself so that the many can be benefited though it comes at cost to the few. The "lesser of two evils" is often the staple philosophy behind such supposed humanitarian appeals. It is better to vaccinate children with the risk of complications that take some greater risk with contagious diseases. It is better to subject airline passengers to a little dangerous radiation and a brief humiliating experience, insisting they go through a body scanner than to risk safety to possible hijackers. (etc..)
Instill Fear: Whenever possible it behooves the pushers to subtly suggest that the alternative to their viewpoint will result in calamity and suffering. Always having a mythical but much believed in Bogeyman to threaten the public with is very effective. Popular Bogeymen we've heard much about are such imposing figures as Mr. Al Qaeda, Captain Global Warming and Dr. Incurable Disease.
Convince the Public of their Incompetence: The sweetly delivered but condescending message that many minds have accepted is that the public is simply too unintelligent to form their own opinions or gather their own evidence. You are quickly told to sit down and be quiet (in more subtle terms of course) should you begin asking too many insightful questions about widely accepted beliefs. The insistence which filters through is that the people are not experts and only experts are qualified to set a standard of opinion or have enough knowledge to comprehend why that opinion should be considered correct. Even the layperson who is considered more intelligent than average is likely to simply be someone who has a better memory for retaining all the answers which they have heard the "experts" preach rather than the one who questions those experts.
Push a Subjective View of Reality: I can be wrong and you can be wrong and we can all be wrong together...but they would have you believe something to the opposite effect of this which flies in the face of basic sanity: "I can be right and you can be right and we can all be right together..even though none of us agree." This is supposedly a recipe for peace in society...the idea that we can each retain our own view of reality but we can't call another view wrong or attempt to correct it. In the end this politically correct philosophy is hypocritical since those views which agree with the mainstream become those views which are protected from the "fringe" who would differ. The common sense understanding that right is correct and wrong...isn't...is no longer acceptable.
Encourage Emotionalism: It's impossible to impress rational minds with the irrational..so rational thinking is not the friend of anyone attempting the brainwash the public. Emotion is the catalyst by which people become entrenched in illusions of perception. Advertising is designed to produce euphoric feelings at the thought of owning something shiny and new. Fluff human interest stories on the news evoke emotions of sympathy or shallow happiness, distracting attention from real world changing events. What people tend to care about and spend the greatest amount of concern with becomes the things which effect them on an emotional level. The opinions and views which people hold become those which gratify their emotional interests.
Shape a Livestock Mentality: Livestock do not normally attempt to defend themselves from whatever use their masters might have for them, even if that use means they end up dead. In the same way people are encouraged to view authority figures as above questioning and if one should question them it is perceived as abnormal and even dangerous. The public is strongly under the impression that they must be kept, maintained and protected by "authorities" of government, military and medicine. The ideas of self sufficiency, self defense or naturally self medicating are regarded with suspicion and fear of an almost superstitious nature.
Overcome The Serpent System...
There is no one who would not benefit from a conscious effort to combat the subconscious warfare against their individuality, creativity and ability to think resourcefully. From the very asleep to the fairly awake...no one is utterly immune to the constant pressures of mind bending tactics perpetrated on society at large. Becoming consciously aware that such a thing is intentionally designed is only half the battle...there needs to then be a committed effort to rethink everything from the ground up for each individual. These are some conscious mental reminders which if employed as habit can go a long way to begin thinking as an individual in the midst of a world that thinks like a herd....
Let the Creator and His Commandments Be Your Measure of Morality: No matter what is presented as good, beneficial or humanitarian, no matter what leaps of "logic" might be presented to make a course of action seem necessary for the "greater good"...if even one individual is wronged in the process..it's wrong. Man can not redefine morality, being immoral creatures, to suit their convenience...a lesser of two evils is always still evil.
Have Faith, Not Fear: Once one puts their trust in YHWH, knowing that there is no situation too dire to prevent His protection and that not even death is to be feared...no amount of badgering with fear tactics will cause that one to make irrational judgements based on some real or imagined threat.
Recognize Your Own Intelligence: You are not lower species than those who are deemed "experts"...you have the mental capacity to wrestle with challenging concepts, identify sensible answers and reject senseless ones. Given the time and the desire, most people are perfectly capable of comprehending complex subject matters and coming to better conclusions about them than those they have been led to believe. The Creator made mankind with big brains... amen.
Truth Is Stable and Doesn't Ask Our Opinion: Just as there is an obvious and unavoidable answer to 1+1...there is a similarly sure, correct answer to everything else...even if we don't know them all. We need to humbly recognize that we have to yield to truth as it won't yield to us and stick by that in spite of every argument of "tolerance" the world throws at us. Tolerance of people should mean being compassionate and honest, while the level of tolerance we have for ideas needs to be judged according to real morality and technical correctness.
Think More, Feel Less: Removing every instinct to be offended, flattered, enticed, excited or scared and simply analyzing the raw data has the effect of bringing us to conclusions which are grounded in the best of what we Know rather than simple drives and urges. Whereas we might Feel enticed to buy an advertised product...the facts dictate that it is unnecessary and overpriced. There is a reason that the eyes are connected to the brain and not the heart... :)
You are Not a Kept Pet: You have the ability to think and act like an independent entity. You are able to learn new skills to provide for, protect and defend you and your family and it is normal behavior to utilize them within your capacity. There should likewise be no reasonable expectation of consistent and benevolent provision or protection from government agencies or medical personnel. Free means free..let's live it.