Bear with me as I relate an incident I witnessed a couple of years ago; an important point lies at the end of this true story. I was standing in the checkout line at a Barnes & Noble bookstore when I noticed a mother pushing her two toddlers through the store in one of those tandem strollers. One child began moaning, not loudly, but persistently. I’ve raised two children, and I’m familiar with the sounds they can make to express their feelings. This wasn’t an expression of pain, hunger, tiredness, or any kind of stress that I could sense. The child almost sounded bored. The moaning continued. The mother then handed him a bag of Cheetos. Well that shut the little tyke up immediately as he dug into his tasty snack. Then the other toddler started making the exact same noise and immediately got an identical bag of Cheetos for his non-verbal effort.
I’m about to use a word I’ve never used before: infantilize. It means to treat someone as a child or in a way that denies their maturity in age or experience. It’s become the preferred tactic our government uses to manipulate the public. Worse, many citizens have consented to this manipulation. And even worse still, as a trend over time, it’s become conditioned behavior passed down from generation to generation.