My brain sort of exploded this morning so I jotted this down.
Start with entertainments: Introduce television so that gradually, people are no longer spending as much time outdoors or talking with each other. As they get accustomed to this pattern of staying home and watching television, they will have less willingness to talk to neighbors and meet new people. They will have a reduced inclination to participate in town hall meetings which is where Americans have historically hashed out differences, learned what their neighbors think and perhaps shifted their own opinions somewhat. Their physical fitness will decline.
Over decades, make entertainments more splashy and hypnotic through reliance on the same faces in multiple venues, flashing lights, bright colors and loud, overly-stimulating sound tracks. De-emphasize integrity or moral lessons in entertainment. Emphasize the trivial. Dehumanize entertainment by removing lessons in empathy, kindness, honesty and other positive characteristics. Force in aspects of cultural change that are desirable to financial and political interests.
Launch increased reliance on and addiction to pharmaceuticals: More broadly distribute prescription drugs, encouraging the free prescribing of addictive drugs like Miltown tranquilizers, followed by Valium and weight-loss stimulants, followed by opioids. When opioids start being distributed profusely, do not address this problem in any effective manner. Do not prosecute those responsible.
Get illicit drug use spreading throughout the young population: Popularize illicit drugs starting in the 1960s. Make illicit drugs a part of a broad cultural shift that professes greater self-determinism and free thinking. Behind the scenes, facilitate this shift.
Damage education: Erode the educational base subtly but steadily. Begin to extract such features as a deep understanding of language by learning Latin and a grasp of how the individual has power to control his country by knowing his Constitutional rights. Introduce confusing mathematics that make children feel stupid and offer no method of correcting this feeling. Start making the teaching profession more difficult and unpleasant. Minimize vocabulary lessons to reduce literacy. Eliminate controversial literature from curriculums and libraries that might teach youth alternative viewpoints and encourage them to make their own choices about how to think. Introduce baffling concepts and values that have nothing to do with becoming literate, educated and able to think logically.
Adulterate the medical industry: Skew principles of “healing” toward greater use of pharmaceuticals with less dependence on doctor intelligence, experience and integrity. Impose restrictions on treatment through the insurance industry, federal edicts and guidelines from both government and what seem to be grassroots, charitable, public interest or professional groups (but are not). Obscure information that teaches that healthy lifestyles reduce the incidence of unpleasant, unhealthy, life-limiting and fatal conditions. Contaminate the environment with blatantly false information about health through official publications and those public interest groups. Blackmail and pay medical professionals to support this false information. Support these actions with widespread PR and advertising that goes directly to consumers.
Legalize harmful and addictive substances: Campaign endlessly for the legalization of drugs that were once considered illicit and harmful. Create a smokescreen that touches on a few tiny valid points and use those to obscure the addictiveness and harm that result to individuals and society as a result of these drugs. Use marijuana as the leader and, once this door has been cracked open, follow this with legalization of all other common drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and synthetics. In one state after another, use public relations, advertising, spokespeople and sympathy to enact legislation to accomplish these goals. Obscure the real effects of drug use and the staggering societal costs that follow.
Control addiction treatment: Once addiction rises, establish a tightly-controlled system of addiction treatment that only endorses the use of medications as treatment. Redefine addiction, recovery, sobriety and abstinence as needed to conform to this system.
Finally, maintain control over the entire system: Maintain a tight Good Old Boy network that perpetuates these lies and keeps funding flowing only into the hands of those who agree and openly support all these principles. Kill off other options by starving them of funding. At the same time, give lip service to faith-based and community-based efforts to help. Dole out small packages of support to these groups for PR reasons but ensure that primary and major funding go to the loyal individuals, groups, agencies and foundations.
These are only some of the avenues chosen for this task. I’m sure you could add more.