- - Tuesday, May 18, 2021

No, it’s not your imagination. The Democratic Party, and in particular the people who run the federal government, are constantly trying to push you into a certain way of life and into particular behaviors.

There is an actual method to this madness, it’s a theory that former Obama adviser Cass Sunstein and economist Richard Thaler introduced to some acclaim in their 2008 book “Nudge.”  

Essentially, this is the theory that government should use environments that exist, or even create situations socially, that “nudge” the citizen into particular behaviors. It’s a confession of those who imagine you being a mouse in a maze, and their new plan to get you to their preferred end is to place cheese along the way. Expecting you not to notice or care, of course, because you’re just a mouse. 

The liberal and global establishments cooed over the book. Not surprisingly as it normalized subtle but obscene abuses of power. It is the opposite of what the Founders designed, which is a government to oversee stability as we pursued our unique, individual American dreams. Tired of trying to persuade you into excepting their dumb ideas, the Democrats now obsess over controlling the environment to force you into a lane.

The most recent nudging comes courtesy of the Biden administration and its response to the Colonial Pipeline hacking. The perfect example is Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s bizarre response to the gas shortage created by the disruption of the pipeline.



The Washington Examiner reported, “Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm gave a pithy response at a White House press briefing last week. A reporter asked her how the government would be responding in the wake of the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack by Russian hackers. ‘We obviously are ‘all in’ on making sure that we meet the president’s goals of getting to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,’ Granholm said. ‘And, you know, if you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you, clearly.’” 

Clearly, they’ve moved on from nudges to shameless shoves.

In 2016, The New York Post reported on what some claimed to be the deliberate decision to make driving in New York City a miserable experience. “City officials have intentionally ground Midtown to a halt with the hidden purpose of making drivers so miserable that they leave their cars at home and turn to mass transit or bicycles, high-level sources told The Post. … The goal of the jammed traffic is to shift as many drivers as possible to public transit or bicycles. An added benefit was supposed to be safer streets, but city officials have said that while 45,000 fewer cars and trucks now come into Midtown daily than in 2010, pedestrian deaths are on the uptick this year,” reported the newspaper. 

So many injuries are piling up in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced he’s considering requiring bicycles to have license plates. Who cares about the increase in injuries when the nudge is working?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently made a major COVID-19 decision by announcing outdoor events would be segregated based on vaccination status. The decision to revert to something that vile and not required by any “science” points instead to the nudge of manipulating people into getting the vaccine through public shame and punishment.

Unfortunately, we have allowed the Democrats and big government sycophants like Big Tech, legacy media and woke corporatists to get away with this abuse of the freedom this country represents and relies on. We tell ourselves they mean well. But take it from me — they don’t.

Knowing about nudge theory doesn’t solve the problem, but it does provide an explanation about why crazy things keep getting planned and implemented by the swamp, be it at the local, state or federal levels. It also reminds you that you’re not the crazy one. 

As I mentioned on Fox News last week as the left became enraged with the lifting of mask mandates as that, too, was a nudge to surrender to government control of the most minute details of our lives, such as how we dress and the forcing of children to wear masks:

“The American spirit is one of independence. We don’t like to be lied to. We don’t like to be abused. We are opposed to the nature of using children to move along policy goals. And this is why, by the way, they’re upset with what the feds have done when it comes to the masks because up until now, they’ve been able to point local officials and state officials can point to Washington and say, oh, there’s nothing we can do. Now, they can be held to account. And that is what local individuals, everyone watching this program in your town, city and state must do. You must be heard. It matters. They think that if you’re silent, you acquiesce. We must not allow that to happen …”

So the next time you see some tiny tyrant using regulations and rules to force you into complying with a particular liberal “wish fantasy” agenda, as C.G. Jung would call it, remind yourself this is not normal, it’s not freedom, and it’s imperative we resist and reject. 

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.

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