Brainwashing is a terrible thing. It’s what happens when a person is exposed to only one point of view and any opposition to it is always portrayed in a negative light. In totalitarian regimes brainwashing is done through control of the media and promulgation of propaganda.
Have you ever wondered how Germans could have followed Hitler in support of his hellish policies? It’s easy actually. Germans thought Hitler was right because their state controlled monolithic, propaganda-producing media, told them he was right, and they were never told he was wrong.
The same thing is happening in Russia right now. More than 50% of Russians support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. They do so because Putin and the state controlled media are telling them Ukrainian leaders are Nazis, are persecuting Russians in Ukraine, and are controlled by US and Nato forces intent on destroying Russia. None of that is true, of course, but Russians believe it, and they believe it because they are told that and told nothing to the contrary.
Evangelicals look at the examples of the Nazis and modern day Russia and thank God they live in a country where the government cannot brainwash them, but then they voluntarily choose to brainwash themselves. They do this by getting their news from only one source (typically Fox News) or from the same ideological stream of sources (Breitbart, Newsmax, Fox News). As a result, all that evangelicals hear merely reinforces what they have already heard.
The world looks at American evangelicals and wonders how they can be COVID deniers when 1,000,000 Americans have died of COVID, or how they can believe the election was stolen from Trump when all 63 lawsuits filed to overturn the election failed, or how they can justify or minimize an insurrection by Trumpers at the U.S. Capital. It’s easy. They have chose to brainwash themselves. GS