Begging the question: A logical fallacy whereby a presupposed conclusion drives the questions of the argument to support the conclusion.
You see, the process of destroying a nation is simple.
Belief is most often driven by fear. Not always, mind you — love and hope are also strong — but fear is the strongest motivator. And so in order to install belief, you must stoke fear.
There is always the “other”, people who are different from you, strangers with bizarre beliefs and questionable ethics… but still people. This is unacceptable. They should not be people but demons, clearly on the side of evil, irrational and ready to attack at any moment for no reason other than that they are depraved.
So take the extreme minority, the violent ones, no matter how small or few, and feed to the other side a constant stream of the evil, violent insanity of their opposition. Images and videos are best, but most important is to frame the context. These incidents cannot be considered isolated; they must be framed as part of a greater whole, a massive movement, an infection that is spreading at an unprecedented rate. Most importantly, the context must at the very least suggest, if not outright state, how their opponent threatens all that is good in the world, their way of life, their very survival. And finally, the evil cannot be distant; they must believe that these evil people are right at their door, ready to attack and take away everything they hold dear.
And with that fear will come belief.
The next step is to support that belief.
Feed them questions on the other’s rationality, but especially their motives. It’s easy to dismiss an argument if you believe your opponent’s motives are evil. Add in mimes, jokes, and comedy that belittles the other side, showing just how ridiculous, stupid, and evil they truly are. Make sure it de-humanizes them, for it will make it easier to hate them.
Feed them “evidence”. Favor quantity over quality. A single piece of evidence is easily discarded, even if it’s true and verified. It’s much harder to dismiss a stream of evidence presented constantly in the face. Even if much of it is fake, so long as it hints of truth, it will be believed, for humanity loves nothing more than being right. This love of themselves will not allow them to see the other as human, for it will mean they themselves are wrong.
Fear will not only support their belief, it will drive them to proselytize everyone they can. In the age of social media, this creates a system that feeds itself. They will present, share, and fabricate evidence without even thinking to verify it. Anything that aligns with their view is valid, all in order to convince everyone else to rally behind them, further stoking fear and creating the belief of good vs evil.
And should they be presented with the truth of what is happening, they will only recognize it happening to the other side. For to recognize it in themselves would be to admit they are wrong, and how can they do that when the possibility of being right means the loss of all they love? Again, fear will always be the greater motivator.
The final step is to repeat this process for side you just demonized; they too need to believe their opposition is made up of nothing but demons.
For the only way to destroy a great nation, is to destroy it from within, and that will only happen if it destroys itself.