“Boiling the frog” is a good idiom for the current situation. The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
They have no choice other than to gradually get the population to accept what they had planned all along, otherwise “the frog” will sense the danger and will do something to save itself.
Welcome to Orwell’s 1984.