To conflate is “to bring together; meld or fuse”.
It comes from Latin conflare, meaning “to blow together”. I imagine it might be somehow related to glassblowing, but that could just be a coincidence.
Either way, conflate is definitely a useful word. I found many examples on Google News where the journalists use conflate to explain how two ideas can become associated with each other so strongly that people can’t seem to separate them. For example, people might “conflate masculinity with guns”, “conflate Iraq with 9/11”, or “conflate marketing with oppression”.