Recently, we have been hearing many more voices from Government and Media sources saying how harmful it is for citizens to have Distrust in Institutions. When did that Distrust begin to happen? Is it an old impression, or a new phenomenon? I think realizing it occurs to different people at different times depending on their circumstances and awareness, but it is not new. It just so happens that nowadays more and more people are recognizing it. Those who hate him are pointing the finger at President Trump as the culprit who has caused all this, because sowing chaos seems to be his objective whether it is intended, or haphazard. However, while he is responsible for many things that I find despicable (such as gutting a whole slew of necessary government programs, agreements and regulations etc.), he is not the first, or the last person in power to be responsible for the erosion of public trust. There are numerous examples, the media’s irresponsible role being one of them as this article from The Guardian illustrates very well.
For instance, if you are a black person in the United States, deemed a lesser human from the moment your ancestors were shipped to these shores as slaves; from when you watched your kin being lynched as white people applauded; from when you were being frisked, jailed and shot by cops; when you didn’t have equal justice from the law; when you continue to be, after centuries, marginalized and disparaged, then, how could you, would you, have anything but Distrust in Institutions?
And if you are one of the thousands upon thousands of males (and some females) going back to centuries who was preyed upon and sexually abused by your religious leaders how could you, would you, have anything but Distrust in Institutions?
And if you are a boy scout, or an athlete who has been the victim of a sexual predator from among your leaders and coaches, how could you, would you, have anything but Distrust in Institutions?
And if you are a regular citizen of almost anywhere on this planet who has been witnessing the theft, lies, abuse of power and corruption by your political leaders and commerce bigwigs how could you, would you, have anything but Distrust in Institutions?
The list can go on for pages upon pages, but here’s the answer: only if you are one of the elites, the privileged, the chosen few could you, would you, answer that you Trust your Institutions, and only because those Institutions have been supporting you and facilitating your entire existence. When Equality, Justice and Legality are being doled out unfairly to the few and not the most, then there cannot be anything but Distrust in Institutions.
These Information – and Disinformation – days, with the rampant proliferation of Scammers, Cyber-crimes, Internet Attacks, Credit Card Skimmers, Ransomware, Weaponization of our personal information, with Apps that can install Malware and Spying Tools on our devices, with photo-shopping and spying on people and scandalizing them through social media etc. etc. our Distrust in Institutions has been growing exponentially, causing many to become paranoid, and others to become totally devil-may-care – neither of which is productive. Nevertheless, when these tools are being used malevolently and surreptitiously then our Distrust in Institutions increases. Unfortunately, the furtive and wicked use of modern devices will be with us for a long time to come, and for as long as there are devious and evil people utilizing them.
This brings me to how the Image Makers and Marketers have the ability, and capability, of putting a spin on anything and everything, and enhancing the most vile of unacceptable behavior in order to normalize it. Case in point: President Bolsonaro of Brazil, a right-wing, conservative, climate-crisis denying, indigenous population hating, bigot and racist hires Image Makers that are painting him as a Democratic Sainte Nitouche presiding over a Democratic nation!! Really? Yes. Really! And he is not the only political leader practicing this deception. In fact, it has become almost standard custom in many corners of our world to whitewash the most egregious, to shoot a sexy video, add a sensual voice to supply the script and, Voila! the most unbecoming ogre emerges as a White Knight, whether he/she is a political figure, a greedy opioid-pushing doctor/company, an oil/shale/fossil fuel corporation etc. etc. It is not, however, the reality, and this delusion should not be acceptable. It is not acceptable either for someone like Joe Biden to say that he was arrested in South Africa when he was trying to visit Mandela in prison. That was proven to be a lie, and he later admitted it. Really, Joe? Senior moment, or buffeting up your credentials ala Brian Williams when he was caught in an exaggeration? We cannot normalize lies, or the rewriting of history! We have to use a better script in order for Decency, Morality, Ethics, Principles and Ideals to become sexy again! Wake up, people! Wake up!
Here, in these United States, we have a Presidential Election coming up into which absolutely nauseating amounts of money and airtime are being poured. Truly sickening! This does not spell Democratic Process for me. It is, in fact, quite the opposite of that. And, just as occurred in the elections of 2016, the cries of Russia/Putin meddling in our elections have been rising. How can Anyone who is Objectively listening to all this vapid beating of the drums really believe that this is Fact during these days when even a small-fry computer user can hack into any system? So can North Korea, China, Israel, Iran et al. I am not defending Putin, or saying that he would not meddle anywhere that is to his advantage. Of course he has done so, and will continue to do so. But, so has the US. In fact, we have been meddling in Russia, in China, in North Korea, in Iran, all over Africa, in the entire Middle East, and All Across the Planet! We cannot point the finger at Putin and Russia while absolving ourselves of any transgressions. Why? Who are we that we must be justified for all our interferences and meddling in other countries while casting aspersions on others? Are we Sainte Nitouche, perchance? And what is this deception and charade really all about? Our Arrogance and Smugness in our sense of Righteousness is truly hilarious, and very ridiculous. Equality, Justice and Legality have to be applied on us, on Putin, and on every country, every leader, every person. We simply cannot demand that Putin adhere to laying off us, while we are not laying off him! He knows that. Trump knows that. The FBI knows that. The CIA knows that.
Pushing and promulgating nonsense has become the purview of our MSM mainly! They have no shame, professionalism, or ethics. Their job has become idiotic Gotcha Moments, scandal, propaganda, gossip and superficiality delivered with smugness and attitudes that are truly offensive. Even during the Coronavirus Pandemic breathing down our necks and threatening the nation and the world, they could not address the issue without partisanship, bias and their arrogant demeanors! Pathetic!
Cleaning out the endemic corruption that has become shameless and obnoxious, as well as demanding transparency from every person who is in a position of power is essential if we are ever to have Trust in our Institutions. This applies to religious leaders living the lavish life of the rich and famous on our Tithing money. It applies to every political leader who is living in luxury while skimping on one extra cent for the people who elected him/her. It also applies on every CEO of every corporation raking in the dollars from our purchasing power and being misers on spending their money on the climate crisis (except for Bezos, Zuckerberg, Steyer, Bloomberg and a few others who are pitching in), or on providing adequate salaries and healthcare for their employees etc. Otherwise, we are simply encouraging corruption, inequality, injustice, illegality and continuing Distrust in Institutions.
And, now, with a Pandemic threatening the globe, all we can do is rely on those in power to do the right thing, to make the correct decisions and to mitigate this serious threat as best as they can. It is not an easy undertaking, especially when our Distrust in Institutions is at such a low threshold. Real Scary!