The Death of Trust in US Institutions, and How to Restore It

Few can recall the turbulent 1950s from personal memory, particularly the loss of faith and trust in American institutions.  Soviet agents ("Reds") were everywhere: schools, agencies, the military, and even Congress.  We the People were repeatedly warned: trust no one.

Those days sound eerily familiar.  The nation's great institutions — Congress, federal bureaucracies like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the Judiciary, the FBI and DOJ (Department of Justice), the military, our schools at all levels, even the electoral process itself — have been corrupted.  The fourth estate no longer exists, replaced by mainstream media that advocate rather than report facts.

In the 1950s, Washington used the Soviet threat as an excuse to illegally extend federal authority and create political tyranny.  Today's excuse is COVID, justifying medical tyranny.  Tyranny is tyranny, regardless of the modifying adjective.

The Death of Trust

Progressive Democrats currently dominate the Executive and Legislative Branches as well as a myriad of federal agencies, collectively called the establishment or the "swamp."  Americans disdain members of both parties because the latter focus on expanding their power while ignoring our problems.  The border crisis is proof.

Approval ratings for Congress have been 30 percent or lower for the past 30 years.  Can you imagine any business staying open if more than 70 percent of its customers disapproved of the salespeople?

Americans thought their country has the rule of law.  Unequal application of laws is not the rule of law.  U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland ordered the DOJ to investigate parents as "domestic terrorists" when they strenuously voiced distrust of local school boards.  The DOJ did not prosecute Hillary Clinton for violating security protocol while secretary of state and, worse, destroying the email evidence of her crimes.  When Lady Justice takes off her blindfold, trust in the DOJ vanishes.

Faith in the FBI has also evaporated.  For more than two years, the bureau continued a show trial against President Trump even though there was no real evidence.  When then–vice president Joe Biden threatened to withhold a billion dollars in aid if Ukraine did not fire a prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter, both the FBI and the DOJ did nothing.

Among malfeasance of the FBI, unequal justice of the DOJ, and courts legislating from the bench, trust in the judicial system has died.

The CDC is reputedly committed to hard science, facts, and the truth, without regard to politics.  Not so.  Its commitment has become defending federal mandates rather than providing facts so each American can decide the best path to personal good health.  

The CDC has manipulated and conflated data; assured pregnant women that mRNA gene therapy (called vaccination) is safe when it may not be; made simple, obvious reporting errors; and changed its tracking methods for no scientific reason.  No wonder we have lost trust.

During the Vietnam era, the public disrespected the military.  Over the subsequent fifty years, trust and respect were restored.  Recently, that hard-won trust has been shattered.

General Milley tried to usurp presidential nuclear authority.  Overt racism — CRT (Critical Race Theory) — was introduced into a previously colorblind military curriculum.  Some Navy SEALs were declared "undeployable" because they refused the mRNA vaccination mandate.  These are some of the healthiest people on Earth, many with natural immunity from prior COVID infection.  The final straw was the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan.  They left a large but unknown number of Americans and local allies in enemy (Taliban) hands, and they even gave the Taliban names and addresses of Americans remaining in Afghanistan.

A military that fails to protect our citizens, that gives billions of dollars of American military hardware to terrorists (Taliban), and that throws away prime resources (like SEALs) for purely political reasons is not worthy of trust.

Five days a week, our school systems hold the nation's most precious possession: our children.  Parents expect schools to teach their children how to think, not what to think.  Parents lose trust in school boards when they indoctrinate children with CRT and reject standard English words like "boy," "girl," and "parent" in order to placate the LGBT lobby.

Daniel Henninger wrote in the Wall Street Journal that complicit media report Democrats' "alternative realities" as truth though they are obvious lies.  We see hundreds of thousands of individuals crossing our southern border, but Homeland Security secretary Mayorkas says "the border is closed."  President Biden proclaims that "the cost will be zero" for his multi-trillion-dollar social engineering bill disingenuously called infrastructure.  A CNN video claims that protests were "mostly peaceful," while in the background, buildings are ablaze.  The stark contrast between what our senses and brains tell us and the alternate realities presented by the complicit media explains the death of trust.

During the opening episode of the HBO series Newsroom, Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) explains that the USA became a great nation because Americans were "well informed" by a press free to write or speak objectively without censorship or bias.  

Media bias for Democrats is amply proven above.  Censorship is harder to demonstrate.  By definition, one cannot show a citation that has been removed.  If Google does not display a web page or Amazon reports "item not found" even though it exists, that is censorship.  The same is true when Twitter bans the 45th president from tweeting to his 15.6 million followers.  When studies that contradict Dr. Fauci's so-called science are relegated to page 16 on Google, banned from Facebook as "misinformation," or ignored by the CDC, that too is censorship.  

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "A well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny."  Because our citizenry is poorly informed or not informed at all, tyranny has returned to the USA.  See mask mandates and vaccine passports.

Rebirth of Trust

"Never identify a problem without proposing a solution" is a time-honored management aphorism.  Can we reverse the death of trust?  Yes — with the Eight Rs.  

Require evidence, always, from a personal conversation or one-on-one debate to a White House Press conference or presidential debate.  Ignore those who don't give you their proof, no matter how impressive the title or how many microphones they stand behind.  

Resurrect the fourth estate.  The public needs a reliable source of unadjusted facts, someone to question everything said or done by politicians and bureaucrats, without regard for party affiliation or expressed ideology.

Recall elected persons who forget they are public servants.  We have the power of the ballot box.  Use it!  Don't blindly follow a party or platform.  Vote for a person you trust and "un-elect" (recall) those who say the right things on the campaign trail but don't do the right things when in office.

Resist tyranny.  President Biden issued an executive order on Sept. 9, 2021, that mandated that all federal employees, including military and even federal contractors, receive the "jab" (mRNA gene therapy against COVID-19).  This action is federal overreach.  

The U.S. Founding fathers bequeathed to us many ways to resist government tyranny.  We must use them!  For instance, a class-action lawsuit was just filed to stop Biden's illegal, unconstitutional executive order.  The district judge's decision is pending. 

Redirect your dollar.  In addition to the power of the vote, Americans have the power of the dollar: where they spend their money.  Support those businesses and activities you trust and that trust you to decide.  Withhold your dollars from businesses that dictate to you or that support government tyranny.  

Replace indoctrination with education.  When Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia governor running for re-election, claimed there is "no role for parents in school curriculum," he was totally out of sync with American ethos and tradition.  American parents, not the government, are responsible for and in charge of what their children are taught.  

Use the Remote!  Just like the dollar, Americans have control over what they see or hear.  If you find a radio or TV show or internet venue that spins the facts or lies, change the channel.  Deny them (and their advertisers) your time and attention.  

If Americans apply the seven Rs above, they can achieve the eighth: Rebirth of trust in government and other great institutions. 

Deane Waldman, M.D., MBA is professor emeritus of pediatrics, pathology, and decision science; former director of the Center for Healthcare Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation; and author of the multi-award-winning book Curing the Cancer in U.S. HealthcareStatesCare and Market-Based Medicine.  

Image via Max Pixel.

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