In the beginning days of the American Republic, citizens had a healthy dose of skepticism regarding government. They knew the dangers of government but at the same time they trusted their leaders. Those days ended generations ago. But what used to be a healthy skepticism of government has begun to take on a feeling of all out distrust of government.
More and more, this distrust is taking form in conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are so widespread that now a super majority of Americans claim to believe in one conspiracy theory or another. There is no partisan breakdown in which party believes what. Both suffer from this latent mistrust. Americans across the board no longer believe the official line the government or the media is feeding them on anything of importance. Whether it is foreign policy abroad or fiscal policy at home, there is a fundamental lack of trust that is growing.
The right seems to be buying into more conspiracy theories these days, if for no other reason than the left controls the media – leaving the opposing side to question what is truly happening. Even if we avoid 9/11 and Obama’s birth certificate, the strength of disbelief is hard to imagine. Few trust Obama on the topics of Benghazi and Fast and Furious. People know they are being lied to.
During the Bush Administration, people knew that evidence was presented in a false light to precipitate war and hardly few thought that those wielding the powers of the Patriot Act did so without nefarious intentions.
Now, the Sandy Hook tragedy has joined the ranks of conspiracy theory because officials failed to come forward with all pertinent facts. The grey areas have been filled in by anti-second Amendment crusaders and the law abiding have been left trying to separate fact from fiction. This has opened up a schism for the radicals to utilize. Good, but uneducated people, right now being radicalized by Barack Obama’s overtures from the left and fearmongering from entertainers on the right.
Conspiracy theorists once relegated to the internet are now brought on CNN and given syndicated broadcast radio shows. What used to be a joke is becoming mainstream.
The reason why you should care is because it’s getting worse. Americans not only refuse to believe in their government but can’t even muster up enough goodwill to trust in it. Obama promised a new era of openness, which he failed to deliver.
The heroes of our party are going to be the guys like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal who seem to be willing to go against the grain – especially on fiscal votes. People like Paul Ryan parroting the old guard’s talking points are becoming less relevant. If someone could convince eighty percent of the government that they were on their side like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did, that would be a leader worthy of the Twenty-first Century. That would be a leader worth following. I hope that Republicans can find that leader in the next couple of years.