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  • [Politics/Values/Media]

    The Great American Credibility Crisis

    By Global Trends Editor Group

    Throughout its history, America’s unique institutionalization of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion have enabled its populace to remain amazingly confident in its leadership.

    The assurance of “inalienable rights” and “equal justice under the law” has played a major role in making the United States the richest and most successful country in human history. In the process, these institutional and cultural norms have made possible an open and free competition between ideas.

    For that reason, we’ve assumed until recently, that what we see and hear reported will, for the most part, be objectively true; and when it is not true, the “lies” will quickly be revealed and the liars will be punished. Furthermore, all viewpoints will be judged fairly based on their “objective merits.” Unfortunately, those assumptions have desensitized us to the increasing systemic deception of recent years.

    Meanwhile, at least five related trends have exacerbated this “systemic deception.”
    1. An increasingly monolithic “educational-industrial complex” from pre-school through graduate school has discouraged critical thinking and the pursuit of objective truth.

    Educational institutions primarily serve the interests of faculty and administrators rather than those of students, parents, taxpayers and employers. That means young people come to embrace the biases and values of educators rather than parents.

    2. Compartmentalization of knowledge has been encouraged largely by the data explosion. Even though a proliferation of media tools gives almost everyone access to more raw information than ever before, individuals generally focus on their own narrow specialty and leave it to others to “connect the dots.”

    Each person simply assumes that what they hear about topics from outside their own area of expertise has been verified based on empirical evidence.
     
    3. Empowerment of the expert class. Because of the increasing compartmentalization of knowledge and the growing shortage of critical thinking skills, experts have been empowered to make decisions for society in almost every domain.

    There is an overwhelming assumption that these experts are collectively more knowledgeable and objective than the rest of us and therefore their consensus must be trusted. While this may work in stable times, “expert consensus” has always proven wrong just when some new paradigm is set to replace the existing consensus.

    Whether we’re talking about Aristotle’s four elements, the geocentric theory of the universe, the so-called “Population Bomb” of the 1970s, or today’s “catastrophic anthropogenic climate change,” the experts are always assumed to have the right answers, primarily because alternative ideas are suppressed.

    4. Postmodern thinking has eliminated our insistence on objective truth; therefore, we simply accept whatever seems right to us. Today, the economic, political and personal priorities of the so-called elites are increasingly at odds with those of the general public and there is no set of shared criteria for resolving the conflict.

    The clearest examples have to do with government spending priorities, globalization, climate change, freedom of speech, so-called “social justice issues,” and gun controls. And,

    5. Widespread reliance on social media platforms such as Twitter, Google search, YouTube, and Facebook, empowers gatekeepers controlling the free flow of information.

    This gives those who control those tools extraordinary power and influence. As the on-going release of the “Twitter Files” shows, much of what American’s have come to believe, has been manipulated to fit a pre-ordained narrative.

    Over the past five-to-ten years, convergence of these five trends has enabled an unprecedented obfuscation of the truth, contributing to an extraordinary level of mistrust of government agencies, politicians, academics, news media, corporate management, health care providers, and even the political process itself.

    A 2021 study from Reuters indicated that among 46 nations surveyed, the United States had the lowest level of trust in news media. Specifically, only 29% of Americans trusted the media most of the time. That’s lower than the 45% number for Canada or even the 37% number for Mexico.

    Furthermore, 75% of those who identify as being on the “political right” thought coverage of their views was unfair.

    More recently, a 2023 study from Gallup and the Knight Institute found that 50% of Americans disagreed with the statement that, “most national news organizations do not intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public.”

    And it’s not just about news media or the 2020s. Another Gallup study, shown on page 4 of the printable issue, looked at American’s average confidence in a wide range of institutions and found that confidence fell from roughly 50% in 1979 to 27% in 2022.

    That’s consistent with what you’d expect to see if the generational model proposed by Howe & Strauss in their book Generations, is valid. That is, trust should have peaked in the early 1950s and declined from there. If that model is correct, we should see a bottoming in the 2020s, followed by a rebound to another peak in the 2030s.

    Generational experiences with institutions have contributed to the relative trust that different generations have in American institutions. Recent research by Morning Consult shows that trust in most institution is lowest among Gen Z (Zoomers), with Baby Boomers having much higher confidence.

    To the Trends editors, it makes sense that Zoomers would have especially low levels of trust in institutions since they’ve grown up in an era of diminished credibility.

    Two of the most disturbing phenomena currently undermining public trust are America’s “response to the Covid 19 pandemic” and the integration of socalled “woke activism” into corporate strategy. In trends #2 and #3 of the March 2023 Trends issue, we examine the most obvious deceptions and distortions behind these two phenomena.

    As we explain, the metastasizing mindsets associated with these changes have led to unprecedented malfeasance and professional bias. And these further energize the battle for the “New American Consensus,” which we examine in trend #4.

    But before we perform a detailed examination of those trends, let’s consider the broader context of deception, how it has undercut trust, and what the political, economic, and cultural implications might be.

    Whether it’s in religion, science, economics or social justice, people are willing to undergo “hardship” and even “oppression” as long as they believe the rationale for that hardship. However, a crisis emerges when a large share of the populace realizes that they’ve been duped as was the case of the Soviets at the end of the Cold War or the Americans late in the Vietnam War.

    Then suddenly, supporters of the old status quo turn on their deceivers and seek to “undermine them.” That’s the situation today’s governments face around the world. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, are some of the most egregious examples of “lying and delaying.” However, the United States and the EU countries, exhibit many of the same symptoms, but in a more benign and manageable form.

    Notably, duplicity is rampant in areas ranging from, population constraints and climate change, to globalization and antitrust, to guns and crime, to race relations and inequality, to foreign political influence and electoral integrity. And when the objective truth inevitably becomes known, each society will respond to this revelation through the lens of its own values.

    History shows, the truth will inevitably come to the surface. In fact, we see the nature and extent of a wide range of specific deceptions emerging day-by-day. Unfortunately, the economic and political implications remain somewhat shrouded, as does the impact of still-hidden evidence. Consequently, each of us needs to stay alert to the unfolding opportunities and threats created as the hidden secrets are revealed.

    Given this trend, we offer the following forecasts for your consideration.

    First, evidence of President Biden’s mental incapacity will only increase, undermining his electability and influence.

    This problem was a secondary factor in the 2020 campaign, but symptoms of dementia will become a central issue in the 2024 campaign if Democrats nominate Biden and keep the even less popular Harris as his running mate. Republicans will work hard to bring this suppressed evidence frontand-center, undermining the Democrat’s credibility.

    Second, evidence of the President’s personal corruption will increase, further undermining his electability and influence.

    Even before investigative hearings into influence-peddling by Hunter and James Biden, 60% of likely voters surveyed by Rasmussen Reports say Joe Biden is compromised in his dealings with China. Other evidence from his time as Vice President makes a similar case with respect to Ukraine.

    Given the evidence already in the hands of House investigators, criminal referrals for members of the Biden family are all but certain and Presidential pardons will further undermine Joe Biden’s political future.

    Third, a major controversy will develop regarding the facts surrounding U.S. involvement in the sabotage of the Nordstream 1 & 2 gas pipelines.

    If Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersch is even remotely correct, this will undermine the credibility of the United States and eliminate any political boost Biden might get from saving Ukraine. And it will further weaken Democrats going into 2024.

    Fourth, investigations will determine whether career bureaucrats at the Department of Justice along with Biden Administration appointees have corrupted the justice system for political purposes.

    When we compare the handling of the Paul Manafort case with that of Hunter Biden or the handling of the so-called “Russia-gate investigation” with the case of Hunter’s “laptop from hell,” there is strong prima facie evidence of such corruption.

    Expect investigators to assess and confirm the magnitude of politization at the Department of Justice and the role of career bureaucrats in advancing partisan interests. The concept of “equal justice under the law” has been a “bedrock principle” since America’s founding.

    Just as Watergate undermined Republicans in the 1970s, these revelations will undermine Democrats in the 2020s. So, this should give Republicans “the high moral ground” ahead of the 2024 elections and the momentum needed to overhaul the civil service beginning in 2025.

    Fifth, as evidence is fully uncovered, Democrats will regret perpetuating the story of “January 6, 2021.”

    The initial House investigation presented only one side of the story related to the events of January 6, 2021; this was based on highly edited and cherry-picked evidence. But even this mediocre effort, helped Democrats achieve some degree of political advantage in the 2022 mid-terms.

    However, with the upcoming public release of over 40,000 hours of raw video and a new set of hearings, featuring a Capitol Police Force now reporting to Speaker McCarthy, a totally different storyline will emerge. Expect the credibility of the FBI, DOJ, and Democrat Congressional leadership to take a beating.

    Nancy Pelosi, in particular, will need to explain under oath why Capitol Security was “mishandled,” making the events of January 6, virtually inevitable. Republicans will work to change the story line from one of Republican-encouraged “insurrection” to one of Democrat-facilitated “entrapment.” This will dovetail nicely with the investigation of the two-teared justice system, discussed earlier.

    Sixth, revelations of government collusion with “Big Tech” in undermining “freedom of speech” will become a major issue going forward.

    Over the past 20 years, YouTube, Google, Facebook & Twitter have come to supplant the print and broadcast media which dominated the Mass Production Era. As we are learning from the release of “the Twitter files,” government agencies have worked with biased content moderators to “censor” the content available to Americans.

    Such revelations will only increase as Congress and investigative journalists dig deeper. Once SCOTUS eliminates their “Section 230” protections, big tech platforms will have few mechanisms to facilitate censorship. The result will be a dramatic shift in terms of ideological balance which will largely restore our free marketplace of ideas. Assuming this ruling comes in June, the following 18 months will be pivotal for the future of American culture.

    Seventh, facts related to election integrity issues will be extensively examined as we approach the 2024 elections.

    Despite problems in some places, at some times, the American electoral system has been the “envy of the world” for over 200 years.

    However, revelations about “accommodations” implemented during the Covid 19 pandemic have led 40-to-60% of Americans to doubt the integrity of our electoral system. During upcoming hearings both Republicans and Democrats will have the first real opportunity to present their versions of the truth using witnesses and subpoenaed records.

    With the possible exception of the 2022 Arizona Governor’s race, courts and legislative committees have refused to address the factual merits of election integrity; to-date decisions related to the 2020 & 2022 elections have exclusively assessed “standing” and “jurisdiction.”

    At this point, the public evidence is ambiguous, but clarity will increase as we move toward 2024. Issues ranging from legislative district maps, to voter list accuracy, to mail-in signature verification, to voting machine reliability, to ballot harvesting, to handling of physical ballots need to be addressed so that voters once again become confident of election integrity.

    The pending SCOTUS ruling on the role of state legislatures in election decision-making will play a major role in determining how these investigations are handled.

    Eighth, media dissemination of misinformation regarding crime and guns will become increasingly obvious.

    “Constitutional carry” will become the norm in many states as data increasingly establishes that “locales with the least gun regulation and the most law enforcement have the least crime.” The recent bipartisan defeat of changes to DC crime policies, is a harbinger of things to come. Soft on crime extremists in the spirit of Lori Lightfoot, Bill De Blasio and Chesa Boudin will approach political extinction. And,

    Ninth, the truth behind the poorly managed exit from Afghanistan will come back to haunt the administration.

    As voters come to understand the tactical and strategic implications of this withdrawal, it will seriously undermine the credibility of the current administration. It will not only increase doubts about the President’s mental capacity, but it will also play into charges of facilitating the interests of China.

    Resource List
    1. Townhall.com. March 12, 2023. Derek Hunter. Democrats Are Terrified Of An Educated And Informed Public.

    2. RealClearPolitics.com. March 24, 2023. Jenny Holland. The Twitter Files reveal an elite at war with the truth.

    3. PJMedia.com. March 19, 2023. Ben Bartee. Half of Americans think most national news orgs intend to mislead or misinform the public, new report finds.

    4. Gallup.com JULY 5, 2022. JEFFREY M. JONES. Confidence in U.S. Institutions Down; Average at New Low.

    5. TheGatewayPundit.com. March 15, 2023. Jim Hoft. Rough Time for Fake News: Trust in Media in the Sewer – Majority of Americans Now Believe Media Intends to “Mislead, Misinform or Persuade the Public.”

    6. TheHill.com. June 28, 2021. Joe Concha. US ranks last among 46 countries in trust in media, Reuters Institute report finds.

    7. DailyCaller.com March 22, 2023. Dylan Housman. Sen. Chris Murphy (Like Most Liberals) Sings The Praises Of Govt Propaganda, Censorship Arm.

    8. Townhall.com. March 23, 2023. Sarah Arnold. Biden’s Approval Rating Sinks to Lowest It Has Been Since Taking Office.

    9. AmericanActionNews.com. March 17, 2023. Michael Bingham. Poll Stunner: Nearly 60 Percent Of Americans Believe Biden Is Compromised On China.

    10. TheGatewayPundit.com. March 17, 2023. Joe Hoft. Rep. Jamie Raskin Covered for the Bidens and Claimed Bank Records Showed Papa Johns and Starbucks Purchases – Ignored the $1 Million from the Chinese.

    11. TheGatewayPundit.com. March 23, 2023. Richard Abelson. Germany’s AfD Party on Nord Stream Attack: “If Seymour Hersh is Correct, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Committed Treason and Must Resign.”

    12. NYPost.com. March 22, 2023. Victor Nava. White House official John Kirby calls Nord Stream pipeline blasts an ‘act of sabotage.’

    13. HelsinkiTimes. March 22, 2023. Seymour Hersh. The Biden Administration continues to conceal its responsibility for the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines.

    14. TheDailySignal.com. March 20, 2023. Fred Lewis. EXCLUSIVE: FBI Devoted at Least 16,000 More Hours to Jan. 6 Riot Than to BLM Riots in DC.

    15.PJMedia.com. August 1, 2022. Matt Margolis. Harvard Study Wrecks Insurrection Narrative of Capitol Riot.

    16. TheBlaze.com. March 9, 2023. Joseph McKinnon. Tucker Carlson tells Glenn Beck: Jan. 6 Committee didn’t merely distort facts, but fabricated full falsehoods  -  ‘blew my mind.’

    17. Townhall.com. March 13, 2023. Allen West. Enough of the Left’s ‘Threats to Democracy’ Rhetoric.

    18. DailyCaller.com. March 11, 2023. Laurel Duggan. “We Were Wrong” – Evidence Shows “Puberty Blockers are Neither Safe Nor Reversible” Says Canadian Doctor Who Helped Pioneered Puberty Blocker Drugs.

    19. PJMedia.com. March 2, 2023. Robert Spencer. Greta Thunberg’s 2018 Prediction That World Would End In Five Years Doesn’t Turn Out So Well.