The Trust Vacuum

Revelations the press has been clearing questions with the DNC,  coaching Hillary through interviews and in acting as her political agents motivated John Nolte to write:  "national media now sees itself as part of the government". It is part of the Narrative, along with everything else.  It's not news, it's a paid political advertisement. "And here is the consequence of all this," he adds: people have lost faith in everything.  Museums, churches, universities, perhaps even the FBI.  But the media's betrayal, given its former role as America's secular church was the unkindest cut of all.

Jeffrey Gedmin, formerly of Radio Free Europe, notes that Russian disinformation has never been so influential as it is today. Can you believe, he asks,  that people actually believe the Kremlin? "Today, the cyber warfare of Wikileaks—linked by U.S. authorities to Russia—has been affecting the U.S. elections in incalculable ways."  But the success of Russia's campaign of deception is directly related to the media's political corruption. The decline in media credibility -- the corruption of the Narrative -- directly led to the plausibility of Kremlin agitprop.

It was when people stopped trusting Obama they they started believing Putin. It was when the Leader of the Free World stopped being seen as that the Red Chekist took the darkened center stage. Perhaps the biggest administration failure of the last 8 years has not been the creation of a power vacuum, but the generation of a black hole of lies that has sucked everything in and tainted all.

The hard power vacuum created the chaos in the Middle East, the Chinese challenge in Asia, the Russian advance in the Middle east.  But the trust vacuum created something potentially even more dangerous, a crisis of legitimacy within the West.

This decade ends, not in Hope, but in cynicism. A high ranking Australian official observed in a private talk that the single most frightening thing about the 2016 American elections was the decline in trust in public institutions. The only institution trusted any more, he observed, was the military. It bodes ill when the only people we can trust to exercise power are the very ones who we have and for good reason forbidden to possess it.

If the answer to the question "who can you trust any more?" is "nobody" that's the biggest achievement of the last 8 years. It's so obvious you have to look at it to see it. The decade sold out everyone it could -- including Bernie Sanders.  It aborted babies; betrayed the white working class, impoverished the black inner cities, destroyed health insurance, started a campaign against every form of decency even in public bathrooms, presented blatant liars as the most qualified candidates and demanded that we greet it with hails and hossanas.

All hail. All hail.  It's not 'why now?' that is the question. The better question is: how much longer.

Follow Wretchard on Twitter


Support the Belmont Club by purchasing from Amazon through the links below.

Recently purchased by readers:

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, Robert Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research.

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten’s most personal cookbook yet, filled with the recipes Jeffrey, her husband, and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, new favorites like roasted salmon tacos, new salad recipes like kale with pancetta and pecorino and, for the first time, a chapter devoted to bread and cheese.

The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914, by Bela Zombory-Moldovan. About this book, Henrik Bering of the Wall Street Journal says: “To a certain extent, World War I memoirs written from the ant’s perspective resemble one another, all mud and horror. What makes this one stand out is the author’s painterly eye for detail, his ability to evoke a vanished way of life, and his tone of voice—gentle and civilized but perfectly capable of the occasional sardonic flash.”

Treason's Harbour, by Patrick O'Brian. Part of the Aubrey & Maturin series, this novel is set partly in Malta, partly in the treacherous, pirate-infested waters of the Red Sea. While Captain Aubrey worries about repairs to his ship, Stephen Maturin assumes the center stage for the dockyards and salons of Malta are alive with Napoleon's agents, and the admiralty's intelligence network is compromised. Maturin's cunning is the sole bulwark against sabotage of Aubrey's daring mission.

Recommended:

The Ascent Of Man, by Jacob Bronowski. First published in 1973 to accompany the groundbreaking BBC television series, this book is considered one of the first works of 'popular science'. In his highly accessible style, Dr Bronowski discusses human invention from the flint tool to geometry, agriculture to genetics, and from alchemy to the theory of relativity, showing how they all are expressions of our ability to understand and control nature.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club