The Breakdown of Trust
Cause of political irritation
Author: staff | Source: accionfamilia.org
The Breakdown of Trust
Cause of political irritation
The North American author analyzes the loss of confidence in the institutions that have taken to the tense situation in which the North American policy is debated. This situation is analogous to that which our country begins to present, as well as several countries in this hemisphere, especially Brazil.
Everyone agrees that there is something different about the irritation that is observed in politics today. The common problems that have shaped the political debate for years have remained largely the same. The economy is still in disrepair, terrorism remains one of the main concerns and the deficit continues to grow faster than ever.
The state of mind of the nation, however, has undergone a great change. The people are sour. They are not upset about something, but rather angry with someone.
Going a little deeper into the matter, we find that, more often, people are unleashing their anger not on any particular individual, but rather on a class, institution or group of people. The targets include traditional operators, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, politically correct academics, clerics or simply the "establishment" whatever this means. This unfocused approach holds that we must throw everything out and start over to achieve real change.
The causes of this widespread discontent are equally unfocused. There are real rational reasons for this discontent, but it usually manifests itself through feelings rather than facts. There is a general feeling of having been betrayed (often legitimate) about government institutions, which have not been sensitive to a multiplicity of conflicting problems. People feel that usually things are stagnant and do not advance. Many more, they simply feel abandoned.
The result is a very real divorce between the current policies that shape the nation and what the nation needs and wants. And like all divorces, it happens in a very messy way.
Analogously to a broken marriage, the missing element is trust. Public confidence in major institutions has plummeted over the past four decades, with Congress in the subway, with an approval rating of less than ten percent. The media, academia, businesses and religious groups are not doing much better. Anti-systemic candidates are fashionable and win by attacking anyone even if it is not remotely related to "the system".
The erosion of public trust has been carried out for decades, but only now its political implications are increasingly evident. The giant building of American society - seemingly so powerful and resilient is as strong as the set of buttresses, struts, and beams that support it. In this case, this support is made up of personal relationships based on trust that unites people for a virtuous life in common. These ties can be found in families, communities and other intermediary associations that hold the nation together in trust. Above all, these bonds are forged when people love their neighbors as themselves for the love of God, in the practice of Christian charity.
It is no secret that the strength of these social ties has weakened dramatically in recent years. These important lines of communication in our society are being destroyed from top to bottom. The respect, affection, and politeness that flow from these social relationships no longer facilitates organic circulation; the flow of fresh ideas and vitality throughout society. Intermediate groups, such as parishes and local communities, are fading away at the same time as the sense of security they once gave. People can no longer identify with the surviving institutions, which are often huge and bureaucratic. From here comes the very real sense of stagnation and alienation that is such an important part of political irritation.
Modernity does little to discourage this disintegration or anger. In the name of diversity without misplaced unity, people walk in the exhausting task of defining their identity, sexuality, and brand without concern for society or the common good. Those who oppose this diversity are furiously labeled as "dogmatic" or "intolerant".
That is why we are now seeing the frantic disintegration of a society where everyone goes their way. People become hardened in their positions, and the world becomes, in the words of Alasdair MacIntyre, "a meeting place of individual wills, each with its own set of attitudes and preferences and understanding of the world only as an arena for the attainment of its satisfaction ".
The result is a climate of political mistrust that leads to a polarization that is a disintegration of the country into thousands of small poles, leading to anger in politics. This is logical since broken trust tends to generate an increasingly angry distrust.
This does not mean that anger cannot have a constructive role in politics. However, it must be oriented and with principles. It should not lead to indiscriminate rage against any authority or institution, nor to the idea that nobody can trust but in oneself. Society becomes impossible if anger leads to the conclusion that every man must be his authority and his law.
If we want to return to order, it will have to be through those who rise above their self-interest and truly grieve for the nation. Such representative figures have always appeared in times of crisis to unite and never destroy the nation. They will have to re-forge social bonds and rebuild society and its structures. They will have to gather the nation around those permanent virtues of courage, duty, courtesy, justice and charity that foster moderation and build strong social bonds. Trust must be restored, and at its very root, beginning with an immense trust in God.