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Nobody trusts anybody, and that's great news for authoritarians

My latest column for America magazine looks at the decline of confidence in our major political (and economic and social and religious) institutions, and why that fraying of trust is so dangerous:

What’s the worst-case scenario if trust in public institutions continues to drop? We could see the refusal to fund public schools and libraries; the snubbing of public health directives; a return to the cynical and corrupt patronage system to staff government agencies; and an ongoing characterization of the election process as tainted and therefore illegitimate—all moves to further weaken a sense of community and a concern for the common good. But it is not “bothsidesism” to fear that the left could also exploit widespread nihilism, either by coming up with a Trump-like demagogue of its own or by using the specter of resurgent Trumpism to justify its own restrictions on public speech and democracy.

Read the whole thing here.

And I've been remiss in posting them all here, but I have also had recent columns on the anti-abortion movement and anti-majority rule and on the shift in political power from the federal government to the states (and whether there is a backlash to giving state legislatures so much power).

August 04, 2022

May 27, 2022

June 29, 2016

May 24, 2016

January 24, 2015

December 12, 2014

December 03, 2014

November 20, 2014

June 04, 2014

April 09, 2014

December 17, 2013

December 16, 2013

  • Write to me at robertdavidsullivan at gmail dot com.