April 19, 2010

Trust Deficit

NPR is launching a series based on this study by the Pew Center, reporting that distrust of the federal government is at an all-time high.

Due in large part to the tanking economy, more people than ever don't believe the federal government is trustworthy, and that could help explain a lot of the Tea Party nonsense and the Second Amendment paranoia that seems to be gripping the nation (or at least the cable news outlets).   It should be noted that the  TP and gun-rights crowd still represent a significant minority of the general population, despite their attention-grabbing antics and claims to speak for what could be called the "silent majority."

What I found fascinating, though, is the fact that we've been here before.

The first segment of the NPR series was a straight-ahead report on the survey, but the more interesting thing was the sidebar by Ari Shapiro.  He notes that in hard times, people for some reason take a dim view of our political leaders, even though there appears to be something of a time lag, in my opinion: the leaders responsible for creating the mess in the first place aren't the prime targets of the anger.

Hopefully, since we've been here before, we can come out of it even better.

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