All posts tagged: kind of world trust

We’ve Been Thinking About America’s Trust Collapse All Wrong

We’ve Been Thinking About America’s Trust Collapse All Wrong

Americans don’t trust one another, and they don’t trust the government. This mistrust is so pervasive that it can feel natural, but it isn’t. Profound distrust has risen within my lifetime; it is intensifying, and it threatens to make democracy impossible. Many readers will say, “Of course I don’t trust the candidate who tried to steal the last election, or the party that supports him!” And they would be right to do so. Election denialism, political violence, and a willingness to resort to anticonstitutional measures to take or hold power are all acute threats to democracy, and they are concentrated in Donald Trump’s Republican Party. But there are also chronic threats to democracy. They are not limited to one party, let alone one leader. They affect us all, and they make the acute threats more dangerous and harder to overcome. To have any hope of rebuilding democratic trust, we will need two things that have been neglected for decades in American life. One is civic virtue—serious and respectful engagement in the hard work of living …