...Just a few weeks ago, Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University released a little-noticed study showing that one-third of Americans now “believe in a broad smorgasbord of conspiracy theories” revolving around government complicity in everything from the 9/11 attacks to the Kennedy assassination. The same survey last year found that “anger against the federal government is at record levels.”
It would be easy to chalk up these troubling findings to the unending propaganda of fear. America has been experiencing the searing blast of politicized terror warnings and breaking-news graphics for the better part of six years now, and populations living under such constant government and media shock treatment can go a wee bit berserk.
But while many of these conspiracy theories are offensive and factually unsupported, the underlying paranoia and loathing are not surprising, and the feelings are not motivated merely by a fear of the next bogeyman around the corner. The sentiments are symptoms of a deep crisis of confidence in our public institutions—a crisis that is a predictable reaction to a government that now all but admits it breaks laws, hides information and disregards the public.
We have seen troops sent to war based on manipulated intelligence. We have discovered phones wiretapped without warrants. Just last week, we found out the CIA destroyed tapes of potentially illegal torture sessions. So many scandals now plague the government, it is hard to remember them all. And they have all happened with almost no consequences for the perpetrators.
Nonetheless, every era has its sensational scandals, and so it is probably the mundane that has heated the public’s low-grade disgust into a simmering boil. After all, what we see our government and our representatives quietly do every day tells us far more than even the headline-grabbing controversies.
Industries essentially bribe politicians with campaign contributions. Government employees regularly move into six-figure jobs lobbying for the industries they once regulated. Presidential candidates of both parties take time off from their small-town stump speeches about the middle class to hold big corporate fundraisers in New York penthouses and D.C. law firms. All of it is legal and treated as ho-hum by the media.
Then there is the bureaucracy, the faceless monolith whose civil service protections and multiyear appointment terms were supposed to prevent it from becoming what it is today: an increasingly important cog in the corrupt machine...
In Scripps Howard’s report on its poll findings, some experts voiced astonishment at the anger being expressed by the country. But really, we should be baffled if public opinion were any different. Considering what’s going on, is anyone actually stunned that America is enraged? Is anyone really confused about why so many believe the government conspires against the public?
It gets worse. The overwhelming evidence is that ever since the Allen Dulles sold his first lie to Ike, the government has been conspiring against itself. The factionalism in our government includes but is not limited to party loyalty, religous belief, and personal ambition.
So let's not hear moaning from the main$tream about all the conspiracy theorists in America today, especially when the biggest share of talk in the main$tream media concerns all the different stories the Company wants to sell us today.