Harold Hutchison / Jun. 16, 2020

Lack of Trust Leads to Lack of Unity Among Americans

Our nation is divided by those who stand to benefit from continued rancorous fighting.

We hear a lot of people — including former Secretary of Defense James Mattis — decry the country’s lack of unity. However, they are operating under a false assumption that there was unity to be had in the first place. The fact is, there isn’t. Why? The biggest reason is a lack of trust, and lack of trust came about the old-fashioned way: It was earned.

Where can we start? If you want a recent example, look at the way public-health “experts” played favorites during the China Virus scare. It’s not for nothing that columnist Bethany Mandel, not exactly a big-time Donald Trump supporter, collected a lot of accounts relating how the lockdown affected people’s ability to grieve loved ones and warned, “I think a lot of people are underestimating the level of anger here.”

The unity and sense we are all in this together frayed long before that, especially when the lockdown’s pain on many Americans was belittled by establishment elites. In fact, when there were valid questions about the models, far too many politicians, like Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer, dismissed their concerns and talked down to people.

The harvest is starting to be reaped. Much of it is in the form of increasing defiance toward lockdown orders, but there is also a growing distrust when it comes to governing as well. In some ways, Trump’s election was part of that harvest — because the breakdowns in trust began long ago with a long line of leftist abuses of power. Secretary Mattis and others seem to have ignored this, and now, they, too, have lost trust.

But the loss of trust doesn’t just extend to government abuse. The conservative movement has deeply fractured over Trump — but not in the way many might think. The fact of the matter is, many grassroots conservatives have lost trust in the establishment — as well as self-proclaimed conservative leaders.

That loss of trust was deserved, though, and Trump is rather akin to chemotherapy for a cancerous inability to fight that had gripped too many conservatives. Now, the wages of the lost trust include a deeply fractured movement. But it also has seen the rise of new leaders who, so far, have earned trust. Charlie Kirk, Tomi Lahren, Candace Owens, and Kurt Schlichter, among others, gained their support by having the backs of grassroots Patriots. Amanda Carpenter, David French, and others haven’t, and they’ve paid the price.

It comes down to this: Trust is required for there to be even a possibility of unity. When trust is fractured, unity cannot happen. In addition, once fractured, trust is very difficult to rebuild — even when both sides desire to see that rebuilding happen. The question is, will there even be a desire to rebuild trust?

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