By: Marilyn Assenheim
The Associated Press, in conjunction with GfK, released the results of a poll last month stating that 2/3 of Americans do not trust one another.
The poll hasn’t received much attention. It should. My Way reports that this poll is significant not only because of who conducted it but because it relates to individual trust in one another, not to government or “big institutions like the church or Wall Street.” This is not a penny-ante poll. GfK is the fourth largest market research organization in the world. In 1972, 50% of Americans responded to a General Social Survey claiming to have trust in their fellow man. The AP-GfK poll reports that number has dwindled to one-third. Does this matter? My Way thinks so: “Does it matter that Americans are suspicious of one another? Yes, say worried political and social scientists…Where trust appears to promote economic growth.” The AP/GfK site takes it a step further: “Even the rancor and gridlock in politics might stem from the effects of an increasingly distrustful citizenry…When trust is low, the way we…behave with each other becomes less civil’…”
What is most interesting about the poll is that researchers opine that the decrease in “social trust” is to blame; the proliferation of gated communities, desertion of civic-minded lodges and even bowling leagues are the problem. My Way cites a politically correct bromide: “African-Americans consistently have expressed far less faith in ‘most people’ than the white majority does. Racism, discrimination and a high rate of poverty destroy trust. Nearly 8 in 10 African-Americans…felt that ‘you can’t be too careful.’ The decline in the nation’s overall trust quotient was driven by changing attitudes among whites.”Changing attitudes among whites? If that is so, why is no one asking why attitudes might have changed “among whites?” Could it be that when the cry of “racism” becomes ubiquitous, a cudgel brandished with unrelenting frequency by minorities, white withdrawal may be the result? “Racism” has become a no-limit EBT card, flourished at every opportunity, by those seeking to claim victim status; but it is wearing very thin. The poll indicates that the “white community” is catching up to that black conviction; and it should not come as any surprise. Particularly when antisocial and illegal behavior by minorities against them is condoned or ignored by the ruling class and the irredeemably politically correct crowd; the president’s shamefully racist conduct leaps to mind. As does the current “Knock-out” craze.
The finger also points at economic disparity. Democrat domination, from federal to local government, controls the economy; what there is of one. For example: Artificially controlled, confiscatory property taxes force old people (and younger ones in increasing numbers) out of settled communities. Such actions all but guarantee the dissolution of established neighborhoods, civic and social groups. The economic divide is growing…but it is not accidental. It is an intentional power play.
Asserting that suspicious, isolationist behaviors result in a lack of civility and trust puts the cart before the horse. It is the collapse of civility, the establishment of government-sanctioned Balkanization and expropriation that has caused all of the symptoms the poll bewails as causatives. It was premeditated and it began decades ago.
If the AP-GfK wishes to find a precipitating incident they need look no further than Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” destroyer of the black family and substitution of the government as father figure. When people come to believe that they are “owed” respect instead of earning it, society begins to fall apart. And when society starts to crumble it is no surprise that trust would be among the first casualties.