According to a new survey, American trust is down across the nation, and some believe we have to build it back quickly. Perhaps, but here’s why I think this may be better news than some think.

In a piece for the Washington Examiner, Salena Zito writes about the collapse of trust among Americans. Besides the military, in which trust has grown, Americans have become leerier of the media and the government. That’s the best news I’ve heard in quite some time.

“Only 43 percent of people said they trust the media; a whopping 5 percent drop from last year,” Zito states. “Government came in even lower, at 41 percent; trust in military has grown, and trust in business is a bit stronger than the media and government, but not by much.”

Some of the reasons Zito cites for society’s fall into distrust has to do with the failing job market and increased automation. These realities have put a lot of Americans on edge as their economic stability is threatened. Technology, especially access to the Internet, has removed the need for so many businesses, though it has created new ones. Local newspapers are closing around the country at a rapid pace as more and more people access news online, but like Zito warns, that leaves “no one to hold local governments accountable.” She continues:

And think about the institutional fractures in our communities; how much lead is in our water? Is that bridge I cross everyday safe to use? Why are our school systems failing our children? Why are my healthcare costs so high? Why has no one in the Catholic Church faced crime and punishment for their actions? Why do CEOs get paid so much money as their workers lose their jobs? Why do banks get bailouts but we don’t?

The culture plays a part, too, as average Americans became the butt of Hollywood’s jokes. We are told our ideas are outdated. We are sexist, xenophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and phobic of things we don’t even know we are phobic of yet. They are our moral betters, and we are the enemy. We are treated this way by the media, as well.

But it’s this very cultural divide that led to the election of Donald Trump. It was why Bernie Sanders was extremely popular. Zito adds, “[T]here was a comprehensive perception that all of the mainstream institutions in American culture — media, banks, government, entertainment, and business — have all behaved as a band of elitist forces stockpiling all of the monies of society and deliberately pushing them out.”

But here’s the silver lining: Instead of rushing to build back trust with these “mainstream institutions” let’s put trust back where it belongs — in OURSELVES. When we do that, we’re on our way to a properly self-governing society.

Trust is good, but self reliance is better.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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