Perhaps We Trusted Too Much

If you were born with pale skin in the United States in the last 150 years, you have led a life of great privilege, though you might not realize it.  You might begin to realize it if you could exchange brief life stories with someone your age born in Ghana, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Iraq … most any other non-democratic nation.  But here’s the thing … we are so used to that life of privilege that we no longer appreciate it, we take it for granted.

Since you were old enough to talk, you’ve understood that this is a mostly free nation, that people have certain ‘unalienable’ rights.  You can choose your own career path, can choose to be well-educated … or not.  You can choose, within the confines of your economic status, where to live, what sort of car to drive.  You are not told who, or even if you must marry.  You are not forced into any religion.  And perhaps most importantly of all, you have the right to vote in order to keep people in government who are dedicated to preserving your rights.

You were told when you first learned about the founding of the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution that this document was the foundation of our nation and was the primary safeguard against the country ever becoming a Nazi Germany ruled by a madman.  You were told that the Constitution guaranteed that religion and government would always be kept separate, that you would never be beheaded for not believing in any religion.  It is your right, you were told, to be a Jew, Muslin, Hindu, Christian, or atheist.  It is your right to marry whomever you choose.  It is your right to have the final say over your body.  And you thought all this was guaranteed, that those ‘rights’ could never be taken away from you.

It may just be that you were wrong.

We became lazy, we became complacent, we became inured to the little things that were chipping away at our lives, our freedoms, as we didn’t even realize it.  We trusted in our government and its foundational separation of powers that would always keep any one branch of government from having too much power.  We never asked ourselves what would happen if two or even three of those branches plotted to join hands and become all-powerful.  We had the utmost faith in the impartial, non-partisan, 9-member Supreme Court that would always rule in favour of ‘right’.  We trusted in the ‘Separation of Church and State’ doctrine to keep us free of bigoted, restrictive rules imposed by religious sects.

But a funny thing happened as we travelled through the decades.  Men became intoxicated by power and the smell of money. And then they lied to us.  They lied about little things, they lied about big things.  They manipulated us, told us that those who try to help people in need are ‘socialists’ and ‘communists’, even though the majority of people do not even understand what those terms mean, but these greedy men gave us their interpretation and … we were too lazy to educate ourselves with facts, to learn the truth of the matter.

I won’t go through the entire scenario of the past twelve years or so, but here we are today … dangerously close to the precipice, to that thin line that separates a democratic republic from an autocracy.  Even now, when we nearly lost our voices and our freedoms on January 6th, far too many people believe that the men lying to them on a near-hourly basis are the good guys, the guys in the white hats.  They have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into believing that white folks like themselves are being pushed into a minority and that … somehow this is not a good thing.  They have been convinced that climate change is a hoax, that the pandemic is but a minor blip on the radar, and that somehow all evil stems from one side of the political spectrum.

A quote by Nelson Mandela speaks volumes here …

The United States is at a crossroads.  We can continue to allow the politicians, our elected representatives, to lie to us, to rob us, to cheat on us, as we take comfort in the fact that we have a job, a comfortable home, a ‘happy’ life, or we can educate ourselves, wake up and realize what could happen, how drastically our lives could change over the coming few years if we simply do nothing, continue to believe that somehow it will “all work out in the long run.”  A lot of people in Germany 90 years ago made the same mistake.

41 thoughts on “Perhaps We Trusted Too Much

  1. Pingback: Perhaps We Trusted Too Much – Nelsapy

  2. I saw this coming when Reagan was elected president. It was the beginning of the end for our country. His attitude that the government “was the problem” was the most idiotic thing I had ever heard & yet … in the forty years since he was first elected, this idea has grown into a cancer which has metastasized into a death-dealing downward spiral & honestly … I think we’re done. I really do.

    Biden won the last election but he’s a corporate shill like so many others. I’m not talking shit about him … but let’s face the truth, people. & other dems … like Manchen … are just DINO’s. Cuomo, whom nobody on either side here in NY misses, was the king of DINO’s. If you are sucking up to the rich & the corporations, you are NOT for the working class & the people who NEED you.

    I remember when Obama was elected & I thought … like a fool, I thought … that he would be the new FDR & bring all kinds of changes. BUT NO. He didn’t do shit. That stupid Obamacare was just the GOP healthcare that they would have shoved down our throats if the Clintons hadn’t F’d up their so-called healthcare reform back in the early 90s. WHICH IS WHY I VOTED FOR THEM. I know President Clinton was a dem but he F’d up a LOT of shit … Welfare, food stamps, medicaid. As a single mother, I could have gone to college FOR FREE, with FREE childcare before Welfare reform. Now we have to fight to get this again.

    Once you lose benefits, you never get them back. Once the rich get their tax breaks, they never let them go.

    Ya know who was the first president to cut taxes on the rich? It wasn’t Reagan. IT WAS KENNEDY.

    I hate to be “they’re both bad” … but they are. Of course the GOP are way worse but that’s like saying losing your home is worse than losing your life. Both sides suck. Why do you think so many people go to third parties?

    Everywhere I look, I see Trump stickers, “Trump 2024” signs, people wearing MAGA hats, people talking shit about Biden, anti-Biden memes on Facebook, etc. Even if Trump doesn’t return in 2024, we’re going to end up with a president who’s EVEN WORSE. Because he won’t be a dumbass like Trump.

    “We trusted too much” … the hell with that! Some of us saw what was coming LONG AGO. We tried to tell people but nobody but nobody would listen. I refuse to be part of that “we”. YOU trusted too much. WAY TOO MUCH.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ooh. Great anger, SAQ! I love it! Democracy is not all its hyped up to be. Someone always takes advantage of others, and in the cases of the world’s great democracies right now, money buys everyone. Which is why I stopped participating in the democratic process over 40 years ago. If you vote, you are part of the problem! I am told I have no say in what goes on becsuse I do not vote. The hell with that! I can see from outside what so few can see from inside. But no one listens anyway… They all believe in the religion of democracy!
      And, Jill, you said no one forces anyone to believe in a religion? Tell that to all the children who are brainwashed to believe whatever religion their parents believe in, who got that religion from their parents. Luckily those religions have become quite transparent to anyone with a discerning mind. As young people age, they can see through the stupidity their parents forced on them. We will only have true religious freedom when religion is forbidden to be taught until a child reaches the age of majority. Then, if they feel the need, they can explore various religions and find something that suits them. Or they can choose to ignore all the religious bullshit, and believe they themselves are capable of being good people without AUTHORITY FIGURE telling them they can only be good if they believe.

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      • Totally agree about the voting scam. Suckers who vote are legitimizing/ perpetuating a rigged system where political puppets are INSTALLED under the illusion that the mindless masses’ votes actually count for something!
        No matter who’s in office, corporations, special interests, lobbyists [insiders] get the largess while the working class get scraps. If you think voting changes anything, then ur a willfully blind fool doing the bidding of the corrupt “leaders”.
        It’s time to overthrow the system and start over…. or tolerate more of the same.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry Jill, I don’t mean you personally, I’m just directing my frustration at the system, and the collective participants in general who go along every election cycle like good little lemmings…. right off the cliff.
            Am i wrong? Is our gov’t doing the very best for it’s citizens or are the tax breaks benefitting the elite 1% who contribute most to BOTH parties. Would you say this is right? To me it speaks of corruption and bribery.
            When you vote you are legitimizing an absolute corrupt system of governance, thus ensuring that nothing ever change… b/c you are voting/ supporting such a system.
            I know it’s up to my generation and younger to boycott, protest and call out our rigged elections (rigged for corporations, wealthy powerful assholes like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Soros, ppl who want to maintain our current “Democracy” which serves them best.
            Example: During the pandemic, why is it that all the mom and pop stores are forced to close when major supermarkets and Walmart are allowed to be open 24/7? Are you telling me this is fair? Do u think campaign contributions from the Walmart family has anything to do with CDC policy? Or why Walmart employees earn less than minimum wage and need food stamps (financed by taxpayers) in order to make ends meet. IS that the best our “Democracy” and voting can do for ESSENTIAL workers? Am i wrong to feel this way? 😦

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              • Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
                So yeah, keep on voting and pray ur politicians will do right by you. Sorry but i won’t be holding my breath. Good luck with that logic.

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                  • Neil, ur missing my point entirely. When we have a 2-party system on the take “campaign contributions”, US elections become a zero sum game. Regardless or whether I vote or not, the system wins and we the ppl lose, like every time.
                    Politicians are beholden to their contributors, not to us, duh!
                    Why do you think the NRA even exist, esp when majority of Americans are anti-gun?
                    Perhaps those millions in “donations” to BOTH parties have something to do with the laws passed?
                    What about minimum wage, free education, or universal health care??? Are you telling me that the richest nation in the world can’t afford these basic human rights, when most of the western world, including Russia offer some of these benefits to their citizens?
                    Did you know that Russia passed a childcare law that compels companies to pay their female employees 1-year paid leave after childbirth for rest and recovery, and also additional 5 years of free daycare once the mother returns to work. You see, Russians value the sanctity of family, easing the burdens of motherhood, so mama can bond with the child.
                    Do you think mothers in the US would appreciate this level of care and compassion from our elected “leaders”? Again i won’t be holding my breath, I can already see lobbyists shooting down such a bill b/c it would affect the company’s bottom line. Would you say the quality of life in most of the civilized world to be better or worse than the US?

                    Boycott future elections if you want to send a message, if enough ppl wake up and drop out of this election farce, Washington would definitely take notice. Otherwise enjoy more of the same. Still feel like voting? *Sigh*

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                    • Regardless or whether I vote or not, the system wins and we the ppl lose, like every time.

                      But the two parties are not the same.

                      It’s because people like you refuse to vote, that the Democratic party is too far toward the right. They go where the votes are.

                      Why do you think the NRA even exist, esp when majority of Americans are anti-gun?

                      It’s not so clear that the majority are anti-gun. I know liberals who are gun owners.

                      Are you telling me that the richest nation in the world can’t afford these basic human rights, when most of the western world, including Russia offer some of these benefits to their citizens?

                      You get the government that people vote for. And when you refuse to vote, you hurt your own position.

                      Boycott future elections if you want to send a message

                      That would send the message that I’m okay with fascist governments.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I earth, I agree with some of what you have said about corruption on both sides and the whole process geared to the super wealthy corporations and the two parties can often be two sides to the same coin.
                      But for the time being I feel voting is still important. You still want the lesser of two evils. I would rather have seen people vote for Biden than trump. We would be in much worse shape if Trump had won and I’m afraid we will see this in 2024. The republicans all vote and many democrats do not and the republicans are making it even harder for them to vote.
                      A system can’t be changed overnight, yet our system may be too far gone.
                      So many problems with getting people and a political system to change….religion, social media, Far right media, poor education, apathy, crime, guns, drugs, worsening poverty and on and on.

                      I don’t think it’s as simple as simply saying “don’t vote”. I don’t believe that would accomplish anything but hand the fascist elements in politics ever more power and corruption.

                      But I do see absolutely no accountability for anything trump and his cohorts have done, the insurrection, his taxes, any investigations, threats by McCarthy, idiots like Greene, Gaetz , etc., and then moving on with the filibuster, infrastructure, health care, decent wages, sane welcoming immigration policies, climate change policies and standards, the Afghanistan debacle and the list goes on…
                      You can’t leave all this to apathy and just not voting or giving a shit. That just plays onto their hands.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Mary, thanks for sharing your insightful perspective, I’ll give it further thought.
                      Alas there’s the conundrum…. voting also plays into their hands 😉
                      It’s not apathy if my intention is to change the system, and you’re right, our system of democracy/ capitalism has gone too far, it’s way past saving, we’re actually at the precipice of collapse.

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    • If it isn’t trump, it will be DeathSantis from Fla. Either way, we are screwed. And the Dems have no one because I don’t think Biden (not that he’s great) will run again. There is no one. The republicans literally pulled the trump card in 2016 and have won.

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  3. Thats so true, Jill! I fully agree with you! But, wait on! After the elections here in Germany, elections in the biggest economy inside the European Union, i am sure most politicans and other people in the USA (and all over the world) will change their mind. They will more than ever stay together. I have a very bad feeling about these elections. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • “I have a very bad feeling about these elections.”

      Why, Michael, why? I guess that …
      1) almost nobody’s gonna attend the election “coz it won’t change anything anyway”
      2) Germany’s economy and influence will go down even more and faster

      And what has the result of Germany’s election to do with people staying together? In America of all places! The most “untogether” country on the planet. I’m all for Germany leaving the NATO and the EU and looking for better partnerships with Russia and China. If they still accept us that is. 😐 But it won’t happen anyway, no matter what party makes the race. Som rest assured, Germany will be soldiering on, wasting money on NATO and EU and let Washington have the last word in all big decisions.

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      • Yes, Jill! About NATO may not be the best. But Germany is also stable internally. With Chancellor Merkel there was stability for a very long time. What comes next doesn’t sound so good. We just have too many radical political currents in the country.

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        • Sorry, I’m not Jill. I just barged in since I was triggered. Why may leaving NATO not be the best? I think it’s high time to say goodbye to those bullies, serving a monstrous evil overlord. Think about all the money we could save and spend on better things. Schools, unis, hospitals, infrastructure, you name it.

          And Merkel? Are you fukin with me? She learned from Kohl how to govern by doing nothing. And her gang of highly corruptible, morally flexible Hohlbirnen? Unwählbar! CDU has never been a seriouis party and didn’t get better in no way.

          Fortunately the green Annalena was found out as a fraud and bleibt euch erspart.
          And I hear the AfD assholios have no chance neither. I’m still rooting for Die Linke but don’t have high hopes. So maybe you get the Verräterpartei, the former socialdemocrats. 😉
          Ooooh shiiiit! 😮

          What Germany needs is a democratic socialists party! Bit more robust than the soft eggs of the SPD … and true ideologists! And we need a complete change of course, away from the West, heading East, away from the stinky past, towards a prosperous 21st century. Everybody knows it’s gonna be the Asian century, and if we behave they’ll maybe accept us and take us with them. Germany has still a good reputation as industrial powerhouse, I guess we stand a good chance China and Russia will accept our friendship offer.

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            • Which one would, that be, please? I’m not living in that shithole anymore, and since Covid we’re not getting in anyway.So maybe a newly founded party did escape the little interest I could muster.
              And where was I ranting? I really don’t have enough energy for rants.

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            • 0.3% is much to much for that mafia. And I don’t make any difference between NATO and regular military budget. It should be stopped 100%. Ende im Gelände. And me and MAGA? What are you smoking?

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  4. Jill, I think we should begin with a few simple steps. We need to tell all politicians to spend as much effort on keeping their jobs and start doing their jobs. We need to tell the most guilty politicians to stop lying to us and start telling the truth – both parties lie, but right now Republicans are adrift and too many are untethered to the truth (as Michael said that includes men and women). And, I would strongly urge people to change their discussion from whether the former president will run to he should not be allowed to run as he is the most corrupt, deceitful and seditious president in my lifetime. He may very well find himself in jail. Americans deserve better than this. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Keith. Some how we have to get big money out of politics so the elected politicians will stop being for sale to the highest bidder and start working for the voters again. I include both parties in this. For example recently 9 house Democrats tried and succeeded in getting a set date for the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure vote instead of doing it in tandem with the larger Democratic house version. Why everyone asked was this so important to them to get that set date. Because as soon as they did Manchin in the Senate threw up road blocks to slow down the larger Democratic bill. So the vote will come first on the smaller bipartisan now and the other bill may never happen. Well that is the plan, but who made the plan you ask. The wealthy / large corporations. See the bipartisan bill has give away to the wealthy the Republicans demanded be there or they wouldn’t agree to the bill. The larger Democratic bill raises the tax rates and fees on the wealthy, which they do not want. And what do both Manchin and these 9 Democrats have in common? The Chamber of Commerce, a very powerful lobbying body of the wealthy businesses and one Manchin recently got caught on audio begging for help to sabotage legislation by them buying off a few retiring legislators. So they think they have won and the rich get richer and the poor suffer more, but I think they will find that those easy days of demanding what they want and just getting it are coming to an end. people really are tired of the blatant power of money being paid to politicians. Most elected officials today see the office they win as a golden lotto ticket to gain personal wealth, not a job to serve the nation or the people. Hugs

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  5. I wouldn’t call out just men. We have several women on the right doing a damn fine job of spreading hate, bullshit, and lies in the current age. It started with men, no doubt. But it’s spread.

    The other thing is, we’re constantly arriving at a crossroads. Jamie Bouie touched on that in his column about Biden’s popularity slide.

    ‘Biden’s slide is noteworthy, but it is also exactly what we should expect given the structural conditions of American politics in the 21st century. But this cuts against the unstated assumption that a president should have an approval rating above 50 percent. It’s an assumption that, as Sam Goldman, a professor of political science at George Washington University, observed, is “another example of how we’ve adopted the deeply exceptional midcentury interlude as our baseline — partly because it remains our vision of normality, and partly because that’s when reliable data start.”’

    So, yes, perhaps we trusted too much. Perhaps we became complacent by the period of relative unity and prosperity that followed WWII and the social change that grew out of that. Perhaps that set us up to be too damn hopeful and optimistic. Ain’t gonna change, though. There will be another crossroad.

    Hugs and cheers, M

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  6. I’m going to chip in here and say I live in the UK. Many Americans will know and accept that we are a Democracy too. We have all those rights that you do and more as we are a Social Democracy. Our mainly Socialist Governments are committed to Social Justice and a socialist conscience. In other words, those of us who have a bit more contribute towards those who have a bit less and some part of our Taxes go towards a health service that’s free to all. That’s no charge for operations, for nursing care, or for dressings. We have nursing homes that are free to some. There is money for the unemployed, for those off sick from work, for the pregnant and money to help those looking for work. All this is Social Care, nothing to do with communism and nothing to do with the poor taking the piss and not intending to give back through taxes when they work. This is brotherhood where we all have a responsibility to care for our fellows. If this sounds anything like your Party then you’re voting for the right people, if it does not then you’re voting for people who haven’t shown the slightest interest in your wellbeing while you’ve been in need. And now, they not only care nothing about you, they’re removing the right to vote from your fellows , maybe work colleagues, maybe neighbours because they’re black, brown, yellow or worse still may vote Democrat. They’re doing well at removing women’s rights so far with a heavily political Supreme Court .It’s time to decide the kind of Country you want and who you want running it. Democracy or Autocracy., Your choice.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Hello Jill. Well said, very well said. I hope it is not too late, but I worry that it is going to be a really hard job to overcome the strict voter suppression done by red states. When so many of the people cannot reasonably exercise their right to vote are we still a democracy? Have we crossed that line you mentioned? Glad to see you still have your fire Jill. Hugs

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