Saturday, November 27 2021

The continued enthusiasm for Mr. Trump was palpable in the crowded Nashville Music Valley conference hall, where flag-adorned supporters shouted support for the former president and mainstream media reporters were persona non grata.

While conspiracy theories in politics are not new, the data suggests that the United States is the only established democracy to experience such a large decline in social trust.

The decline appears to correlate with the country’s growing political polarization, often linked to the late 1960s and the escalation of the Vietnam War.

According to the American National Election Survey, 56% of Americans thought most people could be trusted in 1968. By 2021, public trust in government fell to about 24%, according to the Pew Research Center.

With partisanship at an all-time high in a divided Congress, some fear these entrenched positions may be heard reversed.
Joe Biden alluded to the problem last week when he said this to, “Half Republicans: I’m not your president; Donald Trump is still your president. As we Catholics say: ‘Oh, my God’.

Coronavirus misinformation

The coronavirus pandemic has also become a lightning rod for disinformation, with false theories about its origin and bogus treatments spread by everyone from elected officials to uninformed commentators online.

Attitudes towards the pandemic are falling sharply along political lines, with around 90% of Democrats vaccinated against Covid-19, compared to just 58% of Republicans.

The pandemic has exposed the virulence of America’s anti-vaccine movement – a demographic bloc that Mr. Trump and other Republicans have courted by defending the importance of personal and medical freedom.

It has also “exacerbated” the socio-economic factors that lead to such disenfranchisement, Professor Enders said, with stagnant wages and rising inflation increasing economic inequality in the United States.

Back in Nashville, the anger over the coronavirus debate was evident among conference attendees, many of whom doubted the origin of the pandemic and the country’s response.

One participant proudly showed off what she sarcastically dubbed her “domestic terrorist” t-shirt, which rose up against the mask and vaccine warrants with the slogan: “We do not share parenting responsibilities with the government.” .

Another was wearing a t-shirt that read “Covid is a hoax”.

While some said they have come to learn more about alternative cancer treatments, many others said they have come to learn more about the claims that vaccines are dangerous.

Keri Young, a 54-year-old housewife from California, said she fell out with family and friends over her refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine and concerns about government excesses .

“My kids say ‘mom is crazy’ but there is a lot of good information here,” she said.

Another expressed his position more bluntly. “The big pharmaceutical companies are trying to kill us and they are making billions of dollars in the process,” said Eric, a construction worker in his 40s, who has requested to be referred to by a pseudonym.

Perhaps Eric Trump summed up their position best: “We just want to be left alone.”


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