I recently was asked the question "Is America losing faith in the political system?" As I contemplate the possible answers to the question (there basically are only two, "Yes", or "No") I would lean toward the answer "probably not", and the following few paragraphs will attempt to explain why.

As I have observed the last round of elections in this nation I can understand why some would question whether Americans have lost their faith in the political system, but I suspect it is not really the political system that has failed America. The failure America feels currently is much deeper than just a political failure. 

When the first fuzzy black and white television broadcasts of nearly a century ago began to deliver the facts of national and world news to American living rooms, a relationship of trust began to build between "we the people" and the many beloved news anchor men and women who delivered those incredible news stories. Somewhere around the late 1960's it became apparent to the people who controlled those media outlets that the opinion of "we the people" could be shaped by what was presented on television...provided the people were watching. Enter - competition for viewer ratings. 

Over the next thirty or forty years as media companies began to realize that they could shape the opinion of the nation by "how" they presented the facts of the news they began to compete furiously for the loyalty of their viewers. When we add this mix the copious amounts of money that exchange hands via advertising and political lobbying we recognize that all the prerequisites required to breed unfettered corruption and greed are in place. 

Fast forward to 2016. Suddenly now, we have a problem with "fake news"? I beg to differ. I believe we have had a problem with fake news for a long time...we just didn't know it, because there was basically only a few choices for news and these typically worked in cooperation to retain their influence. Many have begun to blame social media for flooding our eyes and ears with fake news, and though the there certainly is much false information in the social media streams, I suspect that the truth is, social media has simply exposed what has been there all along...we just couldn't see it so clearly until now. 

So back to the question - is America losing faith in the political system? My answer continues to be "no - not really". What America is losing faith in is much deeper than that. America was founded on freedom...freedom for "we the people" to be free from oppressive rule by powerful ideologues...freedom for any person, regardless of rank, nationality, race, or religion, to pursue the prosperity and happiness they desire. (and important note on this is that we are free to “pursue” what we desire...no where does this freedom promise that the government will guarantee that we achieve our goals.)

The framers of the constitution of this great republic were careful to create checks and balances that would limit the power of individuals who might try to take control and "rule" over "we the people". At the foundation of these principles was a faith in God as creator and sustainer built upon a Judaeo Christian moral code of ethics. What I have observed America losing faith in over the last fifty years is more spiritual than it is political. America has been losing faith in Freedom. The result of this loss of faith is now being felt as we drift further and further from faith in Freedom, which initially held us all together. The further we drift from freedom, the deeper we sink into bondage to government systems and regulations intended to help us be free but producing exactly the opposite effect.

When “we the people” begin to once again believe in freedom, prosperity will likely soon follow. Ironically, true freedom is found not in violently throwing off what we understand to be shackles that bind us, but in submitting to and serving God and one another. 

Published by Dented Knight