Broken Trust: The Cause of Angry Politics


“Everyone agrees that there is something different about today’s angry politics.”

Everyone agrees that there is something different about today’s angry politics. The ordinary issues that have shaped the political debate for years have largely remained the same. The economy is still in bad shape, terrorism remains a top concern and the deficit is still growing as fast as ever.

The mood of the nation, however, has undergone a great shift. People are angry. They are not angry about something, but rather angry at someone.

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Digging a bit deeper, one finds that, more often than not, people are venting their rage not at any particular individual, but rather a class, institution or grouping of people. Targets include incumbents, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, politically correct academics, clergy or just the plain “establishment”—whatever that might mean. This unfocused shotgun approach holds that we need to throw the whole lot out and start over again to effect real change.

The causes of this widespread discontent are likewise unfocused. There are authentic rational reasons for this discontent but it usually manifests itself more through feelings than facts. There is a general (and often legitimate) feeling of betrayal on the part of governing institutions that have failed to be responsive to an assortment of conflicting concerns. People sense that generally things are stagnated and not moving forward. Many more simply feel left behind.

The result in a very real divorce between the present policies shaping the nation and what the nation actually needs and wants. And like every divorce, it is very messy.

Like a broken marriage, the missing element is trust. Public confidence in major institutions has plummeted over the past four decades with Congress in the basement with a less than ten percent approval rating. The media, academia, corporations and religious groups do not fare much better. Anti-institutional candidates are all the rage and win by raging against anyone even remotely connected with “the system.”

The erosion of this public trust has been building for decades, but only now are the political implications becoming evident. The giant edifice of American society—so apparently powerful and resilient—is only as strong as the patchwork of buttresses, struts and beams that hold it up. In this case, the patchwork consists of those personal relationships built on trust that bind people together for virtuous life in common. These ties can be found in families, communities and other intermediary associations that hold the nation together in trust. Above all, these bonds are forged when people love their neighbors as themselves for the love of God, in the practice of Christian charity.

It is no secret that the strength of these social ties has dramatically weakened over the years. These important lines of communication in our society are being severed from top to bottom. The respect, affection, and courtesy flowing from these social ties no longer facilitate the organic circulation and flow of fresh ideas and vitality throughout society. Intermediary groups, like parishes and local communities, are fading away together with the feeling of security they once gave. People can no longer identify with the surviving institutions that are usually huge and bureaucratic. Hence comes the very real sensation of stagnation and alienation that is so much a part of angry politics.

Modernity does little to discourage this disaggregation or the anger. In the name of a misplaced diversity without unity, people go about the exhausting task of defining their identity, sexuality and brand without concern for society or the common good. Those who oppose this diversity are angrily labeled “bigoted” or “intolerant.”

That is why we are now seeing the frenzied disintegration of a society where all go their own way. People harden in their own positions, and the world becomes, in the words of Alasdair MacIntyre, “a meeting place for individual wills, each with its own set of attitudes and preferences and who understand that world solely as an arena for the achievement of their own satisfaction.”

The result is a political climate of mistrust that leads to a polarization that is actually a Subscription8.1shattering of the country into thousands of little poles that make angry politics happen. This is only logical since broken trust tends to beget ever more angry distrust.

That is not to say anger cannot have a constructive role in politics. However, it should be focused and principled. It should not lead to indiscriminate rage against all authority and institutions, and the idea that no one can be trusted save oneself. Society becomes impossible if anger leads to the conclusion that each man should become his own authority and his own law.

If we are to return to order, there will need to be those who rise above self-interest and truly grieve for the nation. Such representative figures have always appeared in times of crisis to unite, never shatter, the nation. They will need to reforge those social bonds and rebuild society and its structures. They will need to rally the nation around those permanent virtues of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that encourage moderation and build strong social bonds. Trust must be restored, at the very root, beginning with an unlimited trust in God.

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  • Dennis Stewart

    If every other cell in the human body due to negligence is infected by cancer cells because it was seen to be discriminatory to keep cancer cells out of the human body, how would the body ever survive – 50% but commingled so that every other cell was cancer free next to every other cell that was cancer full?

    This country has committed sovereign suicide beginning with a Constitution that became unconstitutional to itself and is now governed by a Convolution. Nikita Khruschev was right when he said: “We will bury you.” Today, we are governed vastly more by the precepts of the Communist Manifesto than by the so called principles of the USA Constitution – non existent principles that are instead competing processes and procedures that change inch by inch so slowly but deliberately that few notice it.

  • ithakavi

    The nation that won WWII is no longer recognizable in what surrounds us. We have a president and a young generation who have no conception of where this country came from or why it is (or was) the last best hope for mankind. We have a political class who care nothing for the people who are governed and who simply regard politics as an industry and taxpayers as saps.

    And the chattering classes wonder why Trump is doing so well.

  • Paul

    John, I could not agree more with your analysis of our nation’s problems. Broken trust is certainly at the root of the brooding anger in the hearts of so many citizens. But in addition to that, I believe that the minds of many, especially the younger generation, have accepted the lies, or untruths, spread by the liberals who hold office in education and government to the point of no return.Those infected minds have been deceived by the culture and the media into believing ideas, behaviors, and activities that seem to be good, or at least okay, but which are not, and in the long term bring only harm to the individual. And these individuals vote their mistaken positions when they go to the polls at the state and national levels. Without strong leadership at the national level (like that provided by Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher) there is no change for the better.

    • jea2comments

      Another big problem in this country is the Education system, which is NOT education, but rather indoctrination. Young impressionable minds are being filled with lies, untruth, and indoctrinated with Liberal ideas from K-12 and on through college. Just one more reason to HOME-SCHOOL your children and grandchildren. Also, the current History books especially in the last 10 years, have been re-written with a slant toward glamorizing jihadists as “freedom fighters.” Freedom fighters (cough cough), let’s call them for what they are, and that is: terrorists! Just more evidence that the LIBERAL EDUCATION system is being slanted to the far LEFT and introducing ideas of radicalism. This must be STOPPED!!! Parents need to take control of their childs education, and start homeschooling their child(ren). Get other parents on-board with the idea, that way you could form a group of other like-minded parents with the goal of homeschooling children as that is the only way they are going to get a quality education. If you can’t homeschool, then get a trusted adult, neighbor, or friend. Always run a background check on them (it costs less than $20 online) and is worth the money. Also, when it comes to the subject of History, get an “old” History book, at least 10 years old or older. Otherwise all you’re going to get is a LEFTIST version of history that is not accurate and in which instills lies and a leftist agenda, along with a slant toward islam. To search out homeschooling programs go to: or other sites which offer homeschooling programs.

      • Mary Black

        As a veteran of 42 years in education and an activist in the fight against Common Core, I urge that you do not consider online homeschool programs like K12, Connections Academy, or Kahn Academy that are nothing more than online public schools that will bring what you are trying to avoid into your home. All of the afore-mentioned programs are totally aligned with Common Core that has made schools into school-to-work and one-size-fits-all institutions designed to minimize parents and families.

        • jea2comments

          What programs would you suggest then? Because the public school system is nothing more than a cesspool of liberal indoctrination and ideologies. If I had a young child in this day and age, there is no way I’d send him/her to a public school. At least at home if a parent sees something in a “school assignment” that doesn’t align with his/her beliefs and the way they were taught, they can at least explain to their child as to why the viewpoint of the “lesson” isn’t right. Parents can then add their own assignments separate from the home-school course to challenge the child to think and problem solve. You’re correct in the fact that Common-Core must go, it’s nothing more than the “dumbing-down” of our children, and frankly the whole educational system and its curriculum must be re-vamped, liberal ideologies dumped, and the History books need to be revised in a big way, in order to reflect true history. True history is NOT being reported in current history books, but what we are seeing is a pack of lies, and the glamorization of islam, in which jihadists are called “freedom-fighters” – they are NOT freedom fighters, they are terrorists and they should be labeled as such. Also christians are portrayed in a negative light as well. The end result is our children are being lied to, and their minds filled with liberal indoctrination, in short they are being misled. For a quality education – the curriculum must teach and challenge students minds, and the History of this country must be taught in a truthful manner, otherwise what our children are learning is lies. I ask you again, what online homeschool programs would you suggest be taught to our children?

          • Mary Black

            Not with the intention of advertising or promoting for gain, I would suggest FreedomProject Academy. As the Curriculum Director for FPA for over 5 years, I guarantee that no part of our curriculum is aligned with Common Core nor do we accept a penny of government money. We offer live online classes taught by qualified teachers at scheduled times Monday through Thursday for grades K through 12. Our teaching style is classical which means that it is teacher directed and the a main goal throughout all grade levels is teaching children how to think not what to think. All areas of our curriculum and classes are instructed in accordance to the Judeo-Christian principles upon which our country was founded. God as our creator is the source of all truth and knowledge. Parents whose importance is essential and required in the education of their children are partners with us. Several major online programs have now aligned with Common Core – Liberty Academy and The Potter’s School. Parents, be careful. Participating in any government funded program will by mandate a homeschooler subject to the regulations in the ESSA which is worse than No Child Left Behind. You can visit the website for FPA at

          • jea2comments

            Thanks for the post. That’s good to know and by all means you should feel proud that the program is not aligned with common-core. Don’t hesitate to advertise the website, every chance you get. People want the best education possible for their children and grandchildren. As an educator entrusted to teach our children, don’t hesitate to tell others about it and proclaim it proudly.

          • Mary Black

            Thank you for this post. I proudly proclaim what FPA offers to those parents who contact us because they are considering FPA. There is no doubt in my mind that FPA is one of a very few choices for those parents who truly understand the evils of Common Core and seek to avoid them. However, in a forum such as this, it would be easy to misconstrue my promotion of FPA. My interest is the spiritual and academic well-being of children as you suggest. Our website is

  • William Domenico

    To return to order, we need to elect Donald Trump who, ” is rising above self-interest and truly grieving for the nation.” He is a billionaire elitist who speaks as a commoner. His message is resonating with traditionalists. He needs to be elected and then he needs to return America to Christ in order to be “great again.”

    • Edward Koestner

      Trump “return America to Christ?” He cannot teach what he does not know.

      • mrstones4u

        He is surrounding himself with a ton of godly people! That is a great start. I believe he will have a Come to Jesus moment in all of this! Let us all keep praying!

  • Rosech Levy

    Unfortunately with the federal government giving our tax monies to the public school system made it their boss, and then came teacher unions and between the two have not educated students about America, its founding, its purpose, why and how it came about so they have no real way in which to identify with “history” but only what is preached to them at every school level and so the students are easily led down the wrong path which is ending in communism if we don’t get our act together and vote the only one who, although not perfect, is the best of all candidates to get America back on track and avoid the finalization of the published 1963 DNC Communist Manifesto of 44 steps to overtake America. We cannot and must not allow this to happen because there are millions of Americans that know better and need to share their love of America to those who are not truly educated but indoctrinated. Why have we allowed so many registered socialists and communists to be elected to represent me shows how lax we, the voters, have been in vetting candidates over a long period of years to know who they really are and will not betray their oaths, promises, us and America. I know many of us thought we would never see this time in losing America because we have been lax and spoiled. We have alternatives and we must be ready to take advantage of them. Did you know that America was made a corporation in the mid-1800s? Well, that surprised me as well. Or that the DNC and RNC/GOP are actually privately owned corporations enriching themselves with our donations and that of the evil doers? So, it makes it easy for these so-called parties to ignore the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and so many of them see nothing wrong in the New World Order/One World Government pushing closer each day. Pray like crazy that we win back our country and oust all those who are against us because GOD IS WITH US as He said He would be.

    • faithandhonor

      The political parties have hijacked the entire presidential candidate nominating process, presumed in their arrogance to choose FOR US who will be the nominee, and it will always be someone who will enrich the elites at our expense, leaving us the dregs of whatever institution is left, keeping the best for themselves.

      Thank God that Trump has ripped the mask off of this corrupt group. But it will be up to us, as the citizens, to fix this and rebuild trust on a local level.

  • jea2comments

    Broken trust is the result of politics as usual. The result is we now have a very angry electorate, and it’s showing at the voting polls. People are sick of being betrayed, robbed, manipulated, lie to, and over-taxed and now subject to the effects of “open borders” which also is a threat to our national security and effects the safety of our citizenry. This country has been run-over on nearly a daily basis by obama, since Day 1. Politicians elected by the People, have betrayed We the People. They’ve betrayed their oaths of office, they’ve lied, manipulated, cheated, and over-taxed us. They did nothing to STOP obama-care and allowed the passage of it even though the public outcry against was so intense. We got Gay Marriage even though We the People did NOT want that either! We also got “open borders.” The people in power who are supposed to be protecting the citizenry of this country, could care less! Their only out to protect themselves and their own family, as they line their pockets with taxpayer money. We got TPP and TPA (which only further decimates our already weakened trading agreements with other countries, and in which we get NOTHING, while other countries profit off of us, at every turn. We send money to our enemies via obama’s generous hand and yet we can’t take care of our Veterans and get them the proper medical treatment and their disability pay when returning home from war?! We also can’t give our seniors a yearly cost of living allowance increase? And yet, we have plenty of money for our enemies? We also have plenty of money for illegals who promptly get on the public dole at taxpayer’s expense. We got a lot of problems in this country, and until you get the vermin out of office and DEMAND positive changes, we are only going to see more and more corruption.

    • Edward Koestner

      The only problem is that Trump’s actions contradict your favorable assessment of him, especially his recent statement in favor of allowing transgender men to use the women’s bathroom.

      • jea2comments

        I never said Trump was an angel, NOPE never did. Actually, I do not agree with his stance on transgenders being allowed to use women’s bathrooms. I think it’s wrong, and all this is going to result in, is crimes against women and possibly children. This bill was passed by the current Regime in power, not Trump. Somehow, I get the feeling that Trump really doesn’t like it, but may be a little “lax” on this issue for the time being. Perhaps he doesn’t want to ruffle too many feathers in the realm of the freaks! Frankly, I was surprised when he didn’t speak out against the transgenders in the women’s bathroom issue. Trump’s got his faults like the rest of candidates; however he is still the best man for the job of POTUS. Other than that, I like 95% of what is coming out of his mouth and what he plans to do while in office. Our country is hanging by a thread, so I can’t throw a decent candidate like him to the wolves on one issue. You have to look at the big picture, not just one issue. Did you see his speech on Foreign policy? If not, you should check it out, it was excellent. I sure as hek could not support lying Ted, nor could I support Kasich, as those two are bought-and-paid for frauds and charlatans and I wouldn’t trust either of them as far as I could throw them.

        • ArcArcArc

          We must be careful not to lapse into extremism, especially if Trump, if he gets elected, fails to improve our condition. Germans in the 1920s and Russians in the 1910s were rightfully fed up with their government, but the replacement (Nazism and Communism) was far worse. Too bad someone like Winston Churchill isn’t running for president. An ideal politician, specifically president, would be someone who doesn’t attract people through fear and anger, nor promises of material wealth (a la Obamacare, and now Bernie Sanders). Unfortunately, those people are somewhat rare in our current political system. In my opinion, the ideal leader would rise in our darkest hour. The definition of leader by the British general Bernard Law Montgomery was “The capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose”. In that respect, none of our candidates are leaders. Has our moral fiber decayed to the point to where no one can lead us? Is the USA doomed? I think not.
          Only when America is suffering a massive calamity will a true leader rise (think Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, etc), Right now, despite enjoying great living standards and conditions, as well as plenty of freedoms, the honest and truthful must rise up or watch all of us, both moral and immoral, collapse into a terrible revolution, worse than the French, Chinese, or Russian ones by orders of magnitude.
          “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing”
          – Edmund Burke

          • jea2comments

            I actually like Trump, I always have. He’s a smart, savvy businessman, he’s tough and he’s a fighter! He’s got an Ivy-league education and it shows, he’s successful at whatever he takes on, he’s got a work ethic that doesn’t quit, he’s a job creator and has employed thousands. He’s persistent and never gives up when he goes after a project or goal. He speaks his mind and he doesn’t take any guff! How refreshing he is in this day of “political-correctness.” Political-correctness is nothing more than a way to silence the masses, the so-called powers-that-be figure IF they can shut you up, they then can control you! Apparently that doesn’t work for Trump and it doesn’t work for me. I love people who are NOT politically-correct! Trump has reasonated with the general populace and tapped into the frustration and anger of the majority of the American electorate. It’s refreshing to see someone who understands what Americans feel, he addresses our problems unlike the current so-called POTUS, who is nothing more than an evil puppet on a string. Trump is attacked right and left by the LYING media, he’s been ridiculed, criticized, minimalized, demonized, and yet here we are, he’s still standing after taking on 17 other potential presidential candidates. Trump is tough and has true grit! That’s what I want in a president. Dr. Ben Carson has also endorsed Trump recently, and that says a lot. I greatly admire Dr. Carson and he’s as genuine a christian, as they come. Trump support Israel and was the Grand Marshall of ceremonies several years back when no one else would take the job, and no one else was COURAGEOUS enough to take the job! Trump is risking his life running for the presidency and he’s self-funded his own campaign. Is there any other candidate doing that? No. And until Trump brought up the Border problem and illegal immigration, no one else running ever brought it up. Trump ran and continues to run his campaign on the platform of Illegal Immigration, and the need for a “Wall.” Trump is right on so many issues, and anyone that is paying attention to what is happening in this country should be able to see that. The RNC who signed a pledge with Trump, has not kept up their end of the bargain, and they are not supporting him like they promised. All of this tells me, that Trump is a real threat to the power-base of the so-called politcal elite (cough cough) and to those in powerful positions. They don’t like Trump because they know if he gets into office, the party is OVER and the bilking of taxpayer monies to line their pockets is over and they just can’t stand that idea. The thievery will end and they politically powerful pariahs know it! I think Trump has got the moral fiber to lead this country well. When I see all the attacks on him by the GOP, the Democrats, the media, the illegals, and all the big money players behind the scenes, all hell-bent on stopping him, including the so-called RNC. It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to see that he’s a threat to the status-quo. I’ve seen plenty and I’ve done my research and for me the choice is easy, it’s Trump or no one. And to your quote by Edmund Burke, I say a big Amen to that.

        • Edward Koestner

          The USA is hanging by a thread, I agree. Once a people abandon the principles of Divine and Natural Law, they decline and drift; they are at the mercy of emotional currents, as is a grain of sand in the blowing wind.

          Mr. Horvat brilliantly explains how unprincipled masses are vulnerable to the effects of frenetic intemperance, which is our national vice. It is a restless, explosive and relentless drive inside man that manifests itself in modern economy by seeking to throw off legitimate restraints, and by gratifying disordered passions.

          It’s like an economic undercurrent whose action can be likened to that of a faulty accelerator that takes an otherwise well-functioning machine and throws it out of balance. Trump is the personification of frenetic intemperance.

          We need to look for a leader who embodies the virtues of equilibrium of soul, wisdom, and fortitude.

          If there is no such person, and we do everything that we can do in our personal lives to counter the moral decadence that is destroying the USA, we have the right to pray and hope that God will intervene and save the nation, as he saved France from the invading English by the hands of a pure young Maiden, Joan of Arc.

          • jea2comments

            Good post, but I still like Trump, I think he’s genuine and I think he will do a good job at leading this country. He’s got to be better than what we have now as our so-called POTUS.

          • Edward Koestner

            How do you explain his several donations from 2002-2009 to the Clinton Foundation and to the Hillary campaign?

          • jea2comments

            Trump has admitted to that numerous times already. Trump also admitted to being a democrat for part of his life, and he’s changed parties several times throughout his life. He admitted to donating to several politicians and said his donations were made from a business stand-point, and from a business perspective. Trump has made numerous political donations to both parties and on several occasions. He contributed to John McCain’s campaign when he was running against obama, and he also contributed to Mitt Romney’s campaign when he was also running against obama. So…for the last two elections, he contributed to two Republicans who ran for prez. Trump said, I contributed to them, and they lost, “so now I’m going to do it (run for Prez) myself.” I’ll take him over Lying Ted, any day of the week, at least Trump doesn’t hold up and bible and then in the next sentence lie to people. Kasich is also not a good person, he’s for open borders which are NOT good for this country, he’s also against our second amendment. Trump’s not an angel, but then again, I never said he was. But, he is the best choice in a candidate we have, and I like his style, he’s intelligent, savvy, he speaks his mind, and doesn’t take any guff, he knows how to handle money, and he knows how an economy works, he has power and influence, and I believe he’s the best candidate running and I also believe he could do a good job as leader of this country. We sure as hek don’t want Hillary getting into office, because if she does, it’s game over!

          • faithandhonor

            I don’t think that Americans understand the stabilizing nature of the Gospel in every institution, in our communities, and how long we have been skating on the residue of our Judeo-Christian heritage. It’s almost gone, and with it the civilizational contributions of it.

      • faithandhonor

        I think you misunderstand his intention. He is not advocating FOR that, he was merely saying that it should be left up to the states, it’s not a federal matter. Let the local people do what they want, as long as it’s within the law.

        Trump is a big-picture guy, and many people misunderstand him, when he gives a big-picture answer to a more detailed situation. he is not going to opine of every little thing that goes on there, and his answer was that of a businessman who looked at the matter through the eyes of someone who has spent millions of unnecessary dollars meeting make-work regulations. He was not holding court on the moral issue at all.

  • Simple

    We must not forget to pray, pray, pray for all of our leaders in the government and in the church. We need to pray for all of the believers in Jesus in this country to unite in one spirit, and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. We must read the Bible, and apply Sacred Scripture to our minds to receive wisdom to know what to do. There are many reasons as to why our wonderful nation is in this current political, economic, and moral dilemma. However, I truly feel that as Catholics, and of course I must include all other Christian denominations, we have to take a look at how we have contributed to the problems. Most of us dress the same, listen to the same worldly music, play the same violent video games, party hard, cuss, look at unholy images on the internet…and wonder why things are so bad.
    We are to be the salt and light to the world. We are very busy and distracted. We are desperate for a true leader, and I pray that if Trump is actually elected, that the Holy Spirit will guide him, and protect him. Pray for Trump. Pray that he can unite our nation, and truly understand the Lord’s wisdom, and be bold to walk in the way that the Holy Spirit leads. God used many men who were not morally perfect to do his work. Remember King David? Remember Peter’s own denials of Christ? What about King Solomon? It appears to me that the Lord does not require moral perfection, but He wants a willing heart to go and do what he asks. Pray that whoever gets elected will have ears to hear, and eyes to see what is Truth. Pray that we would all turn from sinful ways, and seek the Lord.

  • John DiStefano

    No institution has lost more credibility than the American Catholic Church. The Catholic bishops, as an institution, has become a weak, sissified, non orthodox herd of pedophile enablers and socialist psycho-babblers … totally terrified of losing the $ machine of laity in the pews gazing at their watches during some lame PC homily devoid of sin, consequences, or eternity. Without Mexican immigrants who put change in the basket for ~ 3 years before they bolt to Evangelical churches, you would be able to say Mass in a closet on Sundays.

  • jrj90620

    We need a much smaller,limited govt.Everyone is using govt to steal from their fellow citizens.Doesn’t do much for harmony and trust.Read Walter Willaims,A nation of thieves.