Survey after survey shows that trust in American society and institutions is at an all-time low. To paraphrase the poet songwriter Bob Dylan, “who can ya trust, besides yourself?”
Since trust ensures the stability of society and its myriad of institutions, when it evaporates, what’s left? Chaos, polarization, perhaps violence. When you review all the markers of the loss of trust you get a headache and considerable heartburn.
Politicians are trusted least, at just above zero percent. Business leaders a bit more and lawyers a tad less. Teachers and professors used to rate high but no longer. Pastors, rabbis, and priests have fallen to new depths. With marriages in disrepair, relationships superficial at best, and even families at war (thanks, Spare “Haz“), what are we going to do?
Would you trust the FBI, given the bureau’s known duplicity and fabrications?
Would you trust the IRS, with or without guns, after Lois Lerner and all the tax scams and political audits?
Would you trust Sloppy Joe with any classified documents, foreign cash earmarked for the “Big Guy,” and all that predatory behavior?
How about social media after the Twitter files exposed how they worked with the deep state to throttle back conservatives and actively spread disinformation?
Would you trust any of the medical-health players, the CDC or FDA, let alone Big Pharma, to tell us the truth about anything after COVID and the harmful experimental vaccines and unnecessary lockdowns? How about the godlike master bureaucrat Fauci?
What about mainstream media? We all know of their inherent structural bias and failure to engage in any form of accurate and fair journalism. That’s why they wear the moniker “fake” so well.
The woke and eco-terrorists who go on and on about the end of the planet every year surely shouldn’t be trusted. We are still here, after all, and so is the polar ice cap. Al Gore and John Kerry are arch-hypocrites. Do you trust them one bit?
You should be able to trust the local school system to educate your children, no? Now they won’t even award merit certificates to those who earned them for fear of disappointing those who didn’t. Teachers’ unions are clearly in it for themselves, not the children. No trust working there.
Financial markets appear rigged, as do voting procedures, and after the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX scandal, who would ever trust their hard-earned money to a schemer-financial advisor? What if CEOs loot their companies, inflate their stock, use fraudulent accounting, and overpay themselves. Do you trust them to refrain from doing so?
I suppose if one were inclined to believe the racist narratives of Black Lives Matter, one could say that we should have trusted them . . . until it was discovered their founders spent all that donated cash and bought luxury houses—for themselves.
Surely, we can trust Red China and the Chinese Communist Party after the Wuhan wet market lies and the spread of their viral germ. Biden did say they are “good folks.”
But the biggest purveyor of distrust is, I would argue, the infamous globalist, World Economic Forum. Every year at Davos, they bring together the world’s uber-elite to fashion stakeholder socialism and pontificate about all the ills in the world. “Crisis” is their operative word, as they seek to reset the world’s operating system, in their favor. They are, according to their own propaganda, of course, out to “save the world.” You must trust them and you better obey, too.
And who does Klaus Schwab, the guru of Davos, trot out to make his case?
None other than his very large contributor, the ad man Richard Edelman, who is CEO of Edelman PR. Edelman gets paid to do the Trust Barometer annually to sell clients into hiring his firm to fix up their soiled reputations. His clients include ExxonMobil, Saudi Arabia, many pharmaceutical companies (including the Sackler family of opioid fame), and a slew of other, less than “good” actors. You have to admit, it is quite a gig selling trust metrics and trust training, for profit, to make companies look more woke. Edelman’s own website calls trust “the ultimate currency.” And he prints it.
Schwab may have summed up the elite monetization of public trust most transparently. While he celebrates and takes credit for the fortunate fact that “companies are increasingly acting with a sense of social responsibility”—i.e., they are more woke—the real message is found in the headline: “The Profitability of Trust.” In other words, pay the WEF, and you, too, can be trusted. It is as good as the Clinton Global Initiative for the kleptocrats of global industry and nefarious governments. A pay-to-play scheme of global-sized proportions.
Yes, this is just a new and novel form of woke public relations, where trust is something you can accumulate like money. Reputation may be earned over a lifetime by good behavior and learned habits but not in this new woke world, where it can be force-fed in a single slick, expensive PR campaign.
The latest in this trust manufacturing comes from a tax-deductible educational sideshow from that same Edelman Institute in the form of a “curated” (which is a nice way of saying paid-for) book on how to rebuild trust. It is edited by a former editor of The Economist, who is now on their payroll.
A sample of their thinking reveals that most of it centers around stamping out what they term “extremism,” nationalism, free-unregulated markets, and anything remotely connected to Trump.
According to this tome of essays, all by noted credentialled leftists, academics, and NGOs, post-pandemic trust is the absolute key. Did you hear? We need to “build back better.“ This needs to happen on many fronts simultaneously.
The first area may be oxymoronic. They call it “trustworthy government.” Politics should show greater humility and be collaborative in the future—there should be less dissent and no arguments. In other words, “Do as we tell you.” This is particularly true at the multilateral level. These all-important global(ist) institutions must be the most trustworthy. COVID tore that down, so we must rebuild it—again, better, and firms like Edelman can, of course, help.
On the job, companies should also build back—better. High performance is critical in this fourth industrial revolution, and firms must submit to the international governance system, the Paris Accords, and, more important than anything else, to the climate change catastrophe. By returning to the office fully vaccinated, masked, and reeducated, the workers need to trust their all-knowing employers. But these bosses also have to make the workplaces inclusive and take the front line in the fight against, yes, climate change and racism. Inclusive leadership is all the buzz—so, go woke or go broke.
Lastly, we must end what they call, the “infodemic.” Quoting Bill Gates, decreased trust is our biggest obstacle. Just follow his rules and the WEF dictates. Polarization is the root of all evil. Misinformation makes us (pawns) suspicious, and we don’t want that or any form of extremism. One critical instrument to rebuild trust will be the mainstream media, who must “fight back.”
At the top of the agenda: words and actions—both should be aligned.
So much trite verbiage and pure excrement, all from the woke ad firm guiding world affairs. As I said, trust is at an all-time low for a reason.