Millions of citizens long ago concluded that professional sports, universities and entertainment were no longer selfless institutions but institutions of the far left and deliberately hostile to Central America.
Yet US conservatives still emphatically supported the country’s traditional investigative, intelligence, and military agencies, especially when they came under fiscal or cultural attacks.
Not so much more.
For the first time in memory, Conservatives are now associating the FBI hierarchy with bloated bureaucracy, political prejudice and even illegality.
Over the past five years, the FBI has mostly been in the news for the eventful careers of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Add to that the criminality of convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.
The colossal FBI “Russian collusion” hoax was marked by the leaking of confidential FBI memos, false documents, inappropriate surveillance and serial disinformation.
Former CIA and FBI chiefs, as well as the director of national intelligence, have at times either refused to tell the truth under oath or claimed amnesia, without legal repercussions.
Mention the military to American conservatives these days, and they sadly associate its leadership with the disastrous flight from Afghanistan. Few, if any, high-ranking officers have taken responsibility – let alone resigned – for the worst military fiasco of the past half century.
Instead, President Joe Biden and the main generals exchanged accusations that the other was responsible for the calamity. Or both insisted the abject theft was a logistical masterpiece.
Never in the history of the United States have so many retired four-star admirals and generals denigrated their president by accusing him of being a traitor, liar, fascist, or virtual Nazi, like this s ‘is produced under the last administration.
Never has the appropriate advisory role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff been so blatantly usurped and distorted.
The Secretary of Defense has never promised that he would unearth so-called “white supremacists” without providing the slightest proof of their alleged ubiquitous presence and their dangerous plots.
Conservatives have always been amused by the liberal prejudices of the old news network and the big city print media. But they reluctantly admitted that many liberal journalists of the last century were mostly professionals. News divisions generally reported the news rather than just making it up.
This is no longer the case today with Big Tech and 21st century “awakened” journalism. Few journalists have yet apologized for helping to hatch and spread the Russian collusion hoax that crippled the country for three years.
Few have admitted to being guilty of reporting as fact the various fantasies surrounding the pursuit of Duke’s lacrosse team or the deception of the Catholic children of Covington.
Many in the media have run uncritically with Jussie Smollett’s concoction and Ferguson’s “hands up-don’t shoot” distortions. Journalists spread misinformation about the “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin meeting and falsified photos and edited tapes.
They invented the myth of the supposedly brilliant – but now completely dishonored – former Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as the thread of “Russian disinformation” that allegedly explained the missing Hunter Biden laptop.
More recently, reporters have been broadcasting serial untruths around the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
For much of 2020, even suggesting that the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have played a role in the birth and spread of COVID-19 has earned media derision.
Few reporters have suggested that federal health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases could release conflicting or even inaccurate information about the pandemic. Rather, believing this was happening earned condemnation in the media as if one were a conspiracy theorist or a nutcase.
Rarely have the communications industries – true public services in the public domain – also asymmetrically censored discourse and enforced such one-sided standards of suppressing freedom of expression.
The Conservatives opposed the regulation of big business. Now, ironically, most are calling for the regulation and dismantling of multibillion-dollar social media monopolies and conglomerates that suppress as much as pass on private communications.
The American criminal justice system was also gaining the respect of conservatives. Prosecutors, police chiefs and mayors of large cities were considered to be the guardians of public order. They were responsible for keeping the peace, preventing and investigating crimes, and arresting and prosecuting criminals.
Again, not so much now.
After 120 days of mostly uncontrolled riots, arson, looting and violent protests in the summer of 2020, the public has lost faith in their public safety agencies.
Prosecutors in several major cities – Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and St. Louis – have often cited the prosecution of crimes on the basis of ideology, race and careerism.
In the current wave of crime, brazen offenders enjoy de facto immunity. Mass looting goes unpunished. Charges are often aimed as much at those who defend themselves as at criminals who prey on innocent people.
The Conservatives have lost their old traditional faith in the administration of justice, in the intelligence and investigative agencies, in the country’s military rulers, in the media and in the criminal justice system.
No one yet knows what the effect of half the nation’s loss of confidence in the very pillars of American civilization will be.