|"Why are people so suspicious of the government? In the United States, there is clearly an ideology of self-reliance, even though for many years it has been based, to a significant extent, on a fantasy." (Banerjee. Duflo, 2019)|
At some point in time, the people and the government became two different and opposed things in the minds of many people. The government was out of control, and you needed to fight back to stay free. This message elicited such strong emotions that it wasn't necessary to provide any evidence. It was all based on first principle. So it began, a history of demagogues using this rhetoric to mobilize people against a common enemy: their government. It worked so well that, at this moment, it drives a global surge of populist anti-government politicians seeking to persuade electorates they alone can fix it.
Maybe we can all agree that the problem is not institutions themselves, but the people that occupy the offices. It sounds like an obvious distinction, but evidently, it is not. The mantra of "government is the problem" has given populists with ulterior motives access to the government with the perceived mandate to dismantle institutions created to counterbalance power. This situation is not liberating; on the contrary, it has diminished the power of "We the People" and allowed large corporations to take advantage. The irony is most tragic among the people who need government the most, who are also more susceptible to be manipulated to vote against their own interests.