When Public Trust is Broken …

The article from this link confirms any intuitive suspicion we might have that a lot of “fake news” is already under construction to increase the credibility of the US President. What are we to believe when our political leaders speak up and commend the US President for ordering strikes on Syria? We already have well supported evidence that tells us that the Iraq invasion of 2003 was accompanied by a strategic propaganda attack dispensing “fake news” to electors back here in Australia.

And so, it may be just a little tiring to even ask whether we are reliably informed about he whose metanarrative is well and truly within the realms of all post-modern incredulity. But here we go again. This article is probably indicative of many that will be reading in the days ahead …

And let’s face it, we probably find it hard to know how to read the speculative reports that Steve Bannon is now in the sights of the US President’s daughter and her husband because they are wanting “closest advisor to the President” status for themselves. Problem here is that even if the President says, “You’re fired!” to his “chief strategist”, we simply do not know whether he is simply throwing up and smokescreen to suggest he is on the path the Murdoch press suggested last week – in the wake of the US strike against the Syrian airforce base, the pundits were telling us he had turned the corner and was become a “normal” president. But the same incredulity arises: Isn’t this simply more “fake news”? Haven’t the pundits ignored the underlying behaviourism of the incumbent of US White House?

Could not the media whisper about Steve Bannon the strategist be merely a carefully devised diversion, “fake news” that is sent out as part of a strategic effort to counter the widespread incredulity – within the US and around the globe – directed to the US President? Meanwhile, there is ongoing implementation of a strategy. And so, why should say that now it is a “strategic impatience” that leads the way in US action in Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea?

The crisis of the compromised liberal-humanistic way of political life has been intensified since Donald Trump’s accession to the White House. But the mis-mash of point-and-counterpoint, of thesis-and-antithesis, is as it has been for decades. Those with an interest in keeping the political game going – maybe their careers are in the balance – continue to try to view our citizenship as a “choice”, taking a position somewhere on a spectrum between political extremes. And so we hear about how important it is to see the world in left and right terms. And when many begin to consider this a false choice advocates from both ends of the spectrum begin to change the debate and say:

Don’t listen to them because they are consorting with extremes! We need a politics of the middle ground!

But such “middling” opportunism simply confirms that the choice has become something else: one either commits oneself to one side or one quits paying attention.

It is the self-evidence of a political system that enhances individual “choice” that is evaporating. Instead, politics based on enhancing individual choice is no longer credible. And so, new forms of “certainty” come onto the political horizon.If we listen to what is called “news” we will also hear of that “certainty” that has affixed itself to the misguided fools who think that terror provides the path to life. Indeed, there are those who are sucked in. Nihilistic, psychopathic fascists sell their fantasy of a divinity pleased that they could blow themselves up into a billion splattered droplets by a cruel and mindless act, taking as many others as possible with them.

This is serious. A Christian political option is going to have to face this confused and highly compromised state of affairs. It is a question about how we are to live as Christian citizens. It has street-level, community, local, state, federal, regional and global dimensions. We are going to have to find ways of working on this concertedly and  prayerfully. We should also take heart. We are not on our own. We have a service to render in which we love our neighbours publicly with justice.


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