Ever wonder why Halloween is America's second most popular holiday by some measurements? After all, what is Halloween about? It is about disguise and begging treats under the threat of mischief from strangers. It is also about drunkenness and unruly behavior for some. The increase in Halloween's popularity over the past two decades has been fueled by advertisers surely, but its popularity also parallels the decline of the American urban culture. Gun violence, drug abuse, alcoholism and homelessness have become just as visible as the rise of gleaming glass towers for the rich. Cities have taken on the costume of prosperity which masks the decline of the quality of life for a majority of their citizens. Our national government has been captured by Bible-thumping conservatives who are unbelievably corrupt and ineffectual. But trust on a purely social level is even more threatened by irrational social memes.
How can you readily trust someone whose gender is indeterminate? How can you gauge his/her relationship to you on an instinctual emotional and sexual level? You cannot. There is more to the fear of sexless bathrooms than intellectual prejudice against transgender people. A person's appearance is his/her most salient clue to his/her trustworthiness. Dislike of the burqa and the hoodie also relates to the issue of trustworthiness. It is not simply an anti-religious or cultural bias. In a world which is increasingly crowded, sharing less and less space with people who cannot be clearly perceived as trustworthy or not by their visible demeanor naturally feels unsafe.
It is ironic that neo-feminists, or social justice warriors, are most plaintive about safe spaces. Yet these same people defend burqas and unisex bathrooms with vehemence. They support violent Black Lives Matter protests with enthusiasm. This alone is an indication of the lack of measured logic in their positions. People who display this kind of double-messaging are not perceived as trustworthy by any rational person.
Donald Trump has been vilified as untrustworthy and dangerous by some people in the political center and center-Left. Why? Most often they quote his positions on immigration and lawfulness. The reality is that Donald Trump is by far less dangerous than Liberals whose agenda is hawkish and tied to predatory capitalism, like Hillary Clinton and George Soros.
Donald Trump's conservative mania is right out there, audibly. The center-Left is not trustworthy because it has been exposed as covert. When Hillary Clinton allowed 20% of her presidential campaign to be financed by Saudi Arabia through her so-called charity, she became untrustworthy to any rational person who truly believes in the quality of female, gay and transgender rights. It makes more sense to trust a man whose positions, however wild, pour out of him on Twitter than to trust a woman who illegally used various email servers to manipulate foreign policy and plot taking over the American government with her pro-Saudi/pro-elitist minions.
Trusting people who illegally migrate across a legal border for whatever reason is not rational. Desperation is not an excuse for lawlessness. If I am desperate for money to buy heroin, I am not excused for breaking into someone's house to steal money to finance that heroin purchase. If I have chosen to have too many children in an impoverished country where I doubted from their inception my ability to raise them, I am not justified in making myself and those children dependent on another country without at least having the courtesy of applying for admission to that country legally. Courtesy is not expensive. Lawfulness in a democratic society takes effort but pays off for everyone involved. Voluntary participation in lawfulness is the measure of a truly peaceful and civilized society.
Blind trust is the province of religion. Science is the province of skeptical and rational trust. As society becomes more scientific and less religious, trust becomes a commodity earned, not demanded. Falling back on religious notions of blind faith and trust is often the tactic of politicians and other scoundrels. Hopefully, it is the beginning of a time of reevaluation of the measures of trust in American society.