In what we trust?

America is now a low-trust society. Only about a third of Americans trust the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. Fewer than a quarter trust the federal government, and Congress scores even lower.

#ReleasetheMemo was to shock our faith in our nation’s institutions. Yawn. OK, the FISA court is either corrupt or incompetent. Who could have imagined that a secret court where only one side gets to present its arguments would ever be corrupted?

Wow! You mean a political party “weaponized” the FBI to interfere in our sacred democratic processes? I am shocked, shocked to hear there is gambling in Casablanca.

The FBI has been weaponized against our sacred democracy since it was created in 1908. Numerous presidents have secretly authorized the FBI to open mail, draw up lists of political opponents, perform black bag break ins, and tap phones.

J. Edgar Hoover kept his secret dossiers and wrote notes to Martin Luther King telling him to commit suicide. Hoover began his career leading the Palmer raids that rounded up Eugene Debs and other opponents of World War I. In the 1960s, the CoIntelPro system kept the United States safe by spying on peaceniks. Now, they brag about the semi-literate Middle Eastern immigrants they entrap into manufactured terrorist plots.

The guardians on Capitol Hill tell us we need to restore faith in the FBI and our institutions. But who will guard the guardians? Why must we restore faith in the integrity of the FBI? For how long? To what end?

The FBI is a progressive institution. The late University of Nevada, Las Vegas Professor Murray Rothbard wrote that progressivism is a mix of pietism and technocracy. Pietism is the belief that enlightened individuals should use the state’s police power to improve society, while technocracy is rule by disinterested experts who always act in the public good. In practice progressive policies have emphasized the police power of the state at the expense of individual liberties. Progressive monopoly state institutions crowd out free markets and consumer choice. The civil service they created led to the deep state and unaccountable, unelected permanent bureaucracies. Agency heads like James Comey and James Clapper and Lois Lerner fall into a long line of not so disinterested experts who act for the good of party and power, the public be damned.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) points out that a couple of days before #ReleasetheMemo, the politicians said the FISA court was absolutely trustworthy when they voted to extend section 702. Now, suddenly, it is compromised. The “intelligence community” is the backbone of the Deep State. But politicians only care when they are spied on and couldn’t care less when ordinary citizens are the targets.

Former CIA agent and Blaze radio host Buck Sexton (a name out of a Tom Clancy spy novel) promotes the tired, old bad-apple excuse. Only this time the rotten fruit is at the top of the barrel, not the bottom. The bad apple excuse would have us believe all we need are a new top banana or two, and the ship of state is righted again, only to sail off another cliff the next time the other party is elected.

The problem with a low-trust society is that it scares people into demanding even more government. The enemy you know is better than the enemy you don’t. People have been laboring under too much government, confused by the media talking heads and listening to demagogues who promise relief.

Maybe Amazon’s Jeff Bezos can do a better job than the politicians have to fix health care. Maybe its time to look elsewhere after so much government failure.