Jan 13, 2021
Why Did Trust in Government Plummet? The Answer Below!
This news has been received from: motherjones.com
Yesterday I made the case that if Joe Biden needs to “find a way to reach at least some of the disillusioned and the disaffected” in his inaugural address, talking about the economy isn’t the way to do it. Americans have been doing pretty well lately, and that includes even the working poor.
But if there really are lots of disaffected Americans—and recent events certainly suggest there are—and money isn’t the fundamental reason for their resentment, then what’s the problem? To help us get to an answer, I posted a chart showing that trust in government plummeted starting in the early 2000s, which suggested we need to look at that time period for an answer.Now let’s take another look at that chart, broken down by Democrats and Republicans:
You would expect the aughts to be a dismal decade for Democrats. George Bush was in the White House, a war was raging in Iraq, and tax cuts for the rich were the order of the day. For the same reasons, you’d expect it to be a pretty good decade for Republicans. But no. As you can see, Republican trust in government plummeted even more steeply. (This turned around a bit when Donald Trump was elected, which is pretty normal. But it didn’t turn around by much.)
So what happened in the early 2000s that provoked Republicans so badly? They had a president in the White House; control of Congress for most of the time; and a pretty decent economy. What cankered their souls?
The answer, based on a handful of evidence and some common sense, is Fox News. It started up in 1996, and after a few years of relatively moderate conservatism it moved distinctly rightward following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This was also the critical period when Fox expanded throughout the country and gained traction with a critical mass of conservative viewers.
The effect was devastating: during this period Fox increasingly promoted not just conservatism, but a particularly toxic brand of conservatism that depended on stoking outrage over a different government “scandal” on nearly a daily basis. And it did it to a growing number of conservatives.
It’s all but impossible to watch Fox News on a regular basis and retain any sort of confidence that government is a force for good. This is why conservative trust in government took such a nosedive during the aughts. Unlike Democrats, who were understandably unhappy with Bush era policies, Republicans were deliberately stoked into outrage because that turned out to be where the money was for Rupert Murdoch and his creation.
Did social media amplify this effect when it spread during the late teens? Sure. Facebook and Twitter gave the outrage a place to swirl around and fester. But make no mistake: social media is basically a sideshow that obviously played no more than a small role in the critical period of conservative disaffection during the aughts. The real culprit for the ever-worsening fury and bitterness of rank-and-file conservatives is Fox News, along with its teammates in the talk radio universe.
News Source: motherjones.com
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How Did Majel Barrett Die?
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, speaks at the fifth annual official Star Trek convention at the Las Vegas Hilton August 20, 2006
Known to fans as the “First Lady” of Star Trek, Majel Barrett contributed to the franchise almost as much as her husband, creator Gene Roddenberry. The iconic voice of the ship’s computer, which was the same on each of the Federation starships and the Federation space stations, was Barrett’s. She also appeared in The Original Series (TOS), The Next Generation (TNG) and Deep Space Nine (DS9) in recurring roles.
Her character on TOS, Nurse Chapel appeared in 35 of the 79 episodes. She also reprised the role in a few of the Star Trek movies. Her character played a significant role in several TOS storylines, making her a prominent figure in a male-dominated show.
However, according to E Online’s tribute to Barrett, her role wasn’t as prominent as Roddenberry had wanted. In the pilot, she was the first officer of the Enterprise, second in the chain of command. However, this was changed to appease the network, which was displeased at the idea of a female first officer.
Barret also played the boisterous and outspoken Lwaxana Troi, mother to Deanna Troi, one of the core bridge crew members on TNG. She portrayed the character in a handful of TNG and DS9 episodes.
Barrett appeared in the Star Trek universe for the last time in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. She again lent her voice to the ship’s computer, recording her part before her death in 2008.How Did Majel Barrett Die?
Brian Jones/Getty Images
On December 18, 2008, Barrett passed away from leukemia, Today reported. The publication said that she passed while at her Bel Air home. Her son, Rod Roddenberry, was with her at the time. She was 76 years old.
She was diagnosed with the disease only six months earlier. No public announcement was made when she was diagnosed.
A few weeks after her death, on January 4th, a public memorial service was held for Barrett. TrekMovie.com reported that the memorial was organized by her family and friends. It was attended by family, friends, and fans alike. Some fans paid tribute to the “First Lady of Trek” by attending in costumes inspired by the franchise.
Several of Star Trek‘s biggest stars attended as well. Marina Sirtis, Barrett’s onscreen daughter was there along with many of her TNG colleagues including Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton. Celebs from later Star Trek series attended as well including Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips, and Garret Wang from Voyager and Armin Shimerman from TNG and DS9. Many of the folks from behind the cameras came as well.
Of course, some of her TOS costars — Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig — were in attendance too.Barrett Finally Made it to Space After her Death
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
After dedicating her whole life to telling stories about space, Barrett wanted nothing more than to spend her afterlife exploring space with her longtime partner, Roddenberry. To accomplish this, Barrett worked with a spaceflight company called Celestis.
A few years after Roddenberry died, the company got in touch with Barrett to discuss sending his ashes into space on one of their flights. Barrett agreed with one caveat. She made the head of the company promise that when they started doing deep space flights, her ashes would be sent into space with Roddenberry’s so they could float around the galaxy for the rest of eternity.
Of course, the company agreed to her conditions. They sent Rodenberry’s ashes into space in 1997, and they sent the couple’s ashes into space and several years later.
Even after death, Barrett and Roddenberry continued to go “where no one had gone before.”
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