Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sid Salter: Mistrust, Political Division, & Isolation Threaten More Than Elections, Economic Policies

  Pew Center Research reflects a widely shared belief in this nation that distrust of the federal government and distrust among fellow Americans is a fundamental obstacle to finding meaningful solutions to the problems that confront our country.


The Pew findings showed that 75 percent believe that trust in the federal government is shrinking and likewise that 64 percent believe trust in fellow Americans is also shrinking. At this same time, respondents believe by 64 percent that low trust in the government makes problem-solving elusive, while 70 believe lack of trust in each other is the culprit.


This decline in civic confidence is something neither new nor invented in the 2020 election cycle. Twenty-seven years ago, Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam published a 1995 scholarly journal essay entitled “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” He argued that, unlike the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Americans stopped doing as many things as possible together.


Five years later, in 2000, Putnam expanded that essay into a book entitled “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” The book broadens the scholar’s scope of study and comment but does not depart from his thesis.

Group participation and interaction are declining in America – from civic groups to church to associations to neighbors across the fence, we are spending less time together and more “virtual” time together.


One piece of evidence Putnam offered was that in the first two-thirds of the century, Americans bowled in organized leagues but that by the 1970s, a growing majority dropped out of the leagues and bowled alone. Hence the title of his writings.


But a less fanciful observation came in the realm of voter participation. Putnam noted that 62.8% of the voting-age population voted in the 1960 presidential election, while only 48.9% voted in 1996. In the century that began in 2000, voter participation rates increased from this historic 1996 low by rising to 58%, then dropping to 56% in 2012.


Putnam wrote that between 1952 and 1998, Americans rated their fellow citizens as “people who can be trusted,” while today, that number has fallen to 35%. Is that driven by genuine distrust or a growing withdrawal from public life? Sound familiar?


The 2020 elections saw a sharp increase in voter participation, but the price of that was a bitterly divided nation from both partisan and philosophical standpoints. Political scientist and two-party system critic Lee Drutman described the 2020 turnout growth this way in The Washington Post:


“While the all-or-nothing high-stakes hyper-partisanship of 2020 might be good for a high turnout, it is not good for American democracy. Closely contested winner-take-all elections make losers extremely dissatisfied and thus exacerbate polarization. This is especially dangerous when party allegiances divide along urban-vs-rural lines, as is currently true.


“This binary divide generates a kind of ‘pernicious polarization’ in which winning becomes everything, and partisans will look past, or even actively support, democratic transgressions and power grabs in order for their side to win. Sometimes, tight elections are how democracies die,” Drutman wrote.


To be sure, Putnam likewise was observing the American civic engagement that existed before Vietnam, before multiple political assassinations, before Watergate, and before scandal after scandal after scandal rocked public confidence in public figures and institutions in this nation.


Putnam’s observations also came well before technology created so many individual diversions from group activities and before the nation’s media devolved into the cacophony of toxic social media and so-called “fake news.”


Chillingly, Putnam argued that by choosing individual activities over group interactions, we were putting at risk America’s ability to build social capital and undermining the nation’s character.


Facing crippling inflation and supply chain issues, the global balance of power conflict with changing and emerging hegemons, and a pandemic that will not entirely go away, Americans would be well-served to rediscover the verities of bipartisanship, compromise for the common good, cooperation, and old-fashioned civility in sincere efforts to restore a necessary modicum of trust in our government and each other.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

it's already over..........just needs to sink in for some..

Anonymous said...

Gee, I can't imagine why anyone would distrust the federal government - IRS targeting the Tea Party, FBI/CIA targeting the Trump campaign (are you watching the Sussman trial?), forcing citizens to take an experimental vaccine, Justice Department treating MAGA grandparents who walked into the Capitol on 1/6 like al-qaeda while charges were dropped left and right from the Summer 2020 destruction, the Biden administration policies costing American families almost $400 more per month in an effort to virtue signal about climate change, the Biden formula shortage, and on and on.

Anonymous said...

Sid wrote all that nonsense and then ignored that the left is embracing hideous trannies, who paint themselves up to literally resemble demons, having drag queen story time with children in the public library. Any sane person sees this as a form of grooming. Simple as.
Middle America sees this and they recoil in horror. And then are drawn to the strongest opposition available.
Sig probably dresses up like a drag demon himself so he doesn’t see anything wrong with it!

Anonymous said...

8:58 - comment of the year!

Anonymous said...

Take your meds. 1/6 was a white supremacist MAGA insurrection.
The Black Lives Matter protests were mostly peaceful. Big difference.
Combating Climate Change and White Supremacist Hate are the two most important challenges this nation faces right now.

Anonymous said...

tell us, how many ivy league PhDs did it take to figure ou what mr salter regurgitates above?

Anonymous said...

There is no other entity that I distrust less than the US federal government, and that's regardless of who occupies the white house.

Anonymous said...

WHO chief in his own words : Pandemic isn't over until we have inclusive New World Order. That is just one of the many "slips of the tongue" offered up by a powerful official. Mistrust ? STFU Sid. Tell us something new.

Anonymous said...

9:10 : Lol, you have been in a coma for the last 5 years and woke up to Morning Joe. That is the only excuse you could have for such a dumb comment.

Anonymous said...

9:31 : Bingo.

Anonymous said...


your projection belies your need to medicate

BTW, lies don't help

Krusatyr said...

9:10 comment is a prima facie demo of why Americans refuse to step halfway into the sewer a la gauche.

There were a few things to admire about JFK, that's all changed since so many child grooming perverts and Marxists are democrats in government.

Anonymous said...

While Biden promised to unify the country, his actions have demonstrated an intention to do just the opposite. Biden has harmed our democracy in every decision of substance he has made (overspending that fueled inflation, de facto open borders, racial division, and climate ideology trumping all else). He should know he was elected to calm things, not to radicalize the country. He can’t be so dense or incoherent as he seems to be.

What we need from Biden AND from politicians in both parties is more humility and restraint. Those qualities have gone missing since Reagan was in office. Trump had solid policies but couldn’t resist insulting people. Of course this is a problem of the human condition and culture that runs much deeper than conflicting political ideologies. Until we demand more wisdom and vision in our leaders, with a healthy dose of humility and restraint, we will continue to degrade as a nation.

Anonymous said...

You’re wrong. Being polite got us to this point. The only way to save this nation is with a DOTR-style purge. The enemies of the people are too deeply entrenched. Democracy has failed. Thankfully the food pending shortages should supply the necessary fuel for revolution. If the people don’t stand up, then the planned Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Great Reset, and the “not” Replacement will be complete.

Anonymous said...

We have been victimized on both ends of the political spectrum by opportunists and predators who have refined the arts of deception so they can personally capitalize on the leadership of their flock. Wolves in sheep's clothing. The divisions and distrust serve their interest as they lead their particular faction. The stupid ass mob they lead cannot see it. They are too blinded by hate and distrust of the other guy to consider what they might have in common. This is true of the "left" and the "right". They believe all the evil of the world comes from the "other side". They cannot acknowledge or correct their own stupid ass mistakes when they can blame the other side. What they cannot see is that their "leaders" are getting rich and famous while they fight and die without solutions. Wake UP! Democrats and Republicans. Right and Left. Liberal and Conservative... Wake the F... Up!

Anonymous said...

Obama is behind the curtain-

Anonymous said...

Why do all of Sid’s missives sound like an 8th grader trying to get his word count up for an assignment??

Anonymous said...

@9:10 thinks hiking, kayaking, and working out are forms of white supremacy and gets wet every time some talking head on CNN says trump is going down for real this time.

Anonymous said...

11:12 + 1

Everyone is so busy defending their favorite asshat in DC, all while both sides are absolute steaming garbage.

But hey, it works for getting them paid.

So keep up the race war/pandemic/latest distraction.

Anonymous said...

The notion of people achieving self-sovereignty scares the shit out of worthless bureaucrats like Sid Salter.

Anonymous said...

There was no increase in voter participation in 2020; just an increase in the number of ballots stuffed in the boxes.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are few commenting who have ever once bothered to find facts from unbiased sources.

Some of you seem intent on destroying democracy with your venomous comments that are based on inaccuracy and a lack of basic understanding of government.

Krusatyr said...

11:12 et al, supposed "both sides" cabal:

The milk toast "meet the other side halfway" crap is CS & amoral.

Conservatives should not even dip their toes into a collaboration with the marxist, perverse, wretched Left, which body of authoritarian morons are aptly modeled by the today collapsed, Orwellian "Ministry of Disinformation" in the Biden administration.

11:12 et al would have Conservatives halfway embrace this totalitarian leftist farce that was vanquished wholly and righteously in one week by ridiculing it? No way do any of the leftists' outrageous programs deserve even an iota of cooperation.

The way marxist progression works: they first want a halfway measure, then half of what remains, then another half, etc, until they have it all.

Anonymous said...

3:05 Of course sir, in recognizing the evils of Marxism, progressives, leftists, etc. we should also recognize that you and yours are indeed perfect and that if the world would simply rid itself of their influence and embrace your politics everything would be alright. Bullshit.

The world under Marxists is certainly not perfect and the world under capitalists is far from perfect also. That's what 11:12 is talking about.
Think for yourself. Look inward first for solutions. People who specialize in dividing us so they can lead us to some utopia only create their own personal utopia in which they are the boss and we are the sheep. That's not rhetoric, that's history.

Anonymous said...

@9:10 - unlike others, I'm not going to totally diss you.

Your first statement was correct.
Your second and third statements are totally idiotic.

Granted, several that followed you think you are totally off base - hell, some of them were very possibly breaking out the windows of the capitol while trying to disrupt the government.

And clearly you were not paying any damn attention to the riots of the Black Lives Matter violence, burning and looting.

What's wrong is that everybody seems to either totally disagree, or totally agree with your weighing of the problems within the country - and nobody seems to acknowledge that the MAGA "grannies" as they were called were insurrectionists as were the Black Lives Matter insurrectionists. And neither justified the other.

Krusatyr said...

"My politics" are the Constitution (including enshrined rights and protections), limited government, free enterprise, individualism and personal responsibility.

There is no utopia but opportunity to excell and prosper abound if "my politics" are paramount.

Name one of Biden's policies that should not be ridiculed and condemned.

Anonymous said...

In the late 1980s Sid was a good writer. Now Sid is simply embarrassing himself.

Anonymous said...

I don’t even see democrats as human any longer. I only see a gaggle of cackling demons trying to corrupt and abuse the children of this entire planet. Anyone remember what the Bible says about those who corrupt the innocent children?

Anonymous said...

Sid is a total NPC. Devoid of original thought, he simply regurgitates the talking points he is provided by the Learned Elders who operate as his benefactors. Same thing with Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

8:15 And my politics are the Constitution, commons sense, charity for all. malice for none, education, individual freedom, Christianity, yada, yada, yada and I'm just looking for a "leader" to take me there. It won't be hard, there are plenty of bullshit artists just waiting to "lead". Somebody is still going to get screwed as we follow the "leadership" espousing "my politics". Count on it.

Anonymous said...

… “our country,” says Sid.

Heh, heh, heh.

Anonymous said...

You better step careful, now, 8:12. Mention of "Learned Elders" leads to other commenters saying you're embarrassing yourself.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS