The broken belief system

Is it any wonder we are skeptical of any assurance we get these days? “The H1N1 Vaccine is Perfectly Safe,” “Uncontaminated Food,” “You Can Afford That House,” “Customer Satisfaction,” “Free Checking,” “Mission Accomplished,” “Change You Can Believe In,” and so on and so on.

Given the number of blunders and unkept promises by so many who insist we trust them, it is easy to understand why the relentless examples of false hope and incompetence leave any sane person wavering between skepticism and cynicism.

The problem is this broken faith is fertile ground for INsane conspiracy theories and all the other scams promoted by hustlers who gain riches and prominence as they target all of us who are looking for simple answers in sinister plots.

Why else would a “Birther” movement flourish? Or the idea of “Death Panels”? What else would explain the success of those who spread these ideas and make up for a woeful lack of substance with a remarkable talent for self-promotion?

How do we distinguish the real deal and the double-deal? How do we determine what’s real about global warming and what’s the product of fast-talking flim-flam artists who simply want to make sure they continue to rake in their billions, uninterrupted by concerns for the planet? How do we decide between what’s valid and what’s a false cure, a question for medicine and our entire society?

For starters, those “experts” who have placed themselves on pedestals need to climb down from their arrogant perches and stop trying to pretend they possess superhuman knowledge until they’re inevitably caught in their human fallibility.

Meanwhile, the rest of us need to stop marching to the constant jive we get from the quacks and the rest of the commentators, politicians, profiteers and the wide range of authoritarian bunglers who are not any better than the Balloon Boy family and the gatecrashers … except they are leaving us with a bill of goods we can no longer afford to pay.

Maybe then we can have a better choice than believing lies and believing nothing.