WASHINGTON (AP) – You can take our word for it. Americans don’t trust each other anymore.
We’re not talking about the loss of faith in big institutions such as the government, the church or Wall Street, which fluctuates with events. For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy – trust in the other fellow – has been quietly draining away.
These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.
Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say “you can’t be too careful” in dealing with people.
If you don’t know who Stasi was, they were the East German secret police. Even though they were a small force they managed to intimidate the population of East Germany to the point that neighbors and family members were informing on each other in fear of what might happen to them if they didn’t.
Using that fear, they were able to control the East German population even though they were vastly outnumbered.
Oh wait….. we’re already there. Never mind.