Faith is fragile. Once it is lost, it is very hard to see it restored.
To many, the sentence above will be seen through the lens of religious faith alone, but the fragility of faith extends far beyond that realm.
Our society depends on faith; faith in our institutions and in others is the single most important ingredient that unites our society. If we believe that our highly evolved system of interaction, discipline and ethics is working for our betterment then we are more likely to respect it. In short, we have faith in it.
But when we lose confidence in the system, the system itself starts to break down. For many, that seems to be happening now.
Too many sense that the system is working against the majority for the benefit of a few.
They feel politics and politicians have little relevance to them. They see our education system failing our children, our legal system loaded with a PC agenda, religious institutions mired in scandal, the media as untrustworthy and biased, our national debt spiralling out of control, rising taxes and their livelihoods under threat.
Is it any wonder that so many are desperate for change?
In Australia, the desire for change has seen steady erosion in primary support for the two major political parties. It has seen the rapid rise of third party political representation, with an equally meteoric fall as others take their place.
Internationally, the most recent experience is the candidacy of Donald Trump for President of the United States. Trump defies traditional political definition. He is neither a conservative, a Republican nor a Democrat. He expresses sentiments that many can identify with but many others feel are downright offensive. And yet it doesn’t really matter what he says, because for those who really feel the system has left them behind he is their voice.
Whether or not Trump is successful in this election campaign, the phenomenon of the maverick political campaigner speaking up for the forgotten people will continue to gain ground until the major parties respond to the challenge.
That challenge is to restore faith.
They need to prove to the people that the system can work for them and not just for the self-interested insiders. People want more education and less social engineering in our schools. They want less government in almost every aspect of their lives, but especially at the tax office. They want politicians who say what they mean and actually do what they say. And most importantly, they want to have the confidence that tomorrow is set to be better than today … not just for them individually but for all of us.
Frankly, I don’t know whether the reset necessary to achieve those things is obtainable within the existing framework. The rot has well and truly set in with the dominant agenda - one which reaffirms the importance of the state over the individual rather than the other way around.
What will it take to make the change? I can’t say for sure, but until it’s found we will have more Trump-esque candidates for political office and the more the establishment dismiss them with disdainful contempt, the stronger the movement will grow.