“There’s one born every minute”
“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”
A mistrust of the general public is not new but our lack of faith in each other is one of the main reasons we are so despairing of the future and the knowledge that we all think the next person over is a sucker is itself a barrier to effective collective action.
For example, there is a massive difference between how much people think they “can tell real news from ‘fake news’” versus how confident we are that “the average person… can tell real news from ‘fake news’.”
we think our fellow citizens are dupes
It’s not just that we think the general public are dupes. What’s worse is that we know our fellow citizens think we’re dupes. We don’t trust them, they don’t trust us, what hope for collective responses to societal challenges?
The upshot is despair about the future.