The media and the Left have been running the narrative that Russian hacking has undermined Americans' trust in institutions. While the hacking is a concern, we don't need Russia to erode that trust because it didn't exist in the first place. And the continued hysteria over the election of President Trump will only make that trust less likely to reappear in the future.
According to Gallup, 32 percent of Americans have faith in U.S. institutions. Only 9 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. Americans' trust and confidence that the mass media will "report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has reached a historic low. President Trump also faces a trust deficit in polling.
Because the Left and the mainstream media cannot accept the outcome of the November election, they have driven unproven narratives. The first is that Russia tipped the scales in favor of President Trump. The second is that there was collusion between the president's team and the Kremlin. Neither claim has been proven, but that hasn't stopped the Democratic Party and members of the media from presenting those allegations as truths.
Barack Obama has said Russia did not rig the election for Trump. Additionally, the premise that the release of information from WikiLeaks changed the trajectory of the election is a joke. There were no bombshells in the leaks and they barely got covered. Research from Newsbusters found that unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump received four hours and 13 minutes of coverage from ABS, CBS, and NBC while WikiLeaks emails was covered for only 36 minutes.
Just recently on NBC's "Meet the Press," former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told host Chuck Todd that he had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And despite previously alluding to transcripts existing between Russia and the Trump campaign on MSNBC, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons walked back that claim on "Fox News Sunday" and also said that he did not have "conclusive proof" that there was collusion.
The media even took the step of releasing an alleged dossier on President Trump that Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward labeled a "garbage document." Publications like the New York Times ran stories with headlines reading "How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump." Not only does the headline indicate the document is garbage, as Woodward claimed, but it is silly to think a bogus document that no one can verify will create a crisis for the administration.
The media aren't alone in making these claims. The Democratic Party is in full-on meltdown mode with members of Congress such as John Lewis skipping the president's inauguration because he is not a "legitimate" commander in chief and because the Russians got him elected. Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for the impeachment of a Trump Cabinet official and her daughter led the effort to encourage electors to defect.
Calls from individuals such as Pelosi's daughter led a historic number of electors to defect, undermining Americans' faith in the electoral process. There can't be faith in the system if the will of the American people is not represented. Further, many on the Left continued to sow distrust in the process by calling for the abolishment of the Electoral College. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation to abolish a system that has led to stability and a peaceful transition of power since its inception.
While President Trump adds to public distrust by making unsubstantiated allegations that President Obama ordered a wiretap against him, he is constantly being held accountable for his actions. However, the media and the Left aren't and that's a problem for the country.
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for The Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.