Remember the heyday of the X-Files? While nerds dreamed of Scully, the general public became fascinated over the possibilities that our government was hiding its partnership with extraterrestrials. The man with the cigarette would appear and then disappear while Mulder would almost have the proof, the smoking gun, that the wanted more than anything else.
The show is coming back soon for six new episodes. It’s good timing. Over the past several years the country’s mood has changed. Remember how skeptics laughed about Mulder’s beliefs in UFOs and aliens and government conspiracies? There are far fewer people laughing anymore.
Why? One reason has been the erosion in people’s faith in government. Each time a reporter reveals that the government has found a new way to spy on us, people begin to see it as “them” rather than “us.” Very few people would be surprised if some intrepid reporter suddenly published absolute proof in the form of a “smoking gun” that the government has been working with extraterrestrials.
How does the GOP figure in all this? The last several years the Republican Party has preached and railed against the federal government. It claims that the government is incapable of performing most tasks, and that the states should assume more and more duties. One goal of the GOP strategists has been to erode people’s faith in government since the government’s lifeline support systems traditionally have been associated with the Democratic Party. If the GOP can eliminate federal payouts like social security and medicare, then people won’t remember that it was the Democrats who gave people those federal benefits. Once they know longer receive these benefits, they will have one less excuse to vote for the Democrats.
So, the result is a loss of confidence in government and a subsequent growing suspicion in government conspiracies. The more people don’t trust their government, the more they will assume the worse and believe any conspiracy theory that comes along. The new X-Files will find a very receptive audience. Watch the public’s reaction if one of the new episodes shows aliens conspiring with the government to put chemicals in routine vaccines. Watch what happens if Scully and Mulder discover that GMO products are part of the government’s conspiracy with extraterrestrials.
Sometimes I long for the days when the public liked Ike and had faith in government. The worst thing critics could accuse Eisenhower of was playing too much golf and playing badly. Of course, in those days we didn’t have cable news reporters and social media “reporters.” They would have unearthed his affair with his driver during WW2 and asked Mamie what she thought of the whole sordid affair. Maybe they would have insisted the President and his wife appear on the “Sex Box” TV show and see if they could work out their differences.