Many have lost trust in their leaders, in political systems, in religious institutions and in the very notion that we are all in this world together and share a common future. This is a problem, because trust is the essential element that allows us to build a world of agreed-upon rules, with a level playing field for all.
These days, a soccer World Cup is a multi-billion dollar project, with a number of financial "winners," such as FIFA, and many losers, given the development priorities that are sacrificed to build gleaming stadia. Does this also mean that one can explain a nation's success at the cup largely by money?
With midterm elections four months away, there are signs that a bitterly polarized electorate will again deliver a government incapable of working together. This is our era's sad twist on the maxim "all politics is local." You can win local elections at the extremes. But you can't govern from there.