Myths arise as a way for a group of people to explain the world around them. Think of the myths we heard growing up of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln that were ways of explaining to young minds what it means to be an American.
Myths have been rampant this month. First we saw the myth of the carefully coiffed and coached presidential candidates exploded by "The Donald". Trump says what is on his mind, damned the consequences. The traditional presidential candidates tried to ignore him (especially the Republicans), then they had to scramble to address his issues as another myth was explode; polls and the media are NOT representative of the average voter.
Every time "The Donald" would say something inappropriate, shocking or down right insensitive the headlines seemed to carry a story validating his opinions. When he infamously attacked illegal immigrants, an illegal immigrant killed Katie Steinle out on San Francisco's pier. Her killer had specifically sought out San Francisco which offers sanctuary to those immigrants here illegally.
But "The Donald" isn't the only one busy smashing myths. Three Marines and one Navy officer were slain by Mohamed Abdulazeez, an American born in Kuwait who was a top student, mixed martial artist and general all-around model American. Something though went wrong and he became the latest home-grown terrorist exploding the myth that we are safer here at home then over "there".
Mr. Obama has been busy creating the myth that Iran is somehow more dangerous than Russia or China to the US. His myth-building is "too nuanced" (to quote the queen of "too nuanced" herself, Marie Harf) and keeps damaging his legacy instead of enhancing it.
Throughout all of this, the myth of the "trusted media" has be proven to be false and may never be regained again. If the press (now media) was ever truly trusted, it was in a bygone era when it could still effectively craft public opinion. While there is the still the ability to sensationalize, the modern media really does not craft public opinion anymore…and worse, the public knows it.
Of course this all presupposes the intent of these myths is to instill confidence when there is some validity to wonder if the modern myth isn't about confidence but rather about fear. You can't sell copy or hits to your website if everything is calm and peaceful. Fear and chaos makes sells more copy and generates more hits for AdSense.
So maybe, the new mythos is not about explaining the world around us but to convince us that monsters are everywhere and the only thing that can protect us is someone else. Everyone and everything is a threat so we need to abandon all hope and surrender ourselves to the powers that be (such as the federal government).
The important thing to remember though is that myths are simply filters we use to try to understand the world. It is up to us, not the media, to see the world as it truly is.