There's an old axiom that states, "People buy from people they trust". That doesn't mean that you've never bought something and it turned out that the person from whom you bought it wasn't trustworthy. What it means is that untrustworthy person is unlikely to have you buy anything else from him or her again. And, you will probably go out of your way to share your experience with others. If you've had a good experience with a realtor, you will recommend that realtor to others. The same goes for your experience in buying an automobile, choosing a dry-cleaner, or a carpenter, or auto repair shop, etc., etc. Trust! It's an important part of our lives.
As we are nearing a very important election day, trust is, or should be, a foremost consideration in deciding our vote. We watch as political ads on television negatively hammer opposing candidates. All too often, the ads paint an untrue or distorted picture of the other candidate in an effort to "scare" voters away from the targeted opponent. Often, made up or phony "issues" are manufactured in order to pander to a particular group of voters. In some cases, the ads are repeated over and over again. As history has shown, if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted as truth.
We have seen a serious decline in people's "trust" of politicians. Stonewalling, distorting, pandering, dividing, and outright lies are occurring on a daily basis as politicians seek a political advantage or try to eliminate or minimize a charge made against them. Legal requirements are shunted aside as the art of stonewalling threatens the ability of our government to function as it was intended.
Not only have we seen a decline in the people's trust of politicians, we witness on a daily basis the distrust among politicians and among the branches of government. We see the Senate majority leader hold about 300 bills that were passed by the House of Representative, not letting any of them be assigned to a Senate committee, or be brought to the floor for a vote. Having done that, the majority leader and other members of his party, including the president, then repeat the lie that the Congress has failed to act. We note too, that the president has arbitrarily and unilaterally made changes to the Affordable Care Act, in violation of the law itself. Yet, he has refused to ask Congress to review and modify the act, as the law requires. It's all about "trust", or lack thereof.
The Senate majority leader puts the work of Congress aside so as to spare his Democrat senators from having to vote on issues that may put them in a bad light with voters in the coming election. Further, if those Senators voted as the people would like and the bills were passed, then the accept or reject position would fall to the president. So in order to protect them from accountability with the voters, the leadership simply stonewalls and blames the Congress.
When he was first elected, a reporter asked President Obama how he was to be judged. He responded by saying, judge me by the people I have around me. As this is being written, there have been three key people who served in Cabinet level positions and, since they left those positions, have written books about their experiences with the president. None have been complimentary as each has indicated that the president would listen, but ultimately, reject their advice and counsel. Our retired and in service military leaders are openly imploring the president on the need to take certain actions, but to this time, he has ignored their advice. It again comes down to a matter of trust. Evidently, the president surrounded himself with his choice of cabinet-level people but, he has been unwilling to trust their judgments. Now, those same people are showing that they don't trust his.
Our government isn't functioning as it was intended. Actions and decisions are being made based on gaining a political party advantage and not what's best for the country. The world is in turmoil. We can't wish war away. If a nation or a group declares war and fights against us, whether we acknowledge it or not, we too, are at war. As a country, we can be war weary, but that is not reason enough to not defend our country, our citizens, and our freedoms. That defense will take political and military leadership. It will also require "trust" to be re-ignited in our politicians so that they put the needs of our country before the wants of their political party.
Between now and November 4, please put politics aside and consider what's best for our country, what's needed to get our government functioning as true co-equal branches. And vote like the future for your kids and grand-kids depends on it. It does!
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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