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Do You Have Trust in the Government?

The element of trust is a characteristic that is needed in society and government.  It is a trait which we should expect to see exhibited in everyone with which we come in contact.  This includes either direct or indirect methods of communication.  It is however a trait/characteristic which must be earned, it is not a right.  Trust seems to be lacking in many areas today, both in government and private industry.  The current financial situation we are facing I am sure has a large impact on this perception.

Politicians both those serving in Congress and those who aspire to be serving currently have a problem with creating a trust environment.  Each politician and political party make promises as to what they will do when they get elected or re-elected.  Creating an atmosphere of trust is not an easy thing to accomplish especially given the current political environment in Washington and in some states.  One of the requirements to create an atmosphere of trust involves being honest with the voters.  This in and of itself seems to be lacking to some extent.

Every two years the House of Representatives are either re-elected or replaced with new individuals.  Those running for office at all levels of government must earn the trust of the voters who must vote in their favor.  Electing new individuals to office and replacing an incumbent can be difficult or it can be easy.  Situations are somewhat easy to some extent when those in office have violated the trust of the voter either in what they have done or not done while they were in office.  A politician who violates the trust of the voters who have elected them put a blight on others holding office.  The current approval rating of Congress is an example of where voters are not satisfied.  To a large extent this involves the characteristic of trust.

Today given the current perception of Congress being an elected official is not a good place to be unless their actions have instilled trust in the voters who elected them.  Overall voter trust of the government in general is lacking with respect to getting the job done to solve the country’s problems or at least create a path to address them.  An elected individual cannot create an atmosphere of trust without being honest with voters.

When voters talk about being able to trust their elected officials the perception is that big business and lobbyists influence the decisions being made and the legislation being created.   While this may not always be the case this perception for a politician is hard to remove from the minds of voters.  The proof of whether elected officials can be trusted rests in the decisions they make and the principles on which they were elected.  The principles of honesty and trust are important especially in these times.  Voters appear to be angry at the lack of action by Congress.  We have seen as in the past battles between the two major political parties presenting their views and approaches to our financial problems.  While there may be good and bad ideas from both parties neither give the appearance that they trust each other in the approaches they present.  If they do not trust each other how can they expect the voters to trust them.

In answering the question do you have trust in the government it rests on our perspective of the officials we have elected.  This perception should not rest on the coverage of news organizations associated with specific individuals but our opinion on the ideas presented in relation to the problems they hope to resolve.  Good ideas come from both parties and in some cases there is some commonality but the differences can derail the chances to create a final piece of legislation.

It is important for all elected officials at all levels of government strive to instill trust and confidence in the workings of government.  There are always going to be those who are against what government legislation is being processed and make noise about their dissatisfaction.  These voices though they have the right to express their opinion should not be used as a basis to honestly evaluate the approach to issues each level of government takes.  Financial constraints are in place in several states and actions to address financial crises should be appreciated and not try to derail a sound approach to fiscal restraint.

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Dennis AuBuchon

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