About Thomas D. Segel Thomas D. Segel, a career journalist and
broadcaster, completed 26 years of service in the United States
Marine Corps, with the majority of his assignments spent in
joint service commands covering military events and action
throughout Asia. His post military career was as Director of
Information for the Marine Military Academy, followed by
employment as a Texas state official. His position at the time
of retirement was Director for the Division of Information,
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Rio
Grande State Center.
Thomas D. Segel
We’ve Heard It, But Do We Believe It...”Trust Me!” February 12, 2009
The United States Senate said "Trust Me” and passed the pork filled
spending bill they call a stimulus package. Wall Street trusted that
action so much the stock market dropped 382 points.
But, trust in Congress or in the United States Government has been on a
downward spiral for the past three decades. Seventy two percent of the
nation’s citizens report they have no trust in the entire Washington
D.C. establishment. When Congress is singled out, 82% say they have no
trust in the Legislative Branch of government.
What do individual Americans say about trust? John Boring is a retired
Marine Gunnery Sergeant living in Arizona. These are his words;
"Do I trust government? No...not a bit. I don't trust politicians and I
adamantly do not trust either the House or the Senate. I don't trust my
butcher or the owner of the gas station where I pump my own gas. I don't
trust anyone but my barber who gives me a good cut for a decent price.
And, he's a transplanted Russian who speaks only marginally good
English. I trust my wife and my family. I trust my very good friends and
I trust my church. I believe in and I trust God. I don't trust my local
newspaper or what I read in it. I don't trust anyone who knocks on my
door trying to sell me something or who asks me to donate to something.
I don't trust charities, airlines or the oil industry. I don't trust the
makers of the goods I buy”.
John Boring reflects what most Americans seem to feel during this time
of economic and governmental upheaval. Almost 80% of the population
believes the federal government has too much power and they do not trust
it to use that power wisely. They also see state and local governments
expanding their powers in moves that also erode governmental trust.
Trust in individual politicians is in the cellar. Along with that
feeling, according to a Reuter’s poll, at least 50% of the population
believes their political leaders are dishonest.
A Zogby poll conducted two years ago showed 72% of the people do not
trust Congress, 58% do not believe the media, and 69% have no faith in
Kevin Healey in Little Compton, Rhode Island, is even less trusting than
most people today. He says,
"The only person I trust is my wife and I know that she lies to me from
time to time. But then I love her and she loves me. Trust is earned not
demanded...You can respect but not trust. People are born liars.
Politicians are liars on steroids.”
The majority of politicians are lawyers, so it is an interesting
observation to see the public holds lawyers in the same disrepute as
those in elected office. A full 80% of the public feels lawyers are
dishonest and have no ethical standards. A recent Gallup poll ranks them
even lower, with 83% of the population lacking any faith or trust in
those who are in the legal profession.
Texan Carl Loya says,
"I don’t trust a single person in office today. Add to that the media. I
think every newspaper writer; radio and TV reporter is a fraud. They
don’t even know the difference between a lie and the truth.”
The Gallup organization seems to agree with Loya. It says,” The
long-term trends of Gallup’s honesty and ethics survey, reveal a growing
skepticism among the American public regarding the ethics of news
professionals. That survey found only 21% of the public believes
journalists are honest or ethical. It finds that 16% of the public has
any trust in newspaper reporters and only 21% of the citizens believe TV
reporters have high ethical standards.
Americans also have little trust in stockbrokers. Only 6% of the public
gives them the benefit of their complete trust. Real estate agents,
insurance agents, financial advisors and bankers are completely trusted
by an average of only 14% of the population.
On the plus side, however, are doctors, dentists and nurses who have the
trust of their patients in the mid 90% range.
In organizational trust, the United States Armed Forces still maintains
an approval and trust ranking in excess of 80%, the highest rating given
to any organized body in the country. This high level of trust comes,
even though the military is held in contempt by the far left and is
savaged regularly by the media.
The first person quoted in this article is John Boring. The retired
Marine had another observation that fits in with the feelings expressed
by other Americans.
"I really didn't know what my feelings were until I was asked. I was a
bit surprised at my answer but that's exactly how I feel and I don't
think I would be alone in those feelings. You know what's really bad, is
that I wasn't like this not too many years back. I grew up as a very
trusting soul, I believed in everything and everyone… and gradually, one
by one, all the things I trusted in were proven to be false an
untrustworthy. Government has totally eroded any trust I ever had and
I'd punch in the nose any politician who knocked on my door these days.”
to that stimulus bill that the vast majority of Americans hate. It is
inching closer and closer to law and a debt that even our grandchildren
will be unable to pay down to a reasonable level. The American public
has said it doesn’t want this huge pork pie, but the politicos we hold
in such low esteem demand we eat it. They can’t see the truth that is
right in front of them. What Americans really want is to have their
trust back. With the ability to trust, everything would seek its own
level and the country would be on the right track again.