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Trust Just Isn't Enough | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Trust Just Isn't Enough

I've had it with trust. Too much of it, and people will ignore the obvious. Too little of it, and they'll do exactly the same thing.

Take the Tea Partiers. According to reporting on GRITtv and now the New York Times, a whole lot of Tea Partiers see no conflict in receiving government help while railing against government. The contradictions have no relevance when they just don't trust: “I just don't trust this government ” one sixty-seven year old Medicare-recipient-against-health-insurance-reform, told Sunday's New York Times.

Facts be damned, one unemployed Social Security recipient said: “If you don’t trust the mindset or the value system of the people running the system, you can’t even look at the facts anymore."

Over at the Catholic church believers swept rape and molestation charges under their threadbare rug rather than break trust with their bishops, their archbishops and the Pope. And faithful Democrats have been at it too -- "trusting" -- that all appearances to the contrary, their president will eventually give peace a chance and end the war. I mean all the wars.

The good news is that although millions of Catholics turned out for Palm Sunday Masses as per usual this weekend, today's sex scandal is finally "testing" Catholic 's trust in their leadership. Finally! That's the best news of the week.

But all this trust talk has got to stop. People love to talk "trust"-- a deep seated feeling untouchable by reason. But it's not anything ineffable we're talking about here; it's actions or lack of them, and choices; picking sides. Trust's a euphemism that's scuttling our politics. I trust you'll agree it's time for change. The down with trust, up with accountability party, anyone?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.

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