'Trust Me'

by Mark  

It is not as if we have never been warned.

Our parents warned us. Our teachers warned us. Our ministers warned us. Psychologists have warned us. Prosecutors and judges, especially television judges, have warned us. Talk show hosts with cheating guests have warned us.

Yet over and over again it seems we, human beings, never listen.

The first words out of someone caught doing something they shouldn't or someone's other half is caught cheating, it is always the same two words, "Trust me."

Americans, especially voters, seem to throw all caution to the wind every time some politician answers a question or peppers a speech with those two problematic words. A defendent or witness in a criminal or civil trial is immediately suspect, yet jurors seem to ignore the flashing red letters, as the person sitting in the witness box declares, "Trust me."

What is it in the psyche of humanity that seems proned to allow those who intone as if pontificating from the heavens, "Trust me", to get away with it?

In the past couple of weeks we have had two major players in the world of politics, in the land of public service, who have in essence pronounced this dictate to their constituents, "Trust me."

We have the case of Governor Chris Christie asking the people of New Jersey to "trust" him that he is not guilty of any malfeasance or attempts at bullying or payback.

We have the situation with the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, without breaking into a smile or a laugh, implore the American people to "trust" him and even more problematic "trust" the government with safeguarding our privacy.

The latest public servant to walk us down the primrose road of "trust me" is former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell. Whether McDonnell is guilty as charged or innocent as the driven snow will come out over the coming weeks or years. But for the moment, he wants us to "trust" him that he broke no laws.

Sadly, too many will be duped by what we have all been warned is a clear sign and reason to run the other way. Sadly too many of us will hold our nose, close our eyes, grin and bear it. Sadly too many of us will once more fall for those two words which almost never end well - "Trust me."

I am not saying that Christie is guilty of being involved directly with what his underlings have been alleged to have done. I am not saying that the President does not deep down believe it is possible to safeguard our privacy while the 4th Amendment is trampled in the name of security.

What I am saying is that we should all "trust, but verfiy", as Ronald Reagan advised. Sadly, too many of us will find it too hard to verify and hope for the best instead.

Let's not go blindly down a road pitted with potholes and think we can escape the jarring and damage to the undercarriage of our life vehicles.

From the Cornfield, when will we learn, especially when it's a politician who is mouthing the words, "Trust me", to stop, look and listen before crossing a busy highway into the onrushing traffic?

How many more times must we be fooled before there is "reasonable doubt" when anyone, especially a politician, looks us dead in the eyes and says, "Trust me"?

When is enough, enough?

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